SPS Biota staff attended the National education and training seminar (NETS) 2023 organised by the New Zealand Biosecurity Institute, held in Paihia on the 26th to 28th of July 2023.
The theme of this year's NETS was "Toitū te whenua, toitū te moana, toitū te tangata - If the land is well, and the sea is well, the people will thrive". The conference was an opportunity for discussion and learning regarding many aspects of biosecurity in Aotearoa.
There was a special opportunity, given the location of the venue, to attend a powhiri held in Te Whare Rūnanga on the Waitangi Treaty grounds led by the local hapū and iwi. This highlighted the fact that biosecurity is important not only from a science perspective, but also from a traditional Māori perspective, as kaitiaki of Aotearoa.
Over the three days, talks were held over various subjects including Mana Whenua Partnerships, Aquatic, Pest plants, Animal pests, Partnership and Technology. Aspects of these sessions could be related to the extended work that SPS Biota performs on a day-to-day basis.
Day two included various field trips in and around the Bay of Islands including Kororāreka (Russell), Kororipo Heritage Park, Kerikeri, Ipipiri islands, Puketi Forest and Ngawha Springs.
Our staff attended the field trips Biofouling in the Bay of Islands (which included a trip to Ngawha Springs) and Lodore Farm and Puketi Forest. This field trip including visiting a farm that have worked hard to create an area with intense predator control where at least 50 pairs of kiwis live, and a walk through the Puketi Forest where ancient Kauri trees are protected, as well as some of the native species that exist there.
NETS was a fantastic opportunity to highlight the important work done at a post-border level, with incursions of pests and diseases, as well as demonstrating how we can tie in the work we do at SPS Biota (in both Surveillance and in the "Border Space").
- Georgia Williams, SPS Biota