MPI beefs up biosecurity x-raying

Media contact: MPI media team
Telephone: 029 894 0328

Four new biosecurity x-ray machines have been installed this week at international airports in Auckland, Christchurch, and Queenstown to ensure passengers don't bring any unwanted pests or diseases into New Zealand.

The machines will be used to scan baggage from overseas travellers for plant and animal products that pose biosecurity risks to New Zealand.

"The new x-rays are part of MPI's ongoing commitment to strengthen New Zealand's biosecurity system and are part of a larger programme to improve how we clear arriving air passengers," says MPI Detection Technology Manager Brett Hickman.

"The new machines will provide better reliability and increased capacity, along with improved image quality and functionality.

"This means border staff will be better equipped to spot biosecurity risk items before they enter New Zealand, and we will have the capacity to increase the level of screening during times of high alert."

MPI has now installed 19 new x-ray machines around the country over the past 3 years.

MPI currently owns and operates 27 x-ray units at international airports, the Auckland International Mail Centre and military bases. This includes a trailer-mounted mobile x-ray in Auckland. 

An additional new machine is earmarked for Wellington airport, and one more will shortly go into the International Mail Centre in Auckland, says Mr Hickman.

"X-ray screening is one of a range of biosecurity tools we use to block destructive pests and diseases that could damage our primary industries and natural environment," says Hickman.  

Two of the 4 new x-ray machines installed this week are located in Auckland airport. The remaining two have gone to Christchurch and Queenstown.

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