Ensuring a pest-free port this cruise season

19 October 2017

The summer cruise season is starting at the Port of Tauranga and KVH is speaking with tour drivers about the important role they have in ensuring unwanted pests don’t reach the local community and kiwifruit orchards.

As part of upcoming Biosecurity Week 2017 activities, KVH will be meeting and speaking to all drivers at the Port when the next cruise ship is in, reminding them of what they can do to keep unwanted pests out – namely, making sure all visitors follow good biosecurity hygiene practices, knowing what pests to look out for, and reporting anything unusual that is found by passengers in their hand luggage and belongings while travelling on tour buses.

The key message is that pests from offshore, like the Queensland Fruit Fly and other fruit flies, can cause serious harm to local primary industries and New Zealand’s unique environment; and through the Port of Tauranga is one of the many ways in which they can enter.

All drivers and tour operators are provided with biosecurity and kiwifruit orchard hygiene requirement messages that can be used in onboard addresses. These reiterate any food or plant items that shouldn’t be inadvertently taken off the ship and need to be placed in local amnesty bins at the port or reported to Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) staff present on the day.

Importantly, specific messages about the damage a biosecurity incursion could do to the kiwifruit industry are also provided. Buses travelling to kiwifruit orchards instruct passengers that when they step off the bus on arrival they walk over a footwear sanitisation pad. Biosecurity messages are further reinforced during on-orchard talks.

The start of cruise season coincides with Biosecurity Week 2017, which starts Monday October 30 and involves KVH, MPI and the Port of Tauranga working together to increase awareness of biosecurity with those who work on and around the port. The award-winning initiative is in its third year and has the goal of ‘no biosecurity incursions coming through the port’. We’ll have more information about Biosecurity Week in the next Bulletin.