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Forestry joins GIA Biosecurity partnership

Associate Minister Jo Goodhew, Minister Nathan Guy, FOA Chief Executive David Rhodes, Lindsay Bulman of Scion Research.

Associate Minister Jo Goodhew, Minister Nathan Guy, FOA Chief Executive David Rhodes and Lindsay Bulman of Scion Research.

The GIA Secretariat have welcomed the New Zealand Forest Owners Association (FOA) to the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) partnership at a signing ceremony hosted by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy and Associate Minister Jo Goodhew.

 

The Association is now the sixth primary industry organisation along with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to sign the agreement to partner on biosecurity readiness and response.

FOA’s Chief Executive David Rhodes said they are pleased to have signed the biosecurity agreement.

“While we have this proud history of funding and driving biosecurity in our own forests, the biggest risks probably lie at the country’s borders, with imported goods and the personal belongings of travellers. For the last five years we have been integrating our scheme with the biosecurity operations of the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), identifying gaps and weaknesses and fixing them,” says Mr Rhodes.

“The only missing element has been a formal agreement with government on who will make decisions and fund the response of an exotic pest or disease outbreak.”

“The partnership will provide joint decision making. Also the funding formula will take into account the industry’s big investment in forest health surveillance and the many social benefits of forestry and trees.”

"Forest products are the country's third biggest export earner, but our forests are highly vulnerable to introduced insect pests and diseases, as are our native forests and the amenity trees in the country's parks and gardens.

"There are some real nasties out there that could do a huge amount of damage if they became established here. Having healthy forests is also critical for New Zealand meeting its greenhouse gas emission targets."

FOA has had a long standing focus on biosecurity, and under GIA it will be able to make joint decisions with government on biosecurity incursions that may affect the forestry sector, and provide technical capability to manage biosecurity risks.

GIA Secretariat Manager, Steve Rich, welcomed the Forest Owners Association to the partnership saying the new addition to the partnership will further strengthen efforts to deliver better biosecurity outcomes.

The Forestry Owners Association joins Kiwifruit Vine Health, Pipfruit New Zealand, New Zealand Pork, New Zealand Equine Health Association, and Onions New Zealand, along with MPI representing the government as GIA partners.

 For more information see more at www.nzfoa.org.nz.

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To report suspected exotic land, freshwater and marine pests, or exotic disease in plants or animals, call the MPI hotline:

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