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New Zealand Plant Protection 58 (2005): 1-6

Improving border biosecurity: potential economic benefits to New Zealand

D.J. Kriticos, C.B. Phillips and D.M. Suckling


The number of alien species becoming established in New Zealand is steadily increasing. Assuming no improvements to New Zealand's border biosecurity systems, it is conservatively estimated that Biosecurity New Zealand will have to deal with more than 542 potential pest incursions, and 512 phytophagous species becoming permanently established from 2005 to 2017. These additional established pest organisms will cost the economy about NZ$921 million in direct impacts and on-going control costs. Assuming the rate at which unwanted new organisms are intercepted at the border is improved in 1% increments from 2007 leading to a total 10% improvement by 2017, Biosecurity New Zealand's total expenditure in responding to new incursions would be reduced by approximately NZ$16 million. If improved surveillance and eradication reduced the number of new pests that become permanently established over the same period by 15.5%, approximately NZ$96 million in direct pest impacts and mitigation measures would be saved.

Keywords: biological incursions, insect pests, economics.

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