Friday, July 23, 2010

NETS2010 - Knew How, Could Do, Job Very Well Done

Yesterday was the last day of the New Zealand Biosecurity Institute (NZBI) annual conference, held this year in Blenheim.

NETS, as it is known, is a get together of the country's biosecuirty experts and interested parties in order to pass on developments and discuss the way forward in the protection of New Zealand's natural habitats. The conference brought together people from MAF Biosecurity, Regional and Local Councils, Iwi, DOC, farmers, conservation groups, CRI's, industry, universities, Fish & Game, Weedbusters, and others.

The theme of NETS2010 was "Know How, Can Do, Job Done." Over the three days of the conference we heard about biosecurity issues in Australia and South Africa and how New Zealand expertise is helping in those countries. We heard about the threats to New Zealand's natural habitats from potential and existing invasive pests such as rats, stoats, rabbits, Argentine Ants, willow, Undaria, Nassella tussock and more. We heard about the pests, the challenges in control and eradication, the development of new tools and new ways to use existing tools, and success stories such as the eradication of the Southern Saltmarsh Mosquito.

Kiwicare was proud to sponsor part of the conference and to take part in the workshops with a demonstration of gel technologies and how they can be used to improve tools for the control of invasive pests. Kiwicare gel products include, long life possum bait, ant gel, insect repellents and barriers, gel herbicides and others.

It only rained once during the conference.................for three days! As part of the conference two field trips were organised; one to Blumine Island in Marlborough Sounds and one to farms in South Marlborough. Despite the weather those of us going on the trip up the sounds enjoyed the trip and were rewarded with seeing at first hand the results of the pest eradication program on Blumine. The island has quickly developed a dense natural bush supporting a myriad of native birds including saddlebacks and robins. The robins hopped around our feet searching for disturbed insects and worms as we tramped along the muddy paths.

We also stopped at historic Ship Cove where Captain Cook anchored on his voyages of discovery. I can see why he choose such a place to return to on each of his voyages to New Zealand. It has has an inviting mystical feel, even in the mist and drizzle that accompanied out visit.

I am already looking forward to next years NETS to be held in Auckland from the 16th July 2011. I hope you will come along and join us there.

I will be posting the abstracts  and photographs from NETS2010 o the NZBI website over the next couple of weeks, so if you want to learn more about the presentations at NETS2010 you will find more information there soon.

Thank you the hard working organisers of this years NETS, you knew how, you could do and you got the job very well done.

What do you call it when worms take over the world?
Global Worming.

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