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. Now that policy decisions have been made by Cabinet, the next stage involves drafting legislation, as set out below. The next formal opportunity for people to have their say is during the select committee process, though further engagement on specific issues may well be necessary.

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 April 2020

Legislative stage

PVR amendment Bill is introduced to Parliament.

April/May 2020


Select Committee process, including public submissions on the Bill.

Commences May 2020. Timing depends on general election dates.

Select Committee reports back. Bill goes through final stages. 

Bill passed first half 2021

Implementation satge

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.

On 18 November 2019 Cabinet agreed to make change to the PVR Act. These changes give effect to our obligations under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Treaty of Waitangi.

While work toward drafting the Bill has commenced, there remain a number of issues that require further consideration and consultation. As the Government focuses on responding to COVID-19, consultation on these issues will take place later this year.


Last updated: 30 July 2019