Biosecurity champion recognised with Minister’s award

The Horizons Region is celebrating one of its biosecurity champions who has been recognised at this week’s New Zealand Biosecurity Awards for his remarkable efforts to stop the spread of freshwater pests.

David Cade, also known as Didymo Dave, received the Minister for Primary Industries’ Biosecurity Award on Monday evening which acknowledges an individual, group or organisation that has at least 10 years of continuous outstanding contribution to biosecurity in New Zealand.
Horizons environmental coordinator Craig Davey says Didymo Dave has been employed by the Council on a casual basis since 2013 to spread the Check, Clean, Dry message in the Central Plateau area.
“Dave is a conservation hero and extremely passionate about protecting our waterways from pests for future generations,” says Mr Davey.
“We have been fortunate to harness this passion and have him join us in engaging people from all walks of life in conservation conversations when he’s visited popular sites over summer. From riverside chats to events – you’ll know what you need to do to better protect our special places once Dave has encouraged you to make a difference.”
Mr Davey says over the years Dave has come up with innovative ways to gain attention for the cause.
“From a poem about the blue duck to talk back radio calls and alter egos Dame Didymo Davina and Victor the Viking, Dave’s use of all media platforms and memorable personalities to get cut-through knows no bounds. His passion for katiakitanga is contagious, his care is genuine and his ability to encourage behaviour change is effective.
“There are only a handful of people that stand above the rest by not only walking the talk but impacting on others to make a difference. It’s fantastic that his efforts have been recognised with this award.”
Didymo Dave was nominated for the award by Gillian Visser who owns Adventure Lodge and Motel at Tongariro National Park. Ms Visser says she got to know Didymo Dave as he tirelessly talked to guests in the kitchen.
“Dave is always spreading the word to all the tourists who stop here about biosecurity in New Zealand, often going as far as scrubbing their boots for them before they leave. He is constantly working and goes above and beyond with his efforts,” she says.
“My daughter heard about the awards and suggested I nominate him. It took a bit of work to pull together all the information and references, but I kept thinking on those late nights that this will all be worth it – someone like this deserves an award big time.”
Mr Davey says Didymo Dave will be out and about again this summer on behalf of Horizons and has no doubt that he will continue to make an impact.
Learn more about Check, Clean, Dry and what you can do to stop the spread of freshwater pests on the Ministry of Primary Industries website.