The Government Industry Agreement for Biosecurity Readiness and Response

The Government Industry Agreement for Biosecurity Readiness and Response (or GIA for short) is a commercial partnership between government and industry for improving New Zealand’s biosecurity.

As part of its commitment to protecting the business of its members, and ensuring it plays its part in NZ’s wider primary sector, NZ Avocado was an early adopter and joined the GIA partnership in early 2016.

GIA is based on partnership commitments which signatories make to engage in the wider biosecurity system. They co-invest to improve the collective biosecurity capacity and the capability of industry and government in readiness and response.

GIA signatories negotiate and agree the priority pests and diseases of most concern to them. They agree actions to minimise the risk and impact of an incursion, or prepare for and manage a response in the event that an incursion occurs.

Joint decision-making and cost-sharing helps to ensure industry organisations have a formal role, alongside government, in managing their biosecurity risks. Therefore, GIA gives primary industries a direct say in managing biosecurity risks and this approach gives all partners the confidence that the best decisions are being made.

GIA has been a long time in the development, and is now really starting to reap dividends for its members, which, by the end of 2019 will have risen to 22 signatory bodies representing almost $40billion of commercial production across all primary sectors in NZ. All major horticultural, aquaculture and livestock sector groups are now helping to drive GIA and will shortly be joined by the arable sector.

Under GIA NZ Avocado has been an integral part of the development of new initiatives to help protect our industries. Specific work programmes are underway to address the key threats of Fruit Fly and Brown marmorated stink bug, and further are being developed for other exotic pests and risk pathways. Industry members are also decision makers, along with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). In the current Queensland Fruit Fly incursion in Auckland, we have been able to ensure the voice and responsibilities of our members have been represented.

Industry is starting to leverage the opportunity that comes from co-investing with the Crown and other industry groups – in short, to get more bang for our buck and a stronger voice at the decision making table.

Whilst funding is an important aspect of GIA, the reality is that the benefits are not all about the money. I have had the honour of Chairing the collective GIA Governance Group for the last two and a half years and I have really seen the partnership grow and develop in that time. It is the only forum I know of where the Crown and all primary producers’ genuinely work together to achieve mutually agreed outcomes. There is, of course, negotiation and prioritisation, but all parties have a genuine say in the outcomes delivered and how the biosecurity system under GIA is governed.

As industry we have also seen a step change in the way the Government works with industry groups. Of course we’ve had our teething problems, but the Crown has really moved to share decisions and provide a much more transparent and open access to the management of biosecurity risks. It is a model that could well be applied to other aspects of the primary production chain beyond biosecurity (such as food safety, water management, climate change, etc.).

GIA is not fully formed, as we are still developing some of the systems necessary for full implementation, and I expect it will continue to grow and change over the next few years. However, the fundamental principle of sharing decision-making and share funding is now well-established and delivering tangible benefits for members.

The Government Industry Agreement for Biosecurity Readiness and Response (or GIA for short) is a commercial partnership between government and industry for improving New Zealand’s biosecurity.

As part of its commitment to protecting the business of its members, and ensuring it plays its part in NZ’s wider primary sector, NZ Avocado was an early adopter and joined the GIA partnership in early 2016.

GIA is based on partnership commitments which signatories make to engage in the wider biosecurity system. They co-invest to improve the collective biosecurity capacity and the capability of industry and government in readiness and response.

GIA signatories negotiate and agree the priority pests and diseases of most concern to them. They agree actions to minimise the risk and impact of an incursion, or prepare for and manage a response in the event that an incursion occurs.

Joint decision-making and cost-sharing helps to ensure industry organisations have a formal role, alongside government, in managing their biosecurity risks. Therefore, GIA gives primary industries a direct say in managing biosecurity risks and this approach gives all partners the confidence that the best decisions are being made.

GIA has been a long time in the development, and is now really starting to reap dividends for its members, which, by the end of 2019 will have risen to 22 signatory bodies representing almost $40billion of commercial production across all primary sectors in NZ. All major horticultural, aquaculture and livestock sector groups are now helping to drive GIA and will shortly be joined by the arable sector.

Under GIA NZ Avocado has been an integral part of the development of new initiatives to help protect our industries. Specific work programmes are underway to address the key threats of Fruit Fly and Brown marmorated stink bug, and further are being developed for other exotic pests and risk pathways. Industry members are also decision makers, along with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). In the current Queensland Fruit Fly incursion in Auckland, we have been able to ensure the voice and responsibilities of our members have been represented.

Industry is starting to leverage the opportunity that comes from co-investing with the Crown and other industry groups – in short, to get more bang for our buck and a stronger voice at the decision making table.

Whilst funding is an important aspect of GIA, the reality is that the benefits are not all about the money. I have had the honour of Chairing the collective GIA Governance Group for the last two and a half years and I have really seen the partnership grow and develop in that time. It is the only forum I know of where the Crown and all primary producers’ genuinely work together to achieve mutually agreed outcomes. There is, of course, negotiation and prioritisation, but all parties have a genuine say in the outcomes delivered and how the biosecurity system under GIA is governed.

As industry we have also seen a step change in the way the Government works with industry groups. Of course we’ve had our teething problems, but the Crown has really moved to share decisions and provide a much more transparent and open access to the management of biosecurity risks. It is a model that could well be applied to other aspects of the primary production chain beyond biosecurity (such as food safety, water management, climate change, etc.).

GIA is not fully formed, as we are still developing some of the systems necessary for full implementation, and I expect it will continue to grow and change over the next few years. However, the fundamental principle of sharing decision-making and share funding is now well-established and delivering tangible benefits for members.

 

 

 

By Elaine Fisher Growers wearing t-shirts with the words “Kia ora” and “Vote NZ”, videos ...

Read More

At 0.2ha, Jen Scoular and Bob Sutton’s avocado orchard is never going to replace ...

Read More

Consumers will be enjoying the strong start to the avocado season this year. We have ...

Read More

By Jen Scoular We continue to grow as an industry, not just in production, but ...

Read More