A new package of biosecurity measures to be implemented at international airports, including more detector dogs and new x-ray machines.
The Ministry for Primary Industries Nathan Guy announced today that by December there will be; 20 new biosecurity detector dog teams, five new x-ray machines, a trial of a mobile x-ray machine and new communications to target passengers more likely to carry Queensland fruit fly host materials.
Te Puke kiwifruit grower and member of the Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee Peter Ombler welcomed the new package.
"It doesn't take too much for kiwifruit growers to be supportive of anything that reduces the risk in that area," Mr Ombler said.
"We'll be staying focused on things from here on in. The risks from overseas are changing, and from our perspective, increasing all the time, so we absolutely support what has been done but we'll be watching closely to insure things are still improving."
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy also welcomed the new package is a result of $27 million in new funding in Budget 2015.
Mr Guy said biosecurity is his number one priority as minister.
"These moves show how seriously we are taking this issue," Mr Guy said.
"This will provide a stronger presence at the border to deal with growing passenger numbers and help prevent pests and diseases entering New Zealand.
"It's important to note that we already have 100% screening of all passengers by biosecurity officers."
Mr Guy said tougher security over the last two years has seen 130 new staff, new x-ray machines, and increased the number of detector dog teams.
"We've brought in Government Industry Agreements (GIAs) which involve shared preparation and response to biosecurity threats.
"The Government has also decided to bring in a committed passenger border levy as a fairer way to fund these services. It also means that foreign travellers who make up around 55% of passenger numbers will be directly contributing."