Communities encouraged to enter national biosecurity awards

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Community groups carrying out programmes to protect the local environment are encouraged by Biosecurity New Zealand to enter the annual New Zealand Biosecurity Awards.

The prestigious awards recognise and celebrate outstanding contributions to protecting New Zealand from biosecurity threats.

Head of Biosecurity New Zealand, Roger Smith, says the awards are our way of celebrating people and organisations across the country who are contributing to New Zealand's biosecurity.

"This may be iwi and hapū, community groups, science providers, businesses, local government – anyone carrying out this vital work in our workplaces, in the bush, and in our backyards."

There are 6 open entry award categories – Community Award, Māori Award, Industry Award, Local and Central Government Award, Science Award and Innovation Award; and 2 awards by nomination only – the Emerging Leader Award and the Minister's Biosecurity Award.

Mr Smith is keen to encourage community groups to come forward.

"Receiving recognition for a community project is great, but another consideration is that the Community Award carries a $2,500 prize.

"We know many community groups are doing really exciting work, for example in the area of pest control or reforestation, which very definitely fit the criteria of a biosecurity programme. But they may not realise that the job they're doing is supporting biosecurity and protecting the local environment or ecology."

Last year's Community Award winner was the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust for its Wildside Project. The Trust has been successfully running predator control programmes for over 30 years. Most of the support comes from landowners and the wider community. Highly commended was the Motutapu Restoration Trust.

Entries for the awards close on 31 August.

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