The Biosecurity and GIA Focus Group’s purpose is to ensure New Zealand’s apiculture industry has good biosecurity plans in place by working closely with government to keep pests and diseases out of New Zealand progressing our membership with the Government Industry Agreement (GIA). The GIA operates as a partnership between primary industry and government to manage pests and diseases that could badly damage New Zealand’s primary industries, economy, and environment.

The focus group will also work on ensuring our bee products are acknowledged for their authenticity and integrity, integrity and food safety, strengthening the industry case for the continuation of ongoing opposition to the import of honey and bee products from countries of known risk.


The Biosecurity & GIA Focus Group is currently considering the review of the Biosecurity Act which provides an opportunity for our sector to have a say in the future framework to protect New Zealand. The review of the Act will cover a number of areas including:

  • the Act’s overarching purpose and set of guiding principles
  • how te ao Māori (the Māori world) is reflected in biosecurity regulation
  • clear and consistent roles and responsibilities across the biosecurity system
  • how the system is funded, including for biosecurity responses
  • setting import requirements
  • getting the right balance between enforcement and incentives
  • filling gaps in the legislation that past responses have revealed.

In addition the Focus Group is considering the implications of the Review for GIA, noting that the previous work done on an industry GIA application will still be important in our biosecurity considerations. Background on our GIA work can be found below.

The Group is continuing to work on readiness activities and how we work with partner industries.

GIA Background

In 2017, Apiculture New Zealand approached all registered beekeepers (commercial and non-commercial beekeepers) as well as packers, processors, and ApiNZ members, to test our industry’s appetite to become a signatory to the Government Industry Agreement (GIA). The GIA is where industry signs up to a formal partnership with the Government and other industry sectors to improve biosecurity and response outcomes.

A summary of the survey result shows that:

  • 82% of respondents agreed that ApiNZ should represent the industry as the GIA signatory.
  • 73% of respondents agreed that the apiculture industry should sign up to a GIA.

569 respondents participated in the survey. This response rate is higher than other industry-wide surveys undertaken in the last few years (e.g. AFB PMP Management Board’s five-year plan survey and industry-wide consultation survey on the formation of one industry organisation).

See the full results of the survey here.

A detailed list of questions and answers can be found here.

We also provide a full response to a submission made by New Zealand Beekeeping Inc. Read our response here and NZ Beekeeping Inc. submission here.

Analysis of the survey results was undertaken by an external company,

Members of the Biosecurity & GIA Focus Group

Chair: John Hartnell, Hartnell & Associates Ltd
Dennis Crowley, ApiNZ Board member
Kim Kneijber, Auckland Beekeeper’s Club
Dr Ron van Toor, Bioprotection Technologies, The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited
Nick Wallingford, hobbyist beekeeper