Wednesday 5th Feb, 2:45 pm
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is the lead government agency that manages biosecurity responses in New Zealand. MPI operates in an environment where biosecurity risks and political pressures must be managed. Effective communication is crucial for all post-border responses. Scientific information guides decision making and helps determine risks associated with non-indigenous species. This presentation will describe a case study and provide insights into how science communication can affect the success of a response. In March 2013, MPI was notified of imported flyscreens with undeclared sand and soil as a ballast. The flyscreens were distributed across Australasia and although the laboratory confirmed they were low risk, MPI carried out a public recall. This case study illustrates that effective science communication can mitigate political and reputational pressures, and ensure appropriate outcomes.