Friday, 12 August 2022 15:55

Trans-Tasman ag ministers zoom in on biosecurity

Written by  Staff Reporters
New Zealand Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor met with his Australian counterpart Murray Watt over conference call yesterday. New Zealand Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor met with his Australian counterpart Murray Watt over conference call yesterday.

When New Zealand’s Agriculture, Biosecurity and Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor met with his new Australian counterpart yesterday, the subject of biosecurity was top of their agenda.

Australia’s Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Senator Murray Watt took over the role from David Littleproud in June after Australia’s Labor Party won the 2022 election.

On a conference call yesterday, O’Connor and Watt focused particularly on foot and mouth disease (FMD).

O’Connor said greater cooperation was integral to reducing biosecurity risks in the Trans-Tasman region as threats from FMD and fruit fly loom over Australasia.

“I am very pleased to have discussed joint efforts to strengthen preparedness and response capabilities with Minister Watt today and evolve our biosecurity interventions, so we stay in step with each other,” he said.

“We continue to work together on a range of biosecurity initiatives, such as increasing our intelligence capacity to ensure our biosecurity systems are world’s best.”

Watt said biosecurity is a central component of Australia’s relationship with New Zealand amid a range of risks held in common, especially the recent FMD outbreak in Indonesia.

“Minister O’Connor and I had a very good meeting and reaffirmed our commitment to maintaining stringent arrangements to protect our countries’ respective biosecurity status’,” Watt said.

He said the pair discussed ongoing work by senior biosecurity officials in both countries to synchronise approaches where it’s possible.

“Both countries are signatories to the International Animal Health Emergency Reserve, which would afford us additional human resources in the event of an emergency animal disease outbreak, allowing for faster control and increased chances of eradication,” Watt said.

More like this


OPINION: Your canine crusader was truly impressed by the almost unanimous support given by politicians of all stripes in Parliament to the recent passing of legislation for the NZ/EU free trade deal.

Not popular

OPINION: This old mutt hears that his editor has copped a fair bit of flak from readers after an article on former Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor appeared in the last issue of this fine organ.

Reflecting a challenging period

Damien O'Connor admits his six years in office were incredibly challenging, with Covid, droughts, floods, storms, M. bovis and volcanic eruptions to name a few.

Back to the backbench

Former Labour agriculture and trade minister Damien O'Connor hopes the new coalition Governent will continue the direction of travel initiated by his government in terms of ensuring the high reputation of our primary exports.


Viability of farming questioned

People are starting to question the viability of sheep and beef farming as profitability in that sector falls to one of its all-time lows, according to Federated Farmers board member and Gisborne sheep and beef farm, Toby Williams.

Zespri's net profit down $60m

Kiwifruit exporter and marketer Zespri has reported a $60 million drop in net profit, mainly driven by reduced licence revenue from lower pricing per hectare than 2022/23.

UAE FTA welcome news

The dairy and red meat sectors have welcomed news that New Zealand will begin formal negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


Flock House and its secrets

Plans are in place to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the legendary Flock House opening its doors for the first…

$160 billion cargo shipment deal

New Zealand’s major primary industry exporters have secured shipping capability to export $160 billion worth of products over the next…

Play by the rules

Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says the Government is always working to ensure that our food exporters are treated…

Machinery & Products

GPS in control

In a move that will make harvesting operations easier, particularly in odd-shaped paddocks, Kuhn has announced that GPS section control…

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

True colours

OPINION: The watermelon party (AKA the Greens) try to portray themselves as an upright, self-righteous, caring bunch of woke, bicycle-riding…

Peace at last?

OPINION: Good news for hunters as Forest & Bird have "paused" legal action against the Fiordland Wapiti Foundation and agreed…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter