Early morning flights into NZ going unchecked by dogs every day

A gaping hole in Auckland Airport's biosecurity net is sounding alarms for farmers and growers.

A Newshub investigation has revealed a lack of dog handlers means flights between 2am and 5am every morning are not checked by dogs.

A senior quarantine official said it's because so many handlers are leaving.

"There's a lot of experienced staff with a lot of knowledge to pass on that have left," the anonymous official told Newshub. "They are feeling frustrated, undermined and devalued."

National biosecurity spokesperson Nathan Guy says that's not good enough.

"Pests and diseases are marching across our borders due to workforce issues. This is a very bad look."

Mr Guy says the brown marmorated stink bug is the biggest risk of leaving flights unchecked.

"If that bug gets established in New Zealand then it's all on - this bug devastates horticulture products and it moves into homes."

The Ministry for Primary Industries says it has enough resources to cope with incoming flights.

"We are back filling, and we know we have the right resources and people in place to deliver what we need to do," said MPI border clearance northern passenger manager Craig Hughes.

Stink bugs have been found on boats turned away in New Zealand ports.

"Not only does it eat everything, just about everything, it will come into everyone's home during winter, and eat your flowers and veggies," Horticulture NZ chief executive Mike Chapman told RadioLIVE in February, when a Japanese boat was told to leave New Zealand waters.

If the bug gets a foothold in New Zealand, the Environmental Protection Agency plans to release samurai wasps to hunt them down.