More MPI frontline staff to protect New Zealand

Media contact: MPI media team
Telephone: 029 894 0328

Nearly 50 new frontline staff will help the Ministry for Primary Industries to protect New Zealand.

The staff will graduate today at a ceremony at Auckland. They include 40 quarantine officers and 7 fisheries officers.

The new quarantine officers will work at the border to halt risk goods that have the potential to carry pests or diseases, says Steve Gilbert, MPI's Border Clearance Director.

Fisheries officers are empowered under the Fisheries Act to ensure people follow commercial, recreational and customary fishing rules.

The new appointments follow nearly 7 weeks of operational training, including an 18-day stint at the Burham military camp, near Christchurch.

“All MPI frontline roles require dedication, camaraderie and discipline – so the military camp is an important part of the training.”

He says MPI expects to employ nearly 90 new frontline border staff by the end of the year.

“We're anticipating a busy summer. It looks like there will be record numbers of visitors arriving in New Zealand and we’re very conscious of the increasing fruit fly threat from Australia and parts of the Pacific.”

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