GIA: Pay in kind not cash

The Orchardist - - Contents - By Rose Man­ner­ing

Ki­wifruit and pipfruit rep­re­sen­ta­tive or­gan­i­sa­tions are mak­ing a bid to min­imise the amount the gov­ern­ment is seek­ing from in­dus­try to fund pos­si­ble pest in­cur­sions. Hor­ti­cul­tural in­dus­tries are pre­par­ing them­selves for the in­tro­duc­tion of Gov­ern­ment In­dus­try Agree­ments on Biose­cu­rity Readi­ness and Re­sponse (GIA). The first stage of the GIA frame­work will be the Deed which is ex­pected to be pre­sented to par­lia­ment be­fore Christ­mas. Once the Deed is rat­i­fied by par­lia­ment, in­di­vid­ual op­er­a­tional agree­ments for tar­get pests will be­come the fo­cus. Ki­wifruit Vine Health (KVH) and Pipfruit New Zealand have be­gun work­ing on the first op­er­a­tional agree­ment, in con­junc­tion with the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries (MPI). This op­er­a­tional agee­ment is for fruit fly.

MPI has in­di­cated that un­der the Deed the max­i­mum in­dus­try would have to pay for biose­cu­rity “readi­ness and re­sponse” would be 50% of costs. KVH chief ex­ec­u­tive Barry O’Neill says his aim will be to at­tain sim­i­lar lev­els of in­dus­try fi­nan­cial in­put as Aus­tralia. “In Aus­tralia, the Gov­ern­ment funds 80% of costs, and in­dus­try 20% of costs. That is what we want to achieve.” Barry says the op­er­a­tional agree­ment is break­ing new ter­ri­tory, and the out­comes of th­ese dis­cus­sions will have a ma­jor im­pact on mul­ti­ple in­dus­tries. Fruit fly is the log­i­cal place to start, with pro­grammes al­ready in place for the preven­tion of its in­tro­duc­tion. “With GIA in place we would like to con­tinue and im­prove our biose­cu­rity ef­fort.”

Both KVH and Pipfruit New Zealand are will­ing to par­tic­i­pate in the new ap­proach to biose­cu­rity in New Zealand as it will mean in­dus­tries will have a say in how the bor­ders and pest in­cur­sions are man­aged. How­ever, fund­ing a biose­cu­rity re­sponse would be crip­pling for some in­dus­tries. Barry says KVH is will­ing, and has been work­ing to­gether with other sec­tor groups in prepa­ra­tion for the fruit fly op­er­a­tional agree­ment. KVH has pre­sented on the GIA to tomato, pipfruit and sum­mer­fruit sec­tor groups.

The ki­wifruit in­dus­try is also the first to man­date its rep­re­sen­ta­tive body, KVH, to sign the Deed with the gov­ern­ment. Early sig­na­to­ries of the Deed have been promised 100% gov­ern­ment fund­ing to fight a pest in­cur­sion in the first few years.

In kind rather than cash

KVH be­lieves the best way for­ward will be for each lead in­dus­try to ini­ti­ate the re­sponse in the re­gion it is dom­i­nant. KVH could lead a re­sponse in the Bay of Plenty. Even though the or­gan­i­sa­tion is only small with 10 staff within the re­gion, it can call upon a large in­dus­try re­source, in­clud­ing pack­house op­er­a­tors, grow­ers and con­sul­tants.

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