Over 50 people attended the Open Day looking at opportunities to grow New Zealand through plant germplasm imports. NZ Plant Producer members were well represented and it was a good opportunity to see the upgraded quarantine facilities, take a tour of the laboratories, meet MPI's scientific staff and receive updates on the latest technologies for managing pests and diseases of plants.
PHEL have built three new portable quarantine units on site and it was great to see these at full occupancy, including one 'evidence' greenhouse which was holding illegal plant material confiscated at the border while a date was being set for the court case hearing.
We heard about the $250 million investment in a new quarantine facility to be built on the Mt Albert Research Centre site, expected to be available from the end of 2027 - 28. In the meantime, plans are being progressed to set up a temporary 12 unit PEQ facility on site, which will be available much sooner.