Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman and Food Safety Minister
David Bennett today launched the finalised New Zealand action plan
to address the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance
"Scientists, governments and international agencies are united
in the approach to combat the rise of antimicrobial resistance,"
says Dr Coleman.
"The New Zealand Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan, released
today, will underpin our efforts to ensure that antimicrobials are
"The action plan was finalised following its presentation at the
70th World Health Assembly in Geneva and is ready for
implementation in New Zealand.
"The five key objectives in the plan align with international
efforts and ensure that New Zealand is playing its part in the
"We want medicines to remain effective for treating infections
in humans, as well as managing diseases in animals and plants."
"The Ministry of Health and Ministry for Primary Industries have
worked together on this action plan because resistant microbes
arising in humans, animals or the environment impact each other,"
says Mr Bennett.
"As a major food producer, New Zealand must manage antimicrobial
resistance in animals and plants effectively.
"This action plan shows that New Zealand understands the
multisectoral issue of antimicrobial resistance and is addressing
it in line with the recommendations of the World Health
Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization and World
Organisation for Animal Health."
A range of strategies will be used over the next five years to
manage the threat of antimicrobial resistance. Implementation of
the plan will involve a wide range of partners and will be jointly
governed by the Ministry of Health and Ministry for Primary
The plan is focussed on surveillance and monitoring activities,
as well as regulatory oversight of the use of antimicrobials in
animals and plants. It will also look to improve awareness and
understanding of antimicrobial resistance and improve infection
prevention and control.
Notes to editors:
The action plan has five key objectives; in alignment with the
World Health Organization global response:
- Awareness and understanding: Improve awareness and
understanding of antimicrobial resistance through effective
communication, education and training.
- Surveillance and research: Strengthen the knowledge and
evidence base about antimicrobial resistance through surveillance
- Infection prevention and control: Improve infection prevention
and control measures across human health and animal care settings
to prevent infection and the transmission of micro-organisms.
- Antimicrobial stewardship: Optimise the use of antimicrobial
medicines in human health, animal health and agriculture, including
by maintaining and enhancing the regulation of animal and
- Governance, collaboration and investment: Establish and support
clear governance, collaboration and investment arrangements for a
sustainable approach to countering antimicrobial resistance.
Antimicrobial resistance is where microorganisms that cause
infections in humans, animals and plants become resistant to
antibiotic, antiviral, anti-parasitic and antifungal
A key risk from increased antimicrobial resistance is that
people will needlessly die from infections and diseases that we are
currently able to treat with medications.