Friday, 1 November, 2019 - 12:35

The PBRI Plant Biosecurity Research Symposium was held at the Queensland State Library in Brisbane on the 15 and 16 August. The purpose of the symposium was to share plant biosecurity RD&E across plant industries in Australia and New Zealand, with an aim to avoid duplication of research on common biosecurity themes. This ‘sold-out’ event was the first time biosecurity research, supported by seven plant RDCs and Better Border Biosecurity (B3) New Zealand, had been discussed in one forum.

Link to full article

Thursday, 4 April, 2019 - 13:36

The detection of fruit flies in the Auckland region might lead people to wonder if our biosecurity system is failing. But, with ever increasing travel and trade as an incessant source for these pests and as a constant pressure on the border, what they should be wondering is “how is it that more flies are not found?”

Fruit flies, in particular the Queensland fruit fly (QFF), are one of the biggest risks for New Zealand horticulture. Fruit flies are the primary reason travellers have to dispose of fruit, vegetables and other plant materials at the airport or as they exit cruise ships. Fines at the border for non-disposal are a deterrent and reminder to visitors of the severe consequences to New Zealand should they establish here. Essentially we’d have a vastly changed and constrained horticultural sector, a sector that currently earns us more than $5 billion in exports each year – only slightly less than meat exports and about a third of that of the dairy industry – and employs more than 60,000 people. New Zealand has one of the best science-based biosecurity systems in the world, based on years of experience and some sound research.

The introduction of these flies to New Zealand is now well managed in commercial fruit imports, but fruit...

Tuesday, 12 March, 2019 - 07:58

Recently, researchers at Lincoln University (in Christchurch) and Better Border Biosecurity (B3) in New Zealand teamed with scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) to study the dynamics of diapausing invasive brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys). Specifically, they sought to examine how the crop pest travels as a “stowaway” aboard cargo ships.

This story by Rob Morrison featuring Laura Nixon's work features in Entomology Today and can be read here


Tuesday, 5 February, 2019 - 14:21

New Zealand’s horticulture and wine industry groups are pleased to have been awarded a Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) Tere grant to progress research into an invasive and unwanted plant pathogen spreading overseas.

Xylella fastidiosa, currently leaving its mark across Europe and the USA, could have devastating consequences for many horticultural industries, New Zealand’s culturally important plants and private gardeners should it arrive here. The SFF Tere project proposes a phased approach to better identify the risks posed by the pathogen to New Zealand’s primary industries and enable development of a cross-sector approach to preparation and response should it be found in New Zealand.

During the first phase known and potential impacts on a range of New Zealand’s crop and significant taonga species will be identified, as well as insects with the potential to vector spread. Phase 2 will focus on education and awareness to highlight findings and their implications. Phase 3 will then focus on developing research priorities to be progressed through a cross sector Operational Agreement for the pathogen under the Government Industry Agreement for biosecurity readiness and response (GIA). Chairman of the Xylella Action Group...

Tuesday, 5 February, 2019 - 09:24


Better Border Biosecurity (B3) researchers are increasingly involved with the translation of their science to the broader community, including iwi, and are therefore playing an active role growing in NZ’s Biosecurity Team of 4.7 Million.

B3 is firmly behind the Ko Tātou This Is Us brand to connect and align all the actions and activities by individuals, businesses, iwi/hapū and communities across the biosecurity system to encourage further action. B3 is a national partner with the inventive House of Science charitable trustwhich provides quality science resources to schools, and professional learning for teachers, to promote positive engagement with science. Through House of Science, B3 has supported the development of the biosecurity kit (Invasion Busters – Ngā Kaiārai Kaiurutomo) that has introduced students to some key biosecurity concept in an engaging hands-on way.

The kit is available to 59 schools in the western Bay of Plenty and there are plans to release it more widely in NZ. The kit includes in the...

Thursday, 10 January, 2019 - 11:07

A big welcome to the summer students working on B3 and aligned projects over the coming months with various B3 partners.  We hope this will inspire you to a career in biosecurity. 


Wednesday, 21 November, 2018 - 21:51

Australia and New Zealand have entered into a new collaboration to strengthen plant biosecurity research.

The Australian Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative (PBRI) will join forces with Better Border Biosecurity, New Zealand (B3 NZ) through a memorandum of understanding.

“We are both committed to working together to deliver plant biosecurity research of mutual benefit to both countries,” said PBRI Chair Greg Fraser.

“Trans-Tasman connections will be facilitated between key elements of our biosecurity research, development and extension systems,” said B3NZ Chair James Buwalda.

The main aspects of the new collaboration will involve:

  • cross-sectoral projects on pre-border, at-border and immediate post border biosecurity research;
  • government, industry, research or academic players, including partners of PBRI and B3; and
  • formation of a joint Aus/NZ plant biosecurity network to support the professional development of post-graduate and post-doctoral students.

As part of this collaboration, New Zealand biosecurity researchers will be invited to the inaugural Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative R&D Symposium being held on...

Friday, 31 August, 2018 - 14:22

(Peter Crisp/South Australian Research and Development Institute)               (David R. Lance, USDA APHIS PPQ,


Sunday, 29 July, 2018 - 19:35

Tauranga is home to New Zealand's busiest port. Last year it handled more than eight million tonnes of imported goods. That's a lot of cargo for pests, weeds and diseases to hide amongst. But with an estimated two thousand workers on the port there's also a lot of eyes potentially scanning for evidence of contaminations.

In 2016 MPI, the Port company and several local industries banded together to promote biosecurity awareness among members of the port community. And B3 is providing research to support this biosecurity excellence initiative, through identifying local risks, investigating potential new technologies and quantifying changes in biosecurity awareness.

B3’s Theme Leader from AgResearch John Kean explains: “The Biosecurity Excellence Initiative is doing a great job promoting biosecurity awareness with open days, demonstrations, sausage sizzles and informational calendars for people working in and around the port. They are engaging the local community in a dialogue around what biosecurity means for them and how they can participate. In B3 we are excited to be contributing our science expertise to this effort”.

John co-leads a multidisciplinary B3 project with Scion’s Steve Pawson. In part of the work entomologists are...

Thursday, 28 June, 2018 - 09:59

There have been several outstanding examples of B3 research being recognised by the wider biosecurity community in recent weeks. 

Craig Phillips recognised by DOC Director General for role in GWB eradication

Department of Conservation, Director General, Lou Sanson, recently wrote to B3 and AGR to acknowledge the “very significant role that Dr Craig Phillips played in the success of the Great White Butterfly (GWB) eradication programme”.


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