GIA: Pay in kind not cash
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.