Plant Variety Rights Act 1987 review

We are reviewing the Plant Variety Rights Act 1987. A major driver for the review is meeting our obligations under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Why a review is needed

The Plant Variety Rights Act 1987 is now over 30 years old and has only had minor amendments since it was first passed. The plant breeding industry has changed significantly during this time and a review is necessary to ensure the regime is fit-for-purpose today.

What the review aims to achieve

The review is an opportunity to:

  • find the right balance between strengthening plant breeders’ rights to encourage innovation (consistent with our international obligations) and preserving the interests of growers, consumers, Māori and other interested groups to achieve a net benefit to New Zealand as a whole
  • ensure the regime is consistent with New Zealand’s Treaty obligations
  • modernise the regime consistent (where appropriate) with other intellectual property legislation.

Find out about the review and what has happened so far.

We have put together 3 videos to help explain different aspects of the review:

About the consultation

An issues paper exploring the main issues and opportunities for change in the plant variety rights (PVR) regime was released for consultation over September-December 2018.

We held public/industry meetings and hui for engagement with Māori during the consultation period.

We also released a Māori engagement plan that sets out how we plan to engage with Māori at this, and later, stages of the review.

Consultation closed in December 2018 and we have reviewed submissions.

What we have heard during the consultation process so far

We heard a wide variety of views at the public/industry meetings and regional hui with Māori late last year. We also received 36 submissions on the issues paper. These submissions cover a wide range of views, including plant breeders, growers, the legal sector and Māori. What we have heard so far will be carefully considered when making policy recommendations.

Submitters who wished to remain anonymous are referred to as ‘anonymous submitter’. Redactions have been made in accordance with the Official Information Act 1982 and the Privacy Act 1993 and when content may be defamatory or commercially sensitive. Two submitters requested for their submissions to remain confidential. These submissions have not been published.

Read the summary of submissions [PDF, 169 KB]

Read the submissions on the issues paper(external link)

Read the key themes from the regional hui with Māori [PDF, 194 KB]

View the presentation from the regional hui with Māori [PDF, 591 KB]

Disclosure of origin requirements in the patents regime

Over September-December 2018 we also consulted on a discussion document considering options for introducing a requirement that patent applications include the origin of any genetic resources and traditional knowledge used in their inventions.

Find out more about the disclosure of origin requirements consultation.

Next steps

Now that the consultation period on the issues paper has closed and we have reviewed the submissions and feedback we are developing possible options for change.

We intend to launch the next stage of consultation on the review through the release of an options paper in mid-2019. We’ll also release an updated Māori engagement plan.

Last updated: 08 April 2019