Plant Variety Rights (PVRs) are presently available for varieties of any kind of plant other than bacteria. The word "variety" is used not in the sense of a "botanical variety", but rather as being synonymous with "cultivar" or "cultivated variety".
Exploitation of a protected variety includes any of the following:
- Production or reproduction
- Conditioning for the purpose of propagation
- Selling or offering for sale or other marketing
- Importing or exporting
- Stocking for the purpose of undertaking any of the above
By providing a tool to control commercialisation of a variety, PVRs encourage investment and effort into plant breeding in New Zealand. You can find more details on the nature and volume of PVR applications in our infographics below.
- 2015/16 [PDF, 233 KB]
- 2017/18 [PDF, 263 KB]
- 2018/19 [PDF, 191 KB]
- 2019/20 [PDF, 245 KB]
- 2020/21 [PDF, 282 KB]
The rights scheme also allows New Zealanders access to overseas-bred varieties which would not be released here by their breeders without the protection of the legislation. As a result farmers, horticultural producers and home gardeners gain access to an increased number and range of improved varieties.
A grant of Plant Variety Rights may be made if:
- it is new,
- it is distinct, sufficiently uniform and stable,
- it has an acceptable denomination, and
- formalities are met.
The Plant Variety Rights Act 2022 also includes provisions for indigenous plant species and non-indigenous plant species of significance. These provisions recognise and respect the Crown’s obligations under the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi, through protecting kaitiaki relationships with taonga species and mātauranga Māori.