Māori knowledge honoured in biosecurity award win

1:23 pm on 5 August 2017

A Māori biosecurity network has been awarded a top prize at the country's inaugural biosecurity awards.

Myrtle Rust has been found in a plant nursery in Taranaki.

Myrtle rust can threaten plants including pōhutukawa, mānuka and feijoa trees. Photo: Supplied

Te Tira Whakamātaki - which translates to 'the Watchful Ones' - is a iwi-oriented biosecurity group established last year.

It helps to provide information to iwi about biosecurity risks like myrtle rust, kauri dieback, and the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis - to iwi throughout the country.

Following the awards ceremony on Thursday, Te Tira Whakamātaki co-founder Melanie Mark-Shadbolt said the award vindicated the work the group had done over the past year.

"The award shows that our work is being noticed, and highlights the vital role of an inclusive biosecurity system that is robust, resilient and representative of the country as a whole."

"I would really like to thank iwi and Māori katoa for supporting the kaupapa, and Haami Piripi for supporting our mahi."

The group's chair, Glenice Paine, said it was important to harness the skills and knowledge of Māori.

"A biosecurity system that can better reflect Māori knowledge, culture and perspectives is what we are ultimately aiming for."

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs