The efforts of individuals and organisations who devote time and passion into protecting what we have will be recognised at the 2020 New Zealand Biosecurity Awards – with entries now open.

Northland iwi turning the tide on dwindling kiwi populations and city slickers-turned-predator trappers preserving local reserves are just some of the biosecurity champions making a difference to protect our country's unique environment.

"Sometimes we forget to celebrate and recognise the people who do amazing and innovative things to protect our biosecurity system against pests and diseases," Biosecurity New Zealand head Penny Nelson said.

"People and organisations across New Zealand are contributing to biosecurity – in businesses, communities, schools, iwi and Māori organisations and local and regional councils. They are making a difference to our bush, oceans and waterways, and to our backyards.

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"Their mahi is fundamental in keeping our biosecurity system strong, and these awards celebrate that," Nelson said.

Penny Nelson, deputy director-general of Biosecurity New Zealand. Photo / Supplied
Penny Nelson, deputy director-general of Biosecurity New Zealand. Photo / Supplied

The New Zealand Biosecurity Awards have attracted more than 200 high-quality entrants since they began in 2017. This year will see Kiwi kids take part – with the addition of the Kura (School) Award.

The new award is open to teams, classes, rōpū and enviro-groups in early childhood centres, primary, intermediate and secondary schools who are working to support biosecurity in New Zealand. The winning group will receive a $2,500 cash prize.

Entries close 5pm, 30 July.

Visit ThisIsUs.nz to find out more and enter online.

Aorere College students. Photo / Supplied
Aorere College students. Photo / Supplied

The full list of New Zealand Biosecurity Awards categories are:

• Department of Conservation Community Pihinga Award

• Department of Conservation Community Kahiwi Award

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• Māori Award

• Kura (School) Award

• GIA Industry Award

• Eagle Technology Local and Central Government Award

• Bio-Protection Research Centre Science Award

• Mondiale Innovation Award

• AsureQuality Emerging Leader Award

• Minister's Biosecurity Award

The Supreme Award will be awarded to one of the category winners.

The New Zealand Biosecurity Awards are supported by partners AsureQuality, Department of Conservation, Eagle Technology, Government Industry Agreement, Mondiale, and the Bio-Protection Research Centre.