Plant variety rights

This page is about the protection of new plant varieties and our review of the Plant Variety Rights Act 1987.

About plant variety rights

Plant variety rights (PVRs) give you the exclusive right to produce for sale and sell propagating material of a new plant variety.

In the case of vegetatively-propagated fruit, ornamental and vegetable varieties, PVRs give you the additional exclusive commercial right to propagate the protected variety for the commercial production of fruit, flowers or other products.

To be granted a PVR the plant variety must be:

  • new
  • distinct
  • uniform
  • stable

It must also have an acceptable variety name (denomination).

Find out more about applying for and managing a plant variety right on the IPONZ website.(external link)

Plant Variety Rights Act 1987 review

The Government is reviewing the Plant Variety Rights Act 1987. In September 2018 we released an Issues Paper exploring the key issues and opportunities for change in the PVR regime. Consultation closed on Friday 21 December 2018.

We released an Options Paper in July 2019, seeking feedback on options to amend the Plant Variety Rights Act. Submissions closed on 9 September 2019.

Next steps

Consultation on the Options Paper closed on 9 September 2019. We are now in the process of collating and reviewing all the submissions and feedback received during the consultation period. These will be used to provide advice to Ministers on changes to the PVR regime.

Once policy decisions have been made by Cabinet, new legislation will be drafted. We anticipate this being introduced to Parliament in May 2020. You will have an opportunity to make submissions on the Bill at the Select Committee stage.