Māori engagement plan

We have developed a 'living' Māori engagement plan for the Plant Variety Rights Act 1987 review.

In 2018 we released a Māori engagement plan to set out how we intended to engage with Māori during the Issues stage of the Plant Variety Rights Act 1987 review (September-December 2018). The plan was based on (then draft) guidelines developed by the Office for Māori Crown Relations – Te Arawhiti, and pre-consultation engagement earlier in the review.

Māori Engagement Plan [PDF, 568 KB]

The engagement plan setting out how we intended to engage with Māori during the Options stage of the review (July-September 2019) is outlined below. This stage is now complete and Cabinet made policy decisions in November 2019. Drafting of a Bill on the basis of these decisions is underway.

However, there remain a few outstanding issues relating to Treaty compliance that we are now seeking feedback on. The same principles of engagement that applied at the Options stage apply to this stage. Once decisions are made on these issues, they will be incorporated into the Bill.

Read the discussion document and make a submission

The next formal opportunity for people to have their say following introduction of the Bill to parliament is during the select committee process.

Stage of review What does this involve Timing

Issues stage


Pre-consultation phase: information gathering, planning, engagement with interested groups to support development of Issues paper and Māori Engagement plan.


2017/first half of 2018


Release of Issues paper for public consultation (following Cabinet agreement) including regional hui and public meetings.

September to December 2018


Options stage

Development of options in response to feedback received during the Issues stage.

January to June 2019


Release of Options paper for public consultation.

July to September 2019


Drafting legislation

MBIE provides advice to Ministers following analysis of submissions. Cabinet makes policy decisions. Bill is drafted.

September 2019 to November 2020

Consultation on outstanding policy issues

Release of discussion document on outstanding issues for public consultation (following Cabinet agreement) and analysis of feedback from consultation.

August 2020 to October 2020

Legislative stage

PVR amendment Bill is introduced to Parliament.

December 2020


Select Committee process, including public submissions on the Bill.

beginning December 2020

Select Committee reports back. Bill goes through final stages. 


Implementation stage

Implementation and transition to new regime. 

New regime in place by 30 December 2021

What has happened so far? A recap of our Māori engagement at the Issues stage

Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Hon Kris Faafoi, launched the first stage of consultation on the PVR Act review at the Ngā Taonga Tuku Iho conference in Nelson in September 2018.

Read the press release(external link)

During the Issues stage, we held eight regional hui (Kaikohe, Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Gisborne, Hastings, Hāwera and Christchurch) to discuss Treaty of Waitangi issues in the PVR regime. We also received nine written submissions that directly addressed these issues.

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

Read the submissions on the Issues paper(external link)

At the hui, we discussed how we should engage with Māori in subsequent stages of the review. The general view was that we should convene a hui with people with experience and expertise in mātauranga and tikanga Māori, and intellectual property issues, to develop options for the Options stage.

In preparation for our engagement on the Options stage, we held a two-day “options development” hui in Wellington in April to discuss how we might make the PVR regime Treaty compliant. We invited participants from the regional hui we held during the Issues stage as well as plant breeders who work with indigenous plants, and the head of the PVR Office.

Engagement during the Options stage

In thinking about our engagement with Māori at the Options stage, we set out below:

Revised objectives

In forming our objectives, we considered:

  • the Engagement Framework and Guidelines(external link) developed by the Office of Māori Crown Relations – Te Arawhiti;

  • the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;

  • Waitangi Tribunal guidance; and

  • Key themes from pre-consultation discussions.

For further detail on these resources, please see the link above and Annex 1 and 2 of our Māori Engagement Plan: Issues stage [PDF, 568 KB].

The nature of the Options stage consultation is different from the previous stage. This stage directly precedes policy decisions by the Government on changes to be made to the PVR Act. Accordingly, the objectives of our engagement should also be different.

Our objectives were to:

  • Support robust discussions with Māori about the Government’s options and proposals for changing the PVR Act – in particular, the options and proposals for Treaty of Waitangi compliance – and the rationale behind them.

  • Provide Māori with meaningful opportunities to inform the Government of their views on its options and proposals for changing the PVR Act, and to become informed of the interests of others in the PVR Act review.

  • Ensure the Government and Māori have the capacity to work together to improve the Government’s options and proposals, if necessary, before the Government makes policy decisions on the PVR Act that affect Māori – in particular, options and proposals for Treaty of Waitangi compliance.

Our engagement approach

Our engagement approach for the Options stage comprised the following:

Read the submissions on the Options paper(external link)

Read the notes from the hui [PDF, 1.7 MB]

Next steps

Consultation on the Options paper closed on Monday 9 September 2019.

While work toward drafting new legislation has commenced, there remain a small number of additional policy issues that require further consideration and consultation. These include Treaty of Waitangi compliance issues and operational issues relating to the PVR Office.

A discussion document exploring these outstanding issues is open for public consultation until 5 October 2020.

Read the discussion document and make a submission

Submissions close at 5pm on Monday 5 October 2020.

Last updated: 08 September 2020