More staff to strengthen border biosecurity

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Twelve new frontline border staff will help ensure New Zealand’s biosecurity defences stay strong, says the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

The new staff will receive their quarantine inspector warrants at a ceremony today in Christchurch.

The graduation follows the warranting of 43 new inspectors in December and a recent announcement by Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy that MPI will recruit 30 new quarantine inspectors this year.

“The new inspectors and upcoming recruitment programme will ensure that the biosecurity frontline remains fully staffed and isn’t affected by normal resignations and retirement,” says Steve Gilbert, MPI Director, Border Clearance Services.

“Biosecurity is vitally important to New Zealand and its primary industries.”

The warranting ceremony follows more than three months of intensive training for the new recruits. The warrants will allow them to exercise a range of powers under the Biosecurity Act 1993 to check passengers and goods for biosecurity risk items.

Two of the new inspectors will be based in Wellington, one in Queenstown and remainder in Christchurch.

Two of the twelve will undergo further training as detector dog handlers.

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