Border protection over summer
The number of challenges facing MPI at the border is increasing every year. From a volume and risk point of view, this summer is likely to exceed any that have come before.1.3 million passengers are expected to arrive during December and January, along with 41,487 container consignments and 300 consignments of nursery stock. This, as well as other mail, cargo, cruise vessels and small craft due to arrive on our shores, presents a mammoth task for MPI. Risk is also elevated as it is the time of year when fruit flies and Brown Marmorated Stink Bug – two of our greatest threats – are most likely to enter the country. Due to these expectations, MPI has taken the steps to ensure the risk passenger pathway is working effectively, including a significant change to the layout of the biosecurity area at Auckland International Airport. More space has been confirmed to allow for x-ray machines, biosecurity dogs and better passenger segmentation. Discussions are also being held surrounding changes in passenger demographics and behaviours, with the amount of food passengers are bringing in increasing all the time. Whilst most of it is compliant, significant resources are needed to inspect, identify and clear the items. KVH commends the work MPI is doing to prevent unwanted pests and organisms entering New Zealand.