Feds will be closely participating in the review of the Biosecurity Act this year writes Federated Farmers Biosecurity spokeswoman Karen Williams.

Biosecurity Minister Damien O'Connor deserves kudos for continuing to walk the talk on biosecurity.

Federated Farmers applauds his announcement in Tauranga last week of a crackdown on imported goods transitional facilities.

There are no fewer than 4518 facilities around the nation where containers of imported goods are checked for biosecurity risks, but this number is likely to be whittled down as Biosecurity NZ works to ensure they operate at higher standards.


Read more from Federated Farmers here.

This is all in the wake of the discovery of brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) in Tauranga and Auckland late last year, and ongoing finds of this potentially devastating critter among shipments of cars and other goods.

In NZME's news story covering the Minister's visit to the Bay of Plenty, Kiwifruit Vine Health chief executive Stu Hutchings is quoted as saying they know through liaison with growers in the United States that some 30-50 per cent of fruit is ruined in kiwifruit orchards by stink bugs.

That's just an indication of the toll on our wider horticulture, arable and wine industries should the BMSB ever gain a foothold here. Feds will be closely participating in the review of the Biosecurity Act this year.

We're looking for clarity around compensation, and ensuring legislation drives positive behaviour by all parties to reduce threats to human livelihoods, and our native flora and fauna.

The priorities should be protection, fast communication and greater awareness and information around threats.

That's way better than spending tens of millions cleaning up the mess later.

The old farmer philosophy of pulling a weed out and throwing it down the dead hole can no longer be tolerated.


We also need a system where someone who is worried about a pest or disease symptoms they have observed can be confident they'll be supported by the industry and NZ Inc., and thus has no reason to hesitate about reporting it to authorities.