The finalists in the 2022 New Zealand Biosecurity Awards have been named, with the judging panel describing this year’s entries as the highest quality they have ever seen in the awards’ six year history.
“They’re inspiring New Zealanders tackling everything from decade long projects focusing on thousands of hectares, to new innovations taking on biosecurity through molecules,” says Biosecurity New Zealand’s deputy director-general, Stuart Anderson.
“New Zealand has one of the strongest multi-layered biosecurity systems in the world. It protects our food and fibre sector where annual export revenue reached more than $53 billion in the year to 30 June 2022.
“As the threats we face grow in scale and complexity, it’s the innovation and hard mahi from people and organisations like our finalists that help protect our environment, economy, culture and people.”
He said the Awards celebrate the businesses, iwi, researchers and community groups doing vital work to help protect New Zealand’s biosecurity, with each category recognising the complexity of an effective, sustainable biosecurity system.
Chair of the judging panel, Dr Edwin Massey said while it was a difficult year for judging given the incredible quality of the entries, it highlighted the diverse work of everyday New Zealanders who maintained and improved our biosecurity system in the face of increasing and evolving threats.
“The 2022 finalists are working in our ngahere (forests), our mountains and waterways, our offshore islands and our urban environments. The pests they are controlling include catfish, aquatic weeds, wilding pines, blackgrass, goats, rats, and the giant willow aphid, to name just a few,” he said.
“These biosecurity champions come from schools, community groups, local and central government, businesses, and research organisations. And they all share a common purpose to make a difference in biosecurity to protect our country’s economy, biodiversity and way of life.”
The Awards have been held annually since 2017, and recognise individuals, groups and organisations that have shown a commitment to supporting and promoting New Zealand’s biosecurity and the systems that uphold it.
The winners will be announced at the New Zealand Biosecurity Awards event held in Auckland on 31 October 2022.