Friday, 15 September, 2017 - 16:40


Attempts to STOP BMSB from establishing in New Zealand, and the assistance we are receiving from US scientists,  are being highlighted in America.


Friday, 15 September, 2017 - 15:20

About 20 US and 40 NZ scientists met in Auckland in the last week of August 2017 to explore research initiatives to prevent the establishment or mitigate the impact of invasive vertebrate, invertebrates, pathogens and weeds.  

This 3 day workshop was the consequence of activities associated with the NZ US Invasive Species Working Group funded for two years (2014-2016) from the MBIE International Relationships Fund under the auspices of NZ-US Joint Commission on Science and Technology Collaboration (or JCM) ( 

The ‘JCM’ has enabled a number of scientists from both countries to engage in a variety of ways on topics associated with border security and management of invasive species over the last few years.  The recent workshop provided a further opportunity for scientists to build-on and develop strategic research collaborations invasive species research.  US Consulate-Auckland staff were able to sit in on a number of...

Wednesday, 6 September, 2017 - 15:40

Listen on the RNZ Website:

Tiny creatures in soil that attack plants have shown the ability to survive for at least three years in new research, giving new insights into the bio-security threats posed by passenger travel and trade between countries. The creatures, called nematodes, are very small worm-like organisms - and are estimated to cause billions of dollars of crop damage worldwide each year. They can survive in dried out, seemingly harmless soil attached to a shoe or a freight container coming across the border - and can be extremely hardy and have both beneficial and detrimental impacts. Lynn Freeman speaks with a research scientist at AgResearch, Mark McNeil

Thursday, 10 August, 2017 - 14:43

Last week (2 August 2017) The Hon Nathan Guy recognised individuals, communities and organisations that have made a positive difference to New Zealand's biosecurity at an awards ceremony at Parliament in Wellington.

The awards covered the whole spectrum of the biosecurity system, including at the border and pest management, in the plant, animal, freshwater and marine domains. The full list of awardees can be found at B3 congratulates all award winners.

B3 researchers had active participation in the activities of three of the award winners. These include:

  • Department of Conservation (The Great White Butterfly Eradication Project) won the “Government’ and the ‘SupremeAwards. The Department of Conservation eliminated this pest butterfly from New Zealand. Scientific expertise drawn from B3 helped drive the world-first eradication of the invasive great white butterfly (see:

Thursday, 22 June, 2017 - 10:45

(Photograph courtesy of Geoff Allen)

Scientists at Plant & Food Research, B3 (Better Border Biosecurity), Scion and the University of Auckland have been studying the ‘bedroom’ behaviour of the parasitoid wasp Cotesia urabae to better understand the insects’ mating activity and preferences.


Thursday, 22 June, 2017 - 10:40

(Photograph courtesy of Lloyd Stringer)

Scientists at Plant & Food Research, B3 (Better Border Biosecurity) and the University of Auckland have been researching Argentine ants to determine how odour and physical cues help them to forage for food.

Argentine ants are heavily reliant on chemical cues such as odour trails for orientation and retrieving food, yet the behaviour of outdoor colonies suggests tactile features in their environment are also used to assist with foraging.


Tuesday, 20 June, 2017 - 12:32

B3 partners, Plant & Food Research (PFR) and Scion, have been successful in the latest round of science investment funding from MBIE’s Catalyst Strategic Fund for a project addressing the threat of myrtle rust to New Zealand. 

 “The funding of this programme is hugely encouraging, given the wide range of science questions we are currently facing on myrtle rust in New Zealand. This project will form an important component of, and will build on, the proposed longer-term research initiative dedicated to finding answers as to how New Zealand can combat the myrtle rust threat” says Dr Rebecca Martin (Senior Advisor, Conservation, MPI).


Tuesday, 30 May, 2017 - 15:32

About 50 researchers met in Christchurch on 15 May to brain-storm science solutions with which to mitigate the impact of myrtle rust after the disease was found for the first time in New Zealand on Raoul Island (announced 4 April) and in the North Island (announced 4 May). 

“Myrtle rust could be one of the most significant biosecurity incursions in New Zealand in recent years with potentially important environmental, economic, social and cultural impacts that would affect most New Zealanders” says B3 Director Dr David Teulon.

Myrtle rust is a South American fungal disease that has...

Friday, 7 April, 2017 - 15:16

"MPI scientist examines myrtle rust on samples"

The current myrtle rust incursion on the small New Zealand territory of Raoul Island (1050km north of Cape Reinga) is a severe wake-up call about the threat of invasive plant pathogens to our productive and natural plant systems.

“It is a reminder of the constant need for vigilance and preparedness” says Dr David Teulon, Director of Better Border Biosecurity (B3). 


The discovery of myrtle rust on Raoul Island is an example of how successful multi-organisational information sharing can be, as the finding was almost wholly attributable to the attendance of DOC advisor, David Havell who, following up on reports of unusual damage to trees from the Raoul Island weed team,  recognised myrtle rust following experienced gained from being a member of DOC’s Myrtle Rust awareness team and by attending a myrtle rust workshop organised by MPI, B3 and the Australian Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre (PBCRC) which was held in December 2016 to raise the profile of this unwanted pathogen. 


“Myrtle rust has been recognised as a severe threat to New Zealand for...

Thursday, 15 December, 2016 - 09:06

Growing trade and tourism between China and New Zealand are necessitating greater co-operation in the area of plant border biosecurity.  The Better Border Biosecurity (B3) research collaboration and its partners are working hard to develop these.

Invasive species with the potential to attack New Zealand’s and China’s valued plant systems are significant biosecurity risks in both countries so there are substantial mutual benefits in working together.  In New Zealand, both government and industry see the maintenance of an effective biosecurity system as one of their top priorities.  China has been identified as one country that has most to lose from further species invasions.  New Zealand is recognised as having one of the best border biosecurity systems in the world and China is becoming one of the world’s scientific super-powers.  Mutual cooperation would seem to be highly advantageous.

China is now the source of more imports into New Zealand than any other country, and provides the second largest number of tourists entering New Zealand - both activities providing pathways for the entry of invasive species of biosecurity risk.  Additionally, information on pests and diseases from China is much...

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