New Animal Health Reference Laboratory to be Located at Wallaceville

12 February, 1998

The Ministry of Agriculture has announced that the New Zealand Animal Health Reference Laboratory and Exotic Disease Response Centre will be located on the AgResearch campus at Wallaceville, near Upper Hutt.

Consideration was given to locating the new facilities either at Wallaceville or on the Hort Research campus at the Fitzherbert Science Centre, Palmerston North, or at Massey University in conjunction with the Institute of Veterinary, Animal, and Biomedical Sciences.

Location at Wallaceville was preferred for the following reasons:

  • The facilities currently used by the Central Animal Health Reference laboratory are available immediately and are able to meet the requirements for the new service from 1 July 1998.
  • The difficulty of maintaining the necessary professional and technical competencies during a relocation to Palmerston North.
  • Lower overall transitional staff costs and development costs.
  • A new specialist laboratory facility will be built by AgResearch with construction commencing later this year. MAF's needs for such a facility can be incorporated into this design.
  • Wellington offers superior air transport connections both nationally and internationally compared to Palmerston North.
  • Wallaceville offers an advantage of proximity to policy makers - both politicians and departmental personnel.

It is expected that, in line with what appears to be a worldwide trend, New Zealand will face more threats to its biosecurity from previously unknown pests and diseases.

Developments in areas of electronic communication, and all aspects of information technology, provide the new laboratory with effective and cost efficient means to access specialists at the most appropriate institution within New Zealand or overseas.

As well as tapping expertise in veterinary science, significant contributions can also be expected from specialists in a wider range of biotechnological, medical, biological and agricultural sciences.

Media inquiries to:

Hugh Davies, Acting General Manager, New Zealand Animal Health Reference Laboratory and Exotic Disease Response Centre, (04) 470 0114
Dr Barry O'Neil, Chief Veterinary Officer, Ministry of Agriculture (021) 470 582



Last Updated: 08 September 2010

Contact MPI

for general enquiries phone

0800 00 83 33