Plant Variety Rights Act 1987 review: Outstanding policy issues

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Submissions due: 05 October 2020, 5pm

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is seeking feedback on a discussion document exploring a small number of outstanding policy issues in the Plant Variety Rights Act 1987. These include Treaty of Waitangi compliance issues and operational issues relating to the Plant Variety Rights Office.

The discussion document seeks your views on the following issues and our preliminary analysis of proposed options:

  • Outstanding policy issues relating to the Treaty of Waitangi compliance provisions. In November 2019, Cabinet noted that there were a small number of issues that will need further consideration. This includes the issues relating to the establishment and operation of the Māori Advisory Committee, definition of indigenous species and non-indigenous species of significance, and the process for considering objections to decisions made by the Māori Advisory Committee.  
  • Operational issues arising from a survey conducted by the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand in 2019. This includes the processes around testing/growing trials, confidentiality of information in applications, and access to plant material for comparative purposes.

Your submissions on these issues will feed into the Bill that is currently being drafted. We hope to introduce the Bill by the end of 2020.

Find out more about the review process

Opportunities to engage in person

MBIE had provisionally scheduled a hui for 9 September 2020 in Auckland. The primary focus of the hui was to discuss outstanding Treaty-related issues. Thank you to everyone who expressed interest before the cut-off date of 17 August 2020.

Due to the extension of COVID-19 Alert Level 2 restrictions in New Zealand, we have made the decision to host this hui virtually on Zoom. While we would have preferred to hold this hui kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face), the prudent approach in the current circumstances is to hold the hui virtually. We will now be holding this hui on Tuesday, 29 September from 10am-3pm. We have extended the deadline for written submissions to 5pm, Monday 5 October

Further details around the structure of the hui, Zoom details and the various ways people can participate using Zoom will be circulated directly with those who had expressed interest closer to the date.

We require all attendees to have registered prior to the hui, so if you wish to attend and have not already registered your interest, please contact us at by 5pm Friday, 18 September.

There was an opportunity to discuss the outstanding issues on 20 August 2020 following the PVR Technical Focus Group meeting.  The primary focus of this meeting was to discuss administrative/operational issues. Thank you to those who attended.

How to make a submission

Your submission may respond to any or all of the issues in the discussion document. Where possible, please include evidence to support your views, for example references to independent research, facts and figures, or relevant examples.

Please use the submission template (also provided above).

Please include your contact details in the cover letter or e-mail accompanying your submission.

You can make your submission by:

  • sending your submission as a Microsoft Word document to
  • mailing your submission to:
    Corporate Governance and Intellectual Property Policy
    Building, Resources and Markets
    Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment
    PO Box 1473
    Wellington 6140
    New Zealand

Please direct any questions that you have in relation to the submissions process to

Last updated: 08 September 2020