Mail survey shows biosecurity controls are working

Media contact: Willliam Minchin
Telephone: 029 894 0328

The Ministry for Primary Industries’ latest mail compliance survey result shows its biosecurity controls are working well at the International Mail Centre.

The survey showed a biosecurity compliance rate of 99.99 percent for items going through the Auckland-based mail centre – the access point for international mail arriving in New Zealand.

“The result is good for both us and the primary industries that look to us to help protect their livelihoods from exotic pests and diseases,” says Craig Hughes, MPI’s Manager North, Passenger and Mail.

“We aim to achieve at least 99 percent, so we’re pleased to beat that and be so close to a 100 percent compliance rate.”

Only two non-compliant risk goods were found during the survey – some pickled chicken eggs in a parcel from Taiwan and plant material in a small parcel from Germany.

“The fact that two items got through shows we have no room to become complacent. We plan to maintain our vigilance and keep refining our biosecurity processes.”

He attributes the good result to additional biosecurity detector dog teams operating at the mail centre and a closer working relationship with New Zealand Customs and New Zealand Post.

MPI ran the annual survey, which is externally reviewed, between 20 April and 3 May.

It involved checking more than 3700 mail items after they had passed through existing biosecurity controls such as detector dog and x-ray screening.

MPI had a compliance rate of 99.88 percent in last year’s mail survey.

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