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Hunt on for Biosecurity Heros

July 27, 2021

The hunt is on to acknowledge those who have contributed to New Zealand Biosecurity. The New Zealand Biosecurity Awards recognise schools and community groups who are working hard to protect NZ’s unique environment.

If this sounds like an Enviroschool you know, either trapping rats in backyards, cleaning footwear when visiting kauri forests or removing invasive weeds and replanting with natives or raising awareness of biodiversity threats, let them know how important this work is and encourage them to apply using the easy online form. 

NB this closes soon!

The winning group will receive a $2,500 cash prize.

Why is Biosecurity Important?

Biosecurity is of high importance to our island nation to protect our health, biodiversity, and food supply. Biosecurity threats come in many forms:

  • Plants can overrun crops, native forests, waterways and marine environments.
  • Bugs and parasites can attack people, animals or plants, and spread disease.
  • Larger animals can feed on native species and spread disease. They can also severely damage and modify soils, landscapes and seascapes.
  • Saltwater invaders can interfere with wild species.
  • Pathogens make people, plants or animals sick, or can kill them.

If harmful pests and diseases get into New Zealand, they can cause damage. Biosecurity focuses on stopping them at the border or getting rid of the ones already here. There are pests and diseases already in New Zealand that we need to stop from spreading. New Zealand maintains a list of almost 15,000 unwanted plant, animal and marine pests and diseases. Unwanted pests and diseases (organisms) can damage New Zealand’s economy, environment and way of life. Learn more about the importance of biosecurity to New Zealand here.

The Enviroschools Programme supports ākonga/ learners to engage in locally relevant contexts with their community. When considering biosecurity our theme areas Living Landscapes and Water of Life are of particular relevance as well as Me in My Environment and all 5 Guiding Principles. We know many of you are carrying out a range of actions that could meet the award criteria.

If you think the mahi/ work you have undertaken is helping reduce any pests already in your place or raising awareness of the need to keep your place free of pests, fill out the entry form now!

The Finalists

The three schools/ kura who are finalists receive 2 tickets to attend the Awards dinner in Auckland in November. A representative for each finalist in the Biosecurity Kura (School) Award will also have their travel and accommodation costs to attend the Awards dinner met by the programme

Officially the entry period closes on 31 July, but because it’s been school holidays entries from schools are being accepted until next Wednesday 4 August.