The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and the new Crown infrastructure delivery company, Rau Paenga, have agreed to work together on plans for a new Plant Health and Environment Laboratory (PHEL) and Post-entry Quarantine Facilities (PEQ) in Mt Albert, Auckland.
An Implementation Business Case, which will finalise costs and delivery arrangements for the new facilities, will be delivered to Ministers in late 2024.
Forecasting shows that demand for Plant Health and Environment Laboratory and Surveillance services is expected to grow, says Deputy Director-General of Biosecurity New Zealand, Stuart Anderson.
“A new PHEL will be designed to meet the growing demand for biosecurity services for our plant-based sectors and will promote further development of the sector’s export potential.
“With the shifting climate, the risk of new pests and diseases increases. Investment in a new Plant Health and Environment Laboratory is critical to safeguarding New Zealand’s export potential and protecting the country from future biosecurity threats.”
Rau Paenga Acting Chief Executive, John O'Hagan, says that the company will also support MPI with the completion of its interim Post-entry Quarantine facility, which is currently under construction on the Mt Albert campus.
"Rau Paenga's involvement with these projects will allow MPI to focus on its wider transformation programme and the biosecurity challenges facing New Zealand, with the additional benefit of saving on some specialist project management costs.
"We look forward to working with MPI on the successful delivery of this vital biosecurity infrastructure."