Bug Business – Biosecurity Newsletter

Biosecurity is a complex compliance issue. Businesses typically like to reduce their time spent on non-core activities. However they cannot afford to ignore compliance based issues.

Bug Business is The AgriChain Centre’s own regular communication tool for Transitional Facilities. We aim to inform and assist in understanding how your business can satisfy Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) requirements in a sound and rational fashion.

Click here to view our archive of previous newsletters, or scroll down to view the latest Biosecurity articles.


Welcome to our October Bug Business

This issue is focused on:

Asian Longhorn Beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis)

The Asian Longhorn Beetle is a large wood-eating beetle native to China and South-East Asia. It could enter New Zealand as eggs, nymphs or larvae in wood, wood products or wood packaging.

The beetle attacks trees including poplar, maple, willow, pip and stone fruit.  The larvae eat into the wood of the tree, while the adults eat leaves and young bark.  It is the larvae that cause most of the damage which can weaken or kill the tree.  The beetle and larvae wound the tree which can lead to fungal infections and other diseases. The beetles usually stay on the tree they emerge from and can only fly a short distance.

Key identifiers for the adult beetles:

  • The antennae are twice as long as the body of the beetle
  • The body grows 25mm – 35mm long
  • The adults are black with 20 irregular white spots on their wings
  • The antennae have a whitish-blue base.

Please keep an eye out for this beetle, it can seriously damage a wide range of trees including our indigenous forests, amenity and fruit trees.

If you think you have found this pest please:

  • Photograph it
  • Catch it in a container
  • Contact the MPI hotline 0800 80 99 66.

Need help or want to know more? Please contact our Biosecurity Consultants on 09 414 4536 or by email on info@agrichain-centre.com.

Photo 1 – Adult Beetle                       Photo 2 – Larvae can grow to 50mm long

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Why is Biosecurity such a big deal nowadays?

Anyone involved in the biosecurity system in New Zealand, will have noticed the increasing restrictions and requirements at the border. This is as a response to the increasing risk of biosecurity threats.

With climate change a reality, we are seeing new varieties of pests and diseases that can establish themselves in New Zealand. In addition, increasing international trade opens up opportunities for new pests to enter the country. Overall, the biosecurity risk is increasing.

Transitional Facilities are the country’s last line of defence and are essentially the border force for the container you import.

As an example, we take the Longhorn Beetle mentioned earlier in the newsletter. This pest is native to China and is attracted to wooden packaging such as pallets. New Zealand imports large quantities of electronic equipment from China. These products are likely to be palletised for transport. Therefore, there is an easy pathway from China into New Zealand for the Longhorn Beetle.

Often the only eyes on the consignment, from a Biosecurity standpoint, are the Accredited Persons at a Transitional Facility. Therefore, the Accredited Person is a critical part of the Biosecurity defence system for New Zealand.

This is why MPI is looking at Transitional Facilities and their staff. It is a measure of the importance they play in the wider biosecurity system. We all have a part to play in protecting our health, economy and environment.

Biosecurity is everyone’s problem.

Need help or want to know more? Please contact our Biosecurity Consultants on 0800 247 424 or by email on info@agrichain-centre.com.

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Meet our new Assistant Technical Manager

We are pleased to introduce Melissa Zainey as our new Assistant Technical Manager. Melissa has been a part of our services team for over two years as the South Island Coordinator. Her promotion reflects her growing role within the team and professional development.

Melissa originally joined The AgriChain Centre in May 2017 as a Biosecurity Trainer and has since become more involved with both Survey and IVA Services. In addition, Melissa has also overseen the past two Summerfruit seasons in Christchurch, obtained her auditor certification and has recently supported the training of new staff. She has a science and compliance background.

This new role encompasses all of her previous tasks with a new focus on technical support and coordination of the wider AgriChain team. She will also be more involved with internal and external auditing with a hand in the compliance side of the business.

In her spare time, Melissa enjoys ‘going off-grid’ hiking throughout the South Island of New Zealand and spending time in her garden.

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Queries, questions… Who do you call?

Every week, The AgriChain Centre receives lots of queries, all handled by our friendly professional team.

  • A common request we receive is for us to perform a site assessment for an internal audit. Our Biosecurity consultants will then come to your site and carry out the internal audit.
  • Is your operating manual in need of updating? We can do an assessment on your site, then work with your team to create or update an operating manual fit for purpose.
  • We are often asked questions about the MPI application process. To support our customers, The AgriChain Centre provides a specific service – Guiding the MPI Application Process.
  • Thinking of moving site? Need a site assessment prior to leasing a new site or making changes to a current site? We can visit the site and advise if the new site or changes to an existing site are suitable. MPI gives the final approval of the site.
  • We can provide Transitional Facility signage acceptable to MPI. We supply signage in Dibond Alloy (metal) or Magnetic varieties, both Large (600mm x 450mm) or Small (310mm x 210mm).
  • We can also supply Biosecurity Equipment Kits which contain all contents for opening and sweeping out containers.

Need help or want to know more? Please contact our team by phone on 09 414 4536, or by email at info@agrichain-centre.com

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Read the Bug Business (PDF) archives:

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

Late May 2019

Early May 2019

April 2019

August 2018

May 2018