Biosecurity Taranaki launch milestone for region

Taranaki has taken a significant step forward in safeguarding its unique environment with the official launch of Biosecurity Taranaki.

The collective was launched in New Plymouth on Friday 22 March, bringing together a diverse range of individuals and organisations committed to protecting the region from the threat of pests, weeds and diseases.

Taranaki Regional Council is one of the founding members and has committed to providing ongoing support for the collective. 

The partnership aims to be proactive in safeguarding our environment, economy and way of life from biosecurity threats. Spanning industry groups, iwi, hapū, government agencies, local government, businesses and community groups, Biosecurity Taranaki will work to raise awareness, build capability and protect the region’s future.

It is just the second regional collaboration of its type in New Zealand, reflecting the importance of strong biosecurity to Taranaki’s economy and way of life.

Biosecurity Taranaki Chair Willy Harvey says he took on the leadership role because he is passionate about Taranaki and its future. Biosecurity Taranaki is a growing network, and he is keen to hear from anyone who is keen to be part of it.

“It takes all of us to protect what we love about Taranaki. Biosecurity affects all of us, so the more diverse our membership, the more effective we will be.”

Stuart Anderson, Deputy Director-General Biosecurity New Zealand says the launch of Biosecurity Taranaki marks a pivotal milestone for the region.

“Biosecurity New Zealand will work with Biosecurity Taranaki and its members to build a community of biosecurity champions who will advocate for, and take action to, ensure the very best biosecurity outcomes, protecting this incredible region.  Working together we are stronger – this is biosecurity in action.”

Taranaki Regional Council Chair Charlotte Littlewood says Biosecurity Taranaki is an exciting initiative that will complement the council’s long-running pest management programmes.

“Protecting Taranaki from pests and diseases is a massive task but by all working together we’re giving ourselves the best possible chance of success.”

Other speakers at the launch included Julie Healey, Chair Ngāti Te Whiti Hapū and Graeme Marshall, past co-Chair of the regional biosecurity collaboration, Tauranga Moana Biosecurity Capital.

A panel discussion around the role of biosecurity in building a thriving future for Taranaki included Simon Craddock, Chief Executive of Port Taranaki, who talked about the biosecurity challenges facing the shipping industry, local operations and how teams keep a focus on biosecurity.

A variety of displays – from freshwater clams to wallabies to sea spurge – and a demonstration by a possum detection dog, also helped illustrate the wide range of current and potential threats.

Biosecurity Taranaki’s membership currently includes Agriculture & Investment Services, AsureQuality, Biosecurity New Zealand, Ngāti Te Whiti Hapū, Paraninihi Ki Waitōtara (PKW), Port Taranaki, Taranaki Catchment Communities, Taranaki Regional Council, Te Heru Māpara, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui, Te Whatu Ora Taranaki.

For more information and to get involved, visit link) or call Willy Harvey, Biosecurity Taranaki Chair on 027 284 4380.