Big fine for biosecurity breach

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Media contact: MPI media team
Telephone: 029 894 0328

A Christchurch business specialising in the biosecurity clearance of sea containers has been fined $16,750 in the Christchurch District Court last week (29 July) for a breach of the Biosecurity Act. 

The company failed to follow a direction issued by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) requiring a sea container of imported goods to be opened and checked by an accredited person in a biosecurity area specified for that purpose. 

Instead the company inspected and opened the container at an adjacent premises and removed contaminated soil from the shipping container into a council bin.

MPI ensured that this product was secured and a managed destruction took place. 

MPI's Southern Investigation Manager John Gibson said illegally or accidentally introduced organisms could have major consequences for New Zealand's environment and agriculture sector.

"Actions such as this where procedures are not followed and operators do not comply with their duties are irresponsible, and a breach of the trust that MPI places on approved operators in the biosecurity sector."

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