Schools should consider adding biosecurity to their curriculum as part of a push to protect New Zealand from pests, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says.
The minister today launched a draft plan for protecting New Zealand's borders from incursions over the next ten years.
"It's ultimately about creating awareness for 4.7 million New Zealanders," he said.
Mr Guy said biosecurity was not front of mind for most Kiwis, and it was important to educate people about the key role it played in the economy.
Online campaigns would be used to inform Kiwis about biosecurity risks. But some schools might choose to go further, Mr Guy said.
"The curriculum has quite a bit of flexibility already, so if principals or their board want to choose to pick up and run a biosecurity through the classroom, then that's appropriate for them to do so."
The draft plan was developed in response to rising pressures on New Zealand's border protection systems.
Over the last decade, mail parcels have increased by 216 per cent, shipping container numbers rose by 37 per cent, and airline passengers rose by 47 per cent.