Tauranga Moana welcomes biosecurity campaign
A newly formed Tauranga-based biosecurity group today welcomed a campaign that aims to protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases.
The national Ko Tātou This Is Us campaign, unveiled last night, focusses on the personal and cultural impacts of a biosecurity breach and asks all New Zealanders to help create ‘a biosecurity team of 4.7 million’.
Tauranga Moana Biosecurity Capital (TMBC) is already working locally to counter biosecurity threats through community collaboration. The new initiative brings together community groups, iwi, industry and business, councils, central government, science and education representatives for the first time, to lead and take action towards biosecurity excellence.
“We are right behind the new national campaign, which is going to help us show people that we have so much to lose and it is essential that we work together to protect what is precious to us,” says TMBC co-chair Carlton Bidois.
He says keeping invasive unwanted organisms at bay matters to anyone who enjoys harvesting kaimoana from the sea or interacting with the region’s iconic mountains and native forests.
“It also affects everyone earning a living and operating a business in the Bay of Plenty, where our economy is dependent on the natural environment.
“A single organism like the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug or a fruit fly could bankrupt the horticultural sector and its families overnight. Kauri dieback and myrtle rust could see the potential annhialation of our iconic kauri and other indigenous tree species, severing the inherent cultural genealogy and traditions Maori have with the natural world.”
Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor will launch the new TMBC initiative at a biosecurity excellence symposium in Tauranga on Tuesday 16 October. The group is also co-ordinating a week-long series of related events around the region.
Mr Bidois says TMBC is already attracting interest from other communities, in the Waikato and Taranaki.
“There is nothing like it anywhere else in New Zealand and we think we can really lead the way here in Tauranga Moana.”
TMBC members are committed to working together to achieve biosecurity excellence. We are joining forces to:
✓ Grow biosecurity awareness and social license, including running joint campaigns
✓ Build visibility of great things happening and promoting initiatives/events
✓ Advocate for better biosecurity for our region
✓ Catalyse action – people getting involved
✓ Collaborate to achieve better results, sharing information and lessons
✓ Seize opportunities that will grow the regional team committed to biosecurity excellence ‘Ko Tātou’ – This is us. This is our Tauranga moana so let’s protect it together.