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Search is on for NZ’s biodiversity champions

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Last year saw the highest number of entries in the history of the Biosecurity Awards. Photo: Te Toa Whenua, 2021 winner of the New Zealand Biosecurity Māori Award.

Entries are now open for the 2022 New Zealand Biosecurity Awards. The awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding contributions made around Aotearoa New Zealand to protect the country against pests and diseases.

“It’s our way of honouring people and organisations across the motu who are contributing to biosecurity – in our communities, businesses, iwi and hapū, government, in the bush, our oceans and waterways, and in our backyards,” said Biosecurity deputy-director general Stuart Anderson.

“Some New Zealanders don’t realise that the mahi they’re undertaking in their own backyards plays a critical role in our biosecurity system. From trapping pests such as catfish, rats, and stoats to disease management in our forests, rivers and oceans, these are all important projects which strengthen our biosecurity system.”

Last year saw the highest number of entries in the history of the Biosecurity Awards. Winning projects included: a world-leading maritime intelligence tool which can detect hitchhiker pests from space, a highly sought-after marine biosecurity team in Bay of Plenty, and an ecological restoration project turning retired exotic forestry into a mosaic of sustainable land uses.

“A strong biosecurity system takes all of us. We are grateful to receive continued support for these Awards from our fantastic sponsors – AsureQuality, Eagle Technology, Government Industry Agreement (GIA), Mondiale VGL, and New Zealand’s Biological Heritage – we couldn’t do it without them,” said Anderson.

Last year’s Supreme Winner was Xerra Earth Observation Institute.

“The recognition of Starboard’s work through these awards has been enormously motivating to continue our journey towards science-based benefits for all Aotearoa,” said Xerra programme leader Moritz Lehman.

“Biosecurity challenges need a team approach, and we sincerely thank the intensive co-development support from staff at Biosecurity New Zealand who now use our tool to help protect our maritime border from invasive species.”

The New Zealand Biosecurity Awards categories are:

  • BioHeritage Challenge Community Award
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Māori Award
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Kura (School) Award
  • GIA Industry Award
  • Eagle Technology Local and Central Government Award
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Science Award
  • Mondiale VGL Innovation Award
  • AsureQuality Emerging Leader Award
  • Minister’s Biosecurity Award
  • Supreme Award

Entries close 5pm, 31 July 2022.

To find out more about the Awards and to enter, visit

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