Most primary industry organisations realise they need to sign
up to the new Government-Industry Agreement (GIA) deed for
biosecurity purposes, but many are concerned they still do
not know the full ramifications, particularly the financial
implications, of doing so.
In December, Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy
announced the Cabinet had signed off on the GIA deed.
It defines the principles for the formal Government›industry
partnerships formed to prepare for and respond to biosecurity
threats and outlines the commitments each signatory must
The deed was developed by a joint industry and Ministry for
Primary Industries working group after several years of
debate, negotiation, submissions and reviews.
Mr Guy said partners would share decision-making, costs and
the responsibility of preparing for and responding to
"Joint decision-making and co-investment will mean that
everyone is working together on the most important
priorities,'' Mr Guy said.
Federated Farmers biosecurity spokesman William Rolleston
said GIAs gave primary industry groups a "seat at the table''
when decisions were being made.
"It is not about it being 100% the Government's job and nor
is it 100% the primary industries' job either.''
Horticulture New Zealand president Julian Raine said it had
been a difficult process at times but now growers could feel
they could contribute as equal partners to biosecurity
However, not all grower groups would be happy about having to
share costs, he said.
"Some of our affiliated product groups will agree, some
"It is a decision that each of them will need to discuss with
their growers,'' Mr Raine said.
A GIA-MPI forum - the first since the deed was signed-off -
to discuss the implications for industry was to begin
yesterday in Wellington.
Courier Country spoke with representatives of several
industry organisations who will have a presence at the forum.
Summerfruit New Zealand chief executive Marie Dawkins said
despite earlier misgivings, the organisation would
"definitely be involved''.
"Summerfruit is taking a positive role - more than a watching
"We can't ignore this and it's better to be involved than not
involved,'' Ms Dawkins said.
"We will be talking to growers over the next few months to
gauge opinion and get a mandate on whether or not to sign
She said, although establishing a fair cost-sharing
arrangement to fight an incursion was vital, it was secondary
to other matters which needed clarification.
Crucial to her organisation was the make-up of the
operational agreements, which identify the specific threats
and set out the plans to prevent an incursion.
Whatever the outcomes, there would be "no free rides. We all
have to step up and do what we can.''
The GIA deed was the outcome of five to seven years of work.
A lot had been resolved and it was "moving forward''.
"But it's like: How do you eat an elephant? A bit at a
There was always another issue sitting behind the issue just
resolved, Ms Dawkins said.
National Beekeepers Association (NBA) president Ricki Leahy
said he hoped by attending the forum its representatives
would get a better understanding of the implications for the
"We have . . . formed the Beekeeping Industry Advisory
Council as a vehicle for both NBA and Federated Farmers Bees
to work together on biosecurity issues. We won't get anywhere
if we don't work together on that.''
Cost sharing and value for money was a sticking point but the
industry's biggest concern was impending free trade
agreements could open up the borders to the importation of
honey and with it new diseases.
"What is the point in the industry contributing to
biosecurity if it is compromised by free trade agreements? We
won't get support from our members for that.
"It has to be a genuine biosecurity system and not
He said there was a feeling MPI was "genuinely trying to get
this to work. We are getting to the stage where we are
getting a grip on whether we are being listened to.''
There was a positive feeling about the progress made to date
and the industry wanted to contribute positively, Mr Leahy
New Zealand Pork chairman Ian Carter said the Pork Industry
Board was seeking the mandate needed from its producers to
sign the GIA deed.
"It's the industry board's belief we want to be involved.''
Most sectors believed it was essential to be involved and all
were interested in seeing how the cost-sharing agreements
would "pan out'' because there had not been a lot of
information about that, he said.
Potatoes New Zealand chief executive Champak Mehta said it
was important attend the forum and partake in the discussion
because biosecurity was critical to its sector and so there
was a need to understand the mechanics of the proposed
framework and the pros and cons of the Deed.
There was a "great deal of complexity'' to the process which
still to be worked through.
"Regarding GIA, while it's an excellent example of MPI
working collaboratively with industry, the whole process is
still in its embryonic stages and still has a long way yet to
go,'' Mr Mehta said.
- by Ruth Grundy
Government Industry Agreement
The Government Industry Agreement (GIA) deed, which was
developed by a joint industry and Ministry for Primary
Industries (MPI) working group, was approved by the Cabinet
The deed defines the principles for the formal
Government-industry partnerships and outlines the commitments
each signatory must make to manage biosecurity risks.
Cost-sharing for both planning and preparation as well as
fighting an outbreak will be phased in over time beginning in
July with industries required to pay the full share of costs
for readiness in 2020 and response costs in 2023.
The agreement is the Government will make a 20% contribution
towards costs, and MPI and industry will share the remaining
80% of costs.
Many sector organisations have yet to get a mandate from
members to sign up to the deed but have signed a memorandum
of understanding with MPI.
Members of the working group included representatives from
the Meat Industry Association, Federated Farmers,
Horticulture NZ, NZ Kiwifruit Growers, Dairy NZ, the Forest
Owners Association and the poultry and egg industries.