Biosecurity and the RWC: How much will that cup really cost us?

What happens when you drop the border protection standards for a primary exporting country, just so rugby fans can get into the country quicker? ? ? ?

Industry group Horticulture New Zealand is right to be concerned by a drop in NZ’s border control for the Rugby World Cup. They claim more than 270,000 passengers have walked straight through our international airports without having bags x-rayed.

“If we are simply doing this to save 15 minutes for rugby fans, then I really hope they’ve got this right. Because the risk is enormous – $800 million alone, just in the Bay of Plenty, not to mention upwards of 5000 jobs lost. All it takes is one Queensland Fruit Fly, found in one monitoring trap, on one orchard. International markets will close to us, for at least a year, if not longer,” said HortNZ president Andrew Fenton.

Just when you thought that $1.2billion was more than enough for New Zealand to spend on the Rugby World Cup.

Tiny insects couldn’t really cause that much damage, right?

This comes on the back of a new report from industry group Potatoes NZ. The nation’s chip supply, is at the mercy of a tiny potato/tomato psyllid Bactericera cockerelli. The pest has cost the potato industry over $100million in the last 3 seasons alone. One of the resulting diseases of infestation is liberibacter that causes zebra chips. I prefer ghost chips myself.