Passenger biosecurity back in the spotlight

17 February 2022

A new public awareness campaign will remind arriving passengers of their biosecurity responsibilities when New Zealand’s borders reopen.

Biosecurity New Zealand is targeting Kiwis returning from Australia in the first instance. They will be the first travellers allowed MIQ-free travel under current plans.

Research shows this group is already very clued up about biosecurity and supportive of the need to protect New Zealand. They are more likely to carry a biosecurity item (such as fruit) by accident than ignorance. With this in mind, the new campaign will be a reminder to travellers to stay vigilant in order to avoid paying a $400 fine.

Marketing material will emphasise that travellers can save paying the fine if they check their baggage for risk items. Similar messaging was used successfully during the Trans-Tasman travel bubble last year, asking passengers to spend 30 seconds checking their bags to save $400.

There’s also another campaign ready to go for higher risk travellers such as foreign nationals arriving from China and India. The messaging will be a lot more direct and authoritative. The no-nonsense message is the result of extensive testing in China prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be the basis of a new campaign covering airport signage, digital ads, and other marketing material when New Zealand borders open to all international arrivals. A research company checked out a range of ideas with locals in Guangzhou, China, in 2019. The study revealed that Chinese travellers weren’t very interested in knowing why New Zealand has biosecurity rules. It was more important that the message to comply was serious and authoritative.