Biose­cu­rity special gen­eral meet­ing

In Septem­ber 2009, the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries (MPI) an­nounced a new ap­proach to pre­par­ing for and man­ag­ing new pests and dis­eases that might ar­rive in New Zealand.


MPI ad­vised that a new part­ner­ship ap­proach would be de­vel­oped for biose­cu­rity readi­ness and re­sponse. This new ap­proach known as the Gov­ern­ment In­dus­try Agree­ment (GIA), has been ap­proved by Cab­i­net and been for­malised with changes to the Biose­cu­rity Act 1993.

In­dus­try Prod­uct Groups (PGs) are now be­ing asked to sign the GIA Deed to for­malise the ar­range­ment. By De­cem­ber 2016, 14 in­dus­try part­ners had signed the GIA Deed in­clud­ing Ki­wifruit Vine Health, NZ Ap­ples & Pears Inc., NZ Av­o­ca­dos, Citrus NZ, Toma­toes NZ, Onions NZ Inc., Veg­eta­bles NZ Inc., and Pota­toes NZ Inc.

The Process Veg­eta­bles New Zealand (PVNZ) Board has re­viewed and as­sessed the op­tions for process veg­etable grow­ers and strongly be­lieves that it is in the best in­ter­ests of all for Process Veg­eta­bles NZ mem­bers to be­come a part­ner in GIA. The GIA Deed and any Op­er­a­tional Agree­ments will clar­ify the roles, re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and costs for the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries (MPI) and PVNZ.

For that to hap­pen, PVNZ is seek­ing sup­port for Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand to be the sig­na­tory of the GIA Deed on be­half of process veg­etable grow­ers and will be hold­ing a special gen­eral meet­ing at the South Rakaia Ho­tel (Corner of Rail­way Ter­race East & El­iz­a­beth Av­enue, Rakaia) on Novem­ber 23 at 7.30pm.

Vot­ing pa­pers and in­for­ma­tion packs have also been sent to all Process Veg­eta­bles NZ mem­bers ei­ther by post or elec­tron­i­cally dur­ing the week com­menc­ing Oc­to­ber 24, 2017 for those who wish to at­tend the special meet­ing, or to sub­mit a postal vote or cast a vote by proxy. The three mo­tions for vot­ing are:

1. That Process Veg­eta­bles New Zealand (PVNZ) mem­bers sup­port the sign­ing of a Gov­ern­ment In­dus­try Agree­ment Deed (“GIA”) by Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand for PVNZ on be­half of its mem­bers.

2. Process Veg­etable New Zealand mem­bers sup­port the pro­posal for a sep­a­rate biose­cu­rity levy, to be set by the PVNZ Board at its dis­cre­tion, which will ini­tially be set at a zero rate with a max­i­mum rate of 0.50% of grower “gate sales” value, for the ap­pli­ca­tion of GIA readi­ness and re­sponses ex­pen­di­ture, and only ap­plied if re­quired.

3. That Process Veg­eta­bles New Zealand mem­bers sup­port and ap­prove the PVNZ Board mak­ing de­ci­sions on be­half of mem­bers in re­spect of ne­go­ti­at­ing and sign­ing Op­er­a­tional Agree­ments as may be re­quired un­der the GIA and au­tho­ris­ing pay­ment of other re­lated biose­cu­rity ex­penses.

With the sup­port of the PVNZ grow­ers, Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand will sign the GIA Deed on be­half of PVNZ and this will en­able PVNZ’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in de­ci­sion mak­ing dis­cus­sions with gov­ern­ment and other af­fected Prod­uct Groups to de­ter­mine:

• how fu­ture biose­cu­rity readi­ness work should be pri­ori­tised

• which biose­cu­rity re­sponses the PVNZ in­dus­try will par­tic­i­pate in

• what share of readi­ness and re­sponse costs PVNZ would pay.

The sign­ing of the GIA Deed will also al­low:

• The es­tab­lish­ment of a biose­cu­rity levy to en­able PVNZ to man­age their readi­ness and re­sponse costs when re­quired.

• A pro­posed biose­cu­rity levy that would be set at a zero rate un­til such time as needed and with a max­i­mum rate of 0.50% of the grower gate sales value.

• A fis­cal cap is the fi­nan­cial limit that PVNZ would pay on any one or more

re­sponses and that limit would be de­ter­mined by the PVNZ Board. • PVNZ will pay their in­dus­try share of biose­cu­rity costs from ei­ther the biose­cu­rity or com­mod­ity levy.

Un­der GIA, gov­ern­ment and in­dus­try prod­uct groups sign a Deed which com­mits both par­ties to joint planning, de­ci­sion mak­ing and joint cost shar­ing. This part­ner­ship based ap­proach will mean that there is more cer­tainty that high pri­or­ity pests will be found and re­sponded to in an ap­pro­pri­ate time­frame. The prepa­ra­tion work done in ad­vance would mean that re­sponse de­ci­sions on key pests are pre-agreed. Im­prov­ing pre­pared­ness for pri­or­ity pests will re­sult in faster, more ef­fi­cient and more suc­cess­ful re­sponses.

Once in­dus­try groups and gov­ern­ment have signed the GIA Deed, they then en­ter into dis­cus­sions about Op­er­a­tional Agree­ments for spe­cific pests. It is not a re­quire­ment to have an Op­er­a­tional Agree­ment (OA) but these are the doc­u­ments that out­line what pre­pared­ness and re­sponse ac­tiv­i­ties will be un­der­taken and how they will be funded. There is cur­rently an OA in place for four species of fruit fly of great­est eco­nomic con­cern to the New Zealand in­dus­try, but as PVNZ is not an af­fected party un­der the Fruit Fly OA it will not be re­quired to pro­vide fund­ing to­wards any re­lated readi­ness or re­sponse costs.

A key ad­van­tage of GIA is that PGs have joint de­ci­sion mak­ing pow­ers along­side MPI and other sig­na­to­ries. Cur­rently, be­cause MPI is fund­ing the ac­tiv­i­ties, it can con­sult with in­dus­try but it makes the fi­nal de­ci­sions. Joint de­ci­sion mak­ing is the trade-off for cost shar­ing but is a key ad­van­tage in the GIA sys­tem. Biose­cu­rity re­sponse de­ci­sions will be made by GIA part­ners, of which MPI is just one sig­na­tory. PVNZ will fund readi­ness or re­sponses through es­tab­lished re­serves and it is in­tended that those costs will be re­cov­ered through a biose­cu­rity or com­mod­ity levy de­pend­ing on the amount. Es­tab­lish­ing and im­ple­ment­ing the biose­cu­rity levy pro­vides as­sur­ance that even in the un­likely event of a sig­nif­i­cant re­sponse that PVNZ has a means to fund re­sponse ac­tiv­ity. Where PVNZ bor­rows to fund a re­sponse the biose­cu­rity levy will be used to re­pay the loan over a pe­riod of time. Any re­sponse is ex­pected to be re­paid by levy within five years. The rate of loan re­pay­ment would be de­ter­mined on a case-by-case ba­sis. The levy rate will ap­ply across all process veg­etable crops re­gard­less of the spe­cific na­ture of the in­cur­sion.

In ad­di­tion to meet­ing min­i­mum com­mit­ments, it is likely that over time, PVNZ will sign an Op­er­a­tional Agree­ment

(OA) with MPI. This OA will likely be for pests which, if they ar­rive in New Zealand, are go­ing to have a se­ri­ous im­pact on mem­bers’ con­tin­ued fi­nan­cial vi­a­bil­ity. These in­clude pests such as the Brown Mar­morated Stink Bug

(BMSB), how­ever in this par­tic­u­lar case over 90% of the BMSB OA re­sponse cost would be borne by the Crown and the 10% bal­ance would be ap­por­tioned across all of the PGs.

The PVNZ Board con­sid­ers that sign­ing the Deed is im­por­tant to mit­i­gate biose­cu­rity risks and to en­sure there is a greater in­flu­ence within the MPI de­ci­sion mak­ing process. This in­for­ma­tion is an­other key step in con­sult­ing with mem­bers on sign­ing the GIA Deed and af­ter the special meet­ing the PVNZ gen­eral man­ager will pro­vide feed­back to all mem­bers on the out­comes.

If you have any ques­tions or would like more in­for­ma­tion please con­tact John Sey­mour at John.sey­mour@ or phone 0508 467 869. More in­for­ma­tion is also avail­able on the PVNZ web­site www. pro­cessveg­eta­, and on the GIA web­site

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