Wednesday, 18 May, 2011 - 15:39

Lisa Berndt (Scion)

The programme ‘Better Border Biosecurity’ (B3) is a partnership between research providers (AgResearch, Plant and Food Research, Scion and Lincoln University) and end users (MAF BNZ, ERMA New Zealand, Department of Conservation and the Forest Biosecurity Research Council). One of the research priorities identified in the partnership has been to assist those applying to ERMA NZ for approval for new biocontrol agent introductions to better meet the HSNO Act Section 36 Minimum Standards.  An example of where assistance may be useful is in predicting and explaining the likelihood (which can be minuscule) of a new introduction displacing native species, or causing other deterioration of natural habitats.

When considering the release of a new biological control agent into New Zealand, the Biosecurity and HSNO Acts require that ERMA NZ take "the relationship of Māori and their culture and traditions with their ancestral lands, water, sites, wahi tapu [sacred places], valued flora and fauna, and other taonga [treasures]" into account when applications are considered. The Act also requires that consideration be given to the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi).

The responsibility for providing to Māori an assessment of the risks, costs and benefits of a biocontrol proposal sits rests the applicants.  This...

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