NZ Biosecurity


The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has the vision to grow and protect New Zealand. One of MPI’s responsibilities is biosecurity which is the eradication, exclusion or management of unwanted pests and diseases to protect New Zealand’s economy, environment and people’s health.

For New Zealanders, we value our:

  • Environment (with its landscape and ecosystems, native biodiversity, valuable foreign species) New Zealand is known for its clean green image which we want to preserve.
  • Economy (tourism and trade within the Primary Industries). New Zealand is unique in many ways. We need to protect NZ’ economy so exporters can market high quality goods that are uncontaminated.
  • Social (people’s health, wellbeing and lifestyle, including our national identity, recreation and history). Some pests that might come into NZ can carry diseases or are aggressive biters. This could harm our tourism, productivity, health and lifestyle. There is also huge cost on controlling outbreaks.
  • Cultural ( spiritual and Mäori cultural values).


New Zealand faces many challenges to New Zealand’s biosecurity system and these include that New Zealand has one hundred and sixty languages and two hundred and thirteen ethnicities. It faces climate changes which may be significant as NZ has many coastal town and waterfront that would be affected. There was also significant increase trade and travel that occurred since 2003. For example, there has been a 47% increase of air passengers, 37% increase of sea containers and 216% increase of mail parcels. Finally, the other main trend is that there are more established pests – with every 39 days there being a new plant species established in the New Zealand outdoors.

MPI oversees biosecurity

MPI has the overall responsibility for biosecurity in New Zealand. As part of its leadership role, it consulted with the New Zealand public and last year published the Biosecurity 2025 Direction Statement.

MPI manages biosecurity

MPI manages biosecurity with many Pre-border, border and post border activities. MPI manages incursions and responses where they try to manage unwanted pests and diseases from establishing themselves in New Zealand.

MPI regulates biosecurity

The Biosecurity Act 1993 is the legislation that MPI uses for compliance of the law. MPI has a Compliance Directorate that monitors and verifies that biosecurity requirements are met through verification inspections. New Zealand businesses can apply to MPI to receive imported risk goods at their business managing biosecurity through procedures outlined in their Transitional Facility Manuals which is approved by MPI. Each Transitional Facility must have an operator, under the Biosecurity to manage the biosecurity requirements and an Accredited Person to devan the risk goods. They must retrain every two years with Training providers approved by MPI. These are advertised on the MPI website and are Biosecurity Partners with MPI.