Ministry for Primary Industries dismantled over pests

The team will focus solely on predicting and mitigating pest incursions.
The team will focus solely on predicting and mitigating pest incursions. Photo credit: Getty

The first step to dismantling the Ministry for Primary Industries is a hit with those most vulnerable to foreign pests.

The Government's new biosecurity intelligence unit marks the first concrete steps to dismantle and reorganise the ministry.

The team will focus solely on predicting and mitigating pest incursions and diseases that threaten our biodiversity.

Horticulture New Zealand CEO Mike Chapman says it had to be done.

"The intelligence unit without doubt bolsters our ability to respond, but our ability to prevent is the real key thing that comes out of it," he says.

"Biosecurity is very difficult so every little bit of intelligence that you gather is a step ahead."

About 900 staff from MPI will make up the unit, and Mr Chapman says it's a game changer.

"To know what's coming and to be able to try prevent it coming to New Zealand and then have the border blocking it is a real enhancement of our current biosecurity system," he says. "This is a real step up."

He hopes it will result in a stronger response to diseases like PAS and myrtle rust.

Newshub.