New improvements to biosecurity processing at Auckland Airport have been welcomed by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy today.
“We are expecting the busiest summer ever for visitor arrivals so the Ministry for Primary Industries is now on high alert for biosecurity threats. These new measures will improve how we process and screen passengers for any extra, unwanted visitors,” says Mr Guy.
The changes include:A new dedicated biosecurity lane for New Zealand and Australian travellers with no declarations to be screened and processed. Two detector dog teams on duty at the same time covering all lanes. An additional baggage x-ray machine, bringing the total to seven at the international airport.
“As well as improving biosecurity screening, the extra space will mean more efficient clearance of passengers.”
The changes have been developed in partnership with Auckland Airport who have funded the physical redevelopment.
“This summer we are expecting 1.6 million passengers to arrive in New Zealand, most of whom enter via Auckland. On a busy day arrival numbers at Auckland airport could reach 18,500.
“Biosecurity is my number one priority as Minister. In last year’s Budget I announced $27 million in new funding which has helped MPI employ 50 new front line biosecurity staff and 20 extra biosecurity detector dog teams.
“We have also introduced new x-ray scanning machines, including mobile units that can be moved around the country to help clear cruise ship passengers as well as at airports and international mail centres during peak times.
“An animated biosecurity video featuring ‘Officer Goodboy’ is now playing on 16 airlines entering New Zealand, raising awareness with passengers of the importance of declaring items.
“The recently released Biosecurity 2025 Direction Statement is also setting a future direction and helping future proof the system.”