He Tangata, He Taiao, He Ōhanga

A values-based biosecurity risk assessment framework for Aotearoa.


The inventory of research outputs and resources can be found here:

He Tangata, He Taiao, He Ōhanga

This research is Active

Overview Te Tirohanga Whānui

Aotearoa is home to incredibly valuable production and indigenous landscapes. To protect them we must anticipate, and have the tools to prevent, future biosecurity threats.

Those involved in our biosecurity system need to be able to identify and prioritise the biggest risks to the sector for which they are responsible, so they can make the most of the limited funds and resources they have.

This investment team is working to ensure system participants (and particularly mana whenua) are able to be actively engaged in the identification and prioritisation of biosecurity risks.

They aim to incorporate information from a holistic set of values into a biosecurity risk assessment framework. These values include those of kaitiakitanga, manaakitanga, whakapapa, whanaungatanga and tikanga Māori.

The framework will be dynamic and adaptable to work at national, regional and local scales, and account for changes in biosecurity risk to NZ through external influences such as climate, trade and tourism.

We are:

    • carrying out a gap analysis to identify existing information knowledge systems, frameworks, networks and research;

    • building engagement networks across the biosecurity system, in co-operation with other parts of the BioHeritage Challenge. This involves activities such as focus groups, hui, workshops, and interviews based on case studies relevant to participant values;

    • conducting a needs analysis which will identify where/if training in basic biosecurity concepts may be needed, and these will be developed and implemented as part of the ongoing participation work through 2021-2024;

    • designing research activities according to priorities identified in the gap analysis, covering environmental, social, cultural and economic values and Māori values of kaitiakitanga, manaakitanga, whakapapa, whanaungatanga, and tikanga Māori;

    • designing new approaches to convey and exchange biosecurity information;

    • frequently reassessing biosecurity priorities based on the latest knowledge of global threats, emerging national issues and changes in values or environmental conditions;

    • evaluating and monitoring all activities to critically reflect and learn.

Research Area Summary Te Whakarāpopototanga Kaupapa

1. Participation

This workstream is prioritising authentic partnership with mana whenua and key participants in the New Zealand biosecurity system. To build a world-class framework, we need those who have valuable knowledge to be empowered in their space, and be active in identifying and prioritising existing, emerging, latent and recurring risks.

2. Values

The current biosecurity framework over-emphasises economic values and impact. This workstream is aiming to break down the traditional model and rebuild, prioritising Māori values within the context of environmental, economic, social and cultural values.

Potential components of a risk assessment framework

3. Impact

There’s no point designing the “perfect” biosecurity system if it doesn’t operate in, and respond quickly to, real-life scenarios. Work in this project is aiming to ensure the biosecurity risk assessment framework is designed to be dynamic and adaptable, integrated into existing regulatory processes or guidelines and local decision-making.

Co-leads Ngā kaiārahi ngātahi

Christine Reed 1

Christine Reed

Christine Reed

John Kean 2018

John Kean

John Kean

AgResearch, Better Border Biosecurity (B3)

Team Members Ngā kaimahi

  • Alby Marsh – Ngāti Ranginui, Ngai Te Rangi, Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Hine, Te Rarawa; Plant and Food Research

Resource outputs from this programme


A systematic review of non-market ecosystem service values for biosecurity protection

While quantified environmental benefits from biosecurity protection programmes are available, they remain scarce, patchy, and context-specific. This contributes to the oversight of non-market economic values…
View Publication

Social Discount Rates in Cost Benefit Analysis of Regional Pest Management Plans: Guidance and Recommendations for the Uninitiated

Decisions concerning pest management frequently carry long-term consequences for the environment and human interests. This situation then leads to a pertinent question: should we value…
View Report

Characterising uncertainty in risk assessments for biological control: using case studies from New Zealand to inform future research

Areas of uncertainty in the assessment of risks and benefits in applications for new biological control agents submitted to the regulator for proposed introduction into…
View Publication

Approaches for estimating benefits and costs of interventions in plant biosecurity across invasion phases

Nonnative plant pests cause billions of dollars in damages. It is critical to prevent or reduce these losses by intervening at various stages of the…
View Publication

A matter of trust: perceptions of the value of risk assessment

September 2022 – There are dozens of published pest risk assessments and pest risk assessment frameworks, but only a fraction of those published are actually…
View Webinar

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