New facility opens at the National Centre for Biosecurity and Infectious Disease - Wallaceville

02 March 2010

New Zealand's ability to manage a major disease outbreak was strengthened today with the opening of a new multipurpose facility at the National Centre for Biosecurity and Infectious Disease (NCBID) at Wallaceville, Upper Hutt.

The facility provides a centralised coordination and emergency response centre for both animal and human disease outbreaks, biosecurity investigations and also chemical and biological threats and events.

MAF Biosecurity New Zealand Director Investigation and Diagnostics Hugh Davies says this collaborative effort brings together the Environmental Science and Research (ESR) lab facilities, MAF's Investigation and Diagnostic Centre, AsureQuality's tuberculin unit and AgResearch's Infectious Disease Diagnostic team.

"It now means that response management staff, sourced from a number of agencies can work closely with NCBID epidemiologists and laboratory staff under one roof.

"The facility, which includes a response centre, seminar room, cafeteria and campus administration area, will significantly increase New Zealand's capability to safeguard human and animal health and to protect the economy."

ESR Chief Executive Dr John Hay said the centre has proved to be a very wise and timely investment.

"The scientific expertise and facilties clustered at Wallaceville, were pivotal to New Zealand's ability to respond to the H1N1 influenza pandemic. ESR's National Influenza Centre scientific staff were joined by staff from MAF and AgResearch in the pandemic response, realizing the national centre's original vision of providing a comprehensive scientific coordination and emergency response centre to emerging biosecurity threats.

AgResearch Chief Executive Dr Andrew West said the facility is a big step forward - "this scientific and operational collaboration is important for human and livestock health. It's good to be a founding partner and in for the long haul."

The NCBID - Wallaceville project had its beginnings back in 2005 when funding was made available. Establishing the centre has been a joint effort between many parts of the local community and the scientific institutions already on site at Wallaceville.

Media Contact:

  • Annie Wright
    Senior Communications Adviser
    MAF Biosecurity
    New Zealand
    04 894 0654
    029 894 0654
  

 

Last Updated: 22 September 2010

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