Flower growers will not be signing up to the new
Government-industry partnerships set up to manage biosecurity
In December, Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy
announced the Cabinet had signed off on the Government
Industry Agreement (GIA) which lays out the framework for
partnerships and outlines the commitments signatories must
New Zealand Flower Growers Association chairman David Blewden
said while he had attended many of the preliminary meetings,
the group had withdrawn from the process for several reasons.
NZFGA had a relatively small group of paid-up members and so
would be unlikely to get a mandate to sign the deed.
It was run mostly by volunteers and financially did not have
the resources needed to fund any involvement.
Under the agreements, each sector would identify ‘‘priority''
biosecurity threats so it could plan to manage the risk.
‘‘When we sat down and looked at it . . . What does a
priority pest look like for the flower industry?
‘‘There are so many crops involved it would be logistically
There was also the feeling the Government was not
particularly interested in the flower industry because it was
not a big employer or contributor to the economy, he said.
So ‘‘no matter how disastrous'' the pest might be for flower
growers, it would not have a significant impact economically.
‘‘[But] the flower industry has always argued the
increasingly large volumes of flower imports provide a
pathway for diseases or pests to come in and infect something
‘‘It is a strong risk sector for other industries.''
Pests could come in on imported plant material and could have
mini› mal effect on the flower industry but be devastating to
native plants or significant commercial horticulture crops
like the kiwifruit industry, he said.
‘‘The principle of GIA is good.''
Government and industry working together to make plans to
deal with incursions made ‘‘incredibly good sense'', Mr
But it did not have a lot to offer flower growers, he said.
What flower growers would like to see was the border policed
more vigorously to minimise further risk, he said.
- by Ruth Grundy