We should sign up to GIA
In December 2013 the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, announced that the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) Deed had been approved by Cabinet.
For this reason GIA will proceed, and to resist will be less beneficial than to proceed, in spite of what some growers feel.
The government currently undertakes all biosecurity decision-making and bears all the responsibilities and costs, but under GIA decision-making, responsibilities and costs would be shared.
Therefore we, as a sector, must decide what GIA option is best for us. Process Vegetables New Zealand (PVNZ) is a small product group financially, compared for example, to the kiwifruit, pipfruit, dairy and forestry product groups. So in a practical and financial sense, it is a marginal decision as to whether we should sign up to GIA or not.
There are costs involved in being part of a GIA agreement, and there are also benefits to being around the decisionmaking table. The benefit particularly comes into play if there is a pest or virus incursion. PVNZ would be part of the decision-making process and cost sharing. But if we are not part of GIA the full cost recovery of an incursion response would be paid for by growers.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) can impose a biosecurity levy on growers whether they are part of a GIA agreement or not. The difference is that growers would pay 100% of the costs and have no influence in that decision-making process, whereas growers would incur 50% or less of the costs, depending on the circumstances.
_____________________________________________________________ GIA (Government Industry Agreements on biosecurity) has been on the government’s agenda for several years. It was started under the last Labour government and was progressed by the current National government.
As chairman of PVNZ, I believe the prudent thing to do is to sign the GIA Deed. But we need to determine which would be the most practical and financially prudent structure for our members. There are several options:
Option 1: PVNZ becomes an independent incorporated society.
Becoming an independent incorporated society would enable us to sign a deed in our own right. However, setting up and managing a society is expensive, and I believe this cost is unnecessary as there are better ways to use levy money other than on extra administration costs.
Alternatively we can be a co-signatory to a Deed with another group that is a legal entity. There are two options here: We can either be represented by a proposed FAR (Foundation for Arable Research) legal entity, or by Horticulture New Zealand which is an incorporated society.
Option 2: Join Hortnz for GIA
There are several possible ways that representation by Horticulture New Zealand could work:
• Hortnz could be a representative of a collective of product groups, but would not itself be a signatory.
• Hortnz could be a signatory for a collective of product groups, with each group having one vote.
• Hortnz could be a signatory and representative for individual groups, who would have multiple votes.
Hortnz can offer a single overhead and administration structure for GIA purposes to minimise the costs. Hortnz could also contribute time, effort and activity in a pan-sector biosecurity role, and as part of the minimum commitments for GIA. The signatory is responsible for Deed Governance, regular engagement with MPI and for biosecurity systems development.
Hortnz would work with industry to improve biosecurity risk awareness. For example the current work being undertaken to minimise the risk of
Process Vegetables NZ