Demand is growing for lab services
Our existing Plant Health and Environment Laboratory (PHEL) is located in Tāmaki, East Auckland. Over the past 10 years, demand for services by the lab has grown. We expect demand to increase further due to:
- innovation and growth in our plant-based industries
- changes in consumer preferences
- responses to biosecurity incursions.
Why we need a new lab
A new PHEL will help us:
- protect our primary industries from biosecurity risks
- protect our environment from suspected exotic (overseas) organisms
- ensure New Zealand continues to be a safe and secure country to trade with.
The new lab will help support plant breeders
By building a new lab, we'll support plant-based industries by:
- increasing our ability to screen and test for pests and diseases that could threaten industry
- providing industry with greater ability to import new cultivars to support their exports
- assuring global trading partners of our current pest and disease-free status, and our ability to maintain this in the future
- improving crops that may do better with the changing climate
- identifying new crops that may create future industries.
Investment in the new lab also aligns with the Fit for a Better World roadmap. The roadmap aims to accelerate the primary sector’s economic potential.
Timeline for the new lab
The detailed business case for the new lab was endorsed by Cabinet in 2023.
The new lab is expected to open its doors in 2029.
What we are planning to build
The proposed new lab will be flexible and resilient. The design will ensure New Zealand is ready to meet any future land-based biosecurity threats.
The site of the new lab is at the Mount Albert Research Centre, in Auckland. It is next to the site of MPI’s new post-entry quarantine facility that is under construction.
Who to contact
If you have questions about this project, email PH&EC@mpi.govt.nz