Tāmaki Innovation Campus

Ministry for Primary Industries

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has a presence at the Tāmaki Campus and is co-located with Landcare Research in their purpose built facility.

Investigation and Diagnostic Centre

MPI’s Investigation and Diagnostic Centre (IDC) is located at the Tāmaki Campus, and comprises the Plant Health and Environment Laboratory, the Plant and Environment Incursion Investigators team, and representatives of the Quality Safety and Support Group. They also have a presence in Christchurch, and their Animal Health Laboratory, and Animal and Marine Incursion Investigators team is located in Wallaceville, Upper Hutt.

Plant Health & Environment Laboratory

MPI's Plant Health & Environment Laboratory provides diagnostic testing and technical expertise for new pests and diseases affecting plants and the environment. The laboratory employs more than thirty scientists and technical staff in Auckland and Christchurch, with the largest facility being at Tāmaki. They identify a broad range of pests and diseases including insects, mites, fungi, bacteria, phytoplasmas and viruses, and subcontract nematode and botanical identifications to a number of organisations including Landcare Research.

The Laboratory’s main activities include diagnosis of and technical advice for pests and diseases collected during surveillance programmes, submissions from the general public and growers, and during incursion responses. They provide technical advice on biosecurity issues, test imported and exported plants for pests and diseases, and diagnosis plants and plant products for pests and diseases intercepted at the border or in quarantine.

They are also involved in research and development to support incursion responses, surveillance, and testing activities. As part of this work MPI scientists supervise a number of PhD students jointly with The University of Auckland.

The Laboratory has specialist facilities and equipment including containment laboratories, quarantine glasshouses, equipment for molecular and serological procedures and a transmission electron microscope. There are also unique reference collections for viruses and arthropods (the fungal and bacterial collections are maintained as part of Landcare Research's International Collection of Micro-organisms from Plants).

Incursion Investigators

The Incursion Investigation Plants and Environment team is spread across two sites, Christchurch and Auckland at Tāmaki, and has expertise in plant protection, entomology, plant pathology, and epidemiology. The incursion investigators are responsible for the investigation of reports and, as necessary, the urgent management and control and/or eradication of suspected exotic or emerging pests and diseases that may affect plants, invasive plant species in the aquatic environment, and arthropod pests affecting the terrestrial environment. The incursion investigation team make initial risk assessments of exotic and emerging diseases and pests, including estimates of the costs, benefits and likelihood of the success of management options.

During responses, the team undertake field investigation, prepare key response documents and operational specifications for surveillance, movement control and organism management. The team participate in preparedness for responses, and the collation of active and passive surveillance information for analysis and reporting of the country’s plant health status.

The Plant and Environment Incursion Investigators team works closely with the Plant Health and Environment Laboratory during field outbreak investigation, pest diagnosis and incursion response.

Visit the Ministry for Primary Industries website