Biosecurity Minister Damien O'Connor, who was in Tauranga yesterday to officially launch the newly formed Tauranga Moana Biosecurity Capital, has lauded the initiative.
The launch was attended by about 100 representatives from 19 local organisations which make up the group at the Tauranga Yacht Club as part of a wider symposium this week.
The group is the first of its kind in the country aimed at leading a co-ordinated community response to biosecurity risk and advocating for better biosecurity protections.
O'Connor said the group's members had shown "great leadership" by banding together to protect the region from biosecurity threats.
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"Well you are the trade capital, so it makes sense that you must be the biosecurity capital. That is simply an essential element of New Zealand and our future direction," he said.
"Together we can do more. We have learnt this, sometimes slowly, but it has been proven many times that by working together and through co-operation we can achieve better outcomes."
The group's co-chairman, Carlton Bidois, said keeping invasive unwanted pests at bay must be a responsibility of all people of Tauranga Moana as "we all have a lot to lose".
"We all have something to gain if we work together to fight biosecurity threats and protect the taonga in our environment, " Bidois said.