Thursday, 13 September 2012 08:32

Biosecurity reform law passed

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A bill that makes the most significant changes to the Biosecurity Act in 15 years has passed into law.

The Biosecurity Law Reform Bill makes a wide range of amendments to the Act, along with related amendments to four other Acts.

"New Zealand has a highly effective biosecurity system which is recognised as world-leading, but the legislation has not kept pace with the way the system has had to evolve to meet ever-growing challenges," says Primary Industries Minister David Carter.

"The amended Act covers the areas of border biosecurity, joint decision-making on newly detected harmful organisms and on-going management of established pests.

"The reforms will enable better use of information to target risks and encourage partnerships in the management of potential biosecurity incursions."

Carter says a key plank of the reforms is the development of government-industry agreements on preparing for, and responding to, newly detected pests and diseases, and for sharing the costs of jointly-agreed activities.

"Protecting New Zealand from biosecurity risks cannot be the role of government alone. Industry expertise needs to be brought to the decision-making table to help improve prioritisation and our preparedness to respond to incursions.

"This important piece of legislation is a further step in fulfilling the vision of the Ministry for Primary Industries to grow and protect New Zealand," Carter says.

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