A new programme launched by Biosecurity 2025 is designed to conscript a biosecurity army of 4.7 million New Zealanders.

The programme highlights the personal connection of biosecurity to people's lives, and demonstrates that every New Zealander has a role in protecting the country from pests and diseases.

"Right now it's hard to ignore biosecurity," said Roger Smith, chairman of the Biosecurity 2025 steering group and head of Biosecurity New Zealand.

"Where once it may have seemed a farming or horticulture concern, and something the government did, incursions such as myrtle rust, kauri dieback and Mycoplasma bovis have made it to the mainstream news"

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"Ko Tātou This Is Us is an independent biosecurity brand that emphasises how biosecurity helps protect everything that shapes our way of life, from the outdoor environment where we farm, fish, hunt and explore, to the food we enjoy eating and the beautiful biodiversity this country provides," said Amber Bill, Biosecurity 2025 steering group member and director threats, Biodiversity Group, at the Department of Conservation.

Fellow steering group member and Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee chairman Graeme Marshall said Ko Tātou This Is Us was supported by a very visible public campaign.

"It calls every New Zealander to think about their role in biosecurity, how it protects their way of life and the things they love, and how they can be part of the 4.7 million biosecurity team," he said.

It aimed to connect all biosecurity participants and existing programmes and activities, and encouraging more programmes to emerge.

The brand could be used by businesses, organisations, iwi and community groups to identify how they were committing to biosecurity or to promote their biosecurity-related programmes and activities.

"We all benefit from growing world trade and tourism," said Kimberly Crewther, Biosecurity 2025 steering group member and executive director of the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ). "By taking a proactive approach to biosecurity, New Zealand businesses will protect these benefits and avoid unnecessary costs and disruptions.

"Dairy companies will be an active part of New Zealand's biosecurity team of 4.7 million, and we encourage other businesses to do the same."

The public campaign launched last week included a video featuring a kuia looking back on her life and urging New Zealanders to understand that everything that shapes their way of life is finite and fragile, and everyone must play their part in protecting it from pests and diseases.

The campaign also involves social media influencers who have created videos highlighting their personal connection to biosecurity.

They include Commonwealth Games gold medallist Anton Cooper and TV personality Sachie Nomura, and Big Angry Fish hosts Milan Radonich and Nathan O'Hearn.

For more information, go to:
www.thisisus.nz,

www.facebook.com/kotatouthisisus
www.youtube.com