BIOSECURITY INSTITUTE DISAPPOINTED AT RECOMMENDED TREES LIST MISTAKE
Category: National. Posted: 5 July 2018
Key biosecurity interest organisation, the NZ Biosecurity Institute (NZBI) has reacted strongly to reports that the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has had to remove weeds and pest plants from the list of trees it was encouraging people to plant.
The Billion Tree Programme encourages New Zealanders to plant one billion trees over the next ten years, but it was revealed today [JULY 4, 2018] that some of the trees suggested by MPI are classified as weeds, and at least one is illegal.
Institute president, Darion Embling said he’s been hearing today from his members who are unhappy that this situation has arisen.
“Our members work pretty hard to rid NZ of pest plants. MPI’s Biosecurity 2025 strategic document is about aligning the biosecurity system, so it is a surprise to see MPI going against its own policies and supporters.
It’s great to see members of the Institute, who understand the risk of these pests, speaking up and wanting these invasive pests managed and not planted as part of the Billion Trees project.
Mr Embling said the NZ Biosecurity Institute supports the National Wilding Conifer Strategy for controlling wild pine trees. That’s about ‘the right tree in the right place’. This mistake by MPI is obviously encouraging the ‘wrong trees’, Mr Embling said.”
He said he was pleased MPI had removed the pest trees from the list however it is very disappointing that such a mistake was made.
The NZ Biosecurity Institute is the professional training and networking organisation for people involved in all aspects of biosecurity including pest animal and plant management, and border control. Its members work for research organisations, educational institutions, regional councils, government departments and private organisations. All are involved in protecting NZ from invasive species.
Mr Embling said every year Institute members spend hundreds of hours controlling or managing the risks to the economy and the environment of the effects of introduced pests.
“This is work which costs the country hundreds of millions of dollars each year through control, research and border control budgets. This money is coming out of all New Zealanders’ pockets,” he said.
NOTE FOR EDITORS
For more information please contact: Darion Embling: (07) 859 0790 | 021 605 029 Media enquiries please contact: Chris Macann, Editor, Protect Magazine - The Magazine of the New Zealand Biosecurity Institute, phone 03 34 99 660 | 021 878 001