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10 June 2005
It only takes one introduced pest to damage our country and one of us
to stop that pest.
That is the main message behind the Know the Enemy campaign launched
today by Associate Biosecurity Minister Marian Hobbs for Biosecurity New
Zealand. Biosecurity New Zealand is a division of the Ministry of
Agriculture and Forestry (MAF).
The campaign will arm ordinary New Zealanders with the information they
need to identify insects and other organisms and report them to
Biosecurity New Zealand.
The campaign, aimed at all New Zealanders but specifically residents in
the country's main four port areas – Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington and
Lyttelton - will involve residential mail drops, poster and bus stop
advertising and radio messages.
Biosecurity New Zealand's awareness programme manager, Carolyn Kildare,
said the public had a critical role in protecting New Zealand from
unwanted pests and diseases.
"We have some of the toughest border controls in the world, but the
public is the second line of defence.
"People know the danger posed to our country by foreign insects and
"But they also need to know how to spot these threats if they appear in
the garden at home, or somewhere at work.
"The campaign therefore concentrates on illustrating what to look for –
so people will know what the enemy looks like, and what to do when they
see them," Ms Kildare said.
She said Biosecurity New Zealand was often alerted to major pests by
people who have come across them in their own gardens or neighbourhoods.
If anyone saw one of the pests identified in the campaign, or any sort
of very unusual insect, they should:
1. If possible, safely trap the pest alive in a container without using
2. Euthanase it by placing it in the freezer or spraying with
insecticide 3. Phone the Biosecurity New Zealand hotline on 0800 80 99 66
Know the Enemy is focusing on several pests and diseases including:
However, Ms Kildare said these were just some of the major threats. An
extensive list of biosecurity threats was available on the website
'Biosecurity' is the protection of New Zealand's economy, environment and
people's health from pests and diseases. It includes trying to prevent new
pests and diseases arriving, and eradicating or controlling those already
present. Biosecurity New Zealand was launched in 2004 and is responsible
for ensuring New Zealand's biosecurity is effective and efficient.
Although the country is free of many serious pests and diseases present
overseas, its biosecurity systems are under pressure because of growth in
international trade and travel.
Please refer to the media backgrounder for more information
For further information on the Know the Enemy Campaign and Biosecurity
New Zealand please contact Carolyn Kildare on 04 470 2760 or 027 490 8036.