Re-thinking mail biosecurity
New Zealand Post is shifting its international mail operations to a brand-new processing centre, which has created the opportunity for Biosecurity New Zealand to rethink biosecurity management for this pathway.
Scheduled to open in 2023, the new centre will be based in Wiri, some 7km from the existing location near Auckland Airport.
Biosecurity New Zealand are working with New Zealand Post and other border agencies to determine what can be done to ensure a smarter approach to meet the challenge of ever-increasing risk from rising mail volumes and changing biosecurity threats. This means moving from an existing resource intensive approach to one that takes advantage of intelligence tools and the latest screening technology.
The installation of 3D scanners (six at this stage) has been proposed, which will allow automatic detection of risk goods. Our Australian counterparts have already developed algorithms to detect meat and seafood in mail and they’re currently working on software to detect live animals and other plant material. The prospect for automatic detection of seeds is also looking good. In addition, the Australian trials show 3D technology is nearly seven times better at detecting risk items than the existing 2D x-ray gear.
The proposed new approach will also use advanced data screening of mail items to identify biosecurity threats. Conversely, the approach will also identify items or consignments that have zero biosecurity risk. This information will allow Biosecurity New Zealand to target interventions where they can be most effective.