Plant Variety Rights Act Review

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Plant Variety Rights Act Review

Public consultation is now open on a review of the Plant Variety Rights (PVR) Act 1987.

The plant breeding industry has changed significantly over the last 30 years, and this review is necessary to ensure that the PVR Act is fit-for-purpose going forward. Although a review of the PVR Act 1987 was first initiated in the early 2000s, it was put on hold in anticipation of the release of the Waitangi Tribunal’s Wai 262 report, which made a number of recommendations affecting the PVR regime. It was further delayed by international negotiations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which has since morphed into the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Under the CPTPP, New Zealand is now required within three years to modernise the PVR regime to be consistent with the updated international agreement on plant variety rights (UPOV 91).


From 17 September to 21 December 2018 the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) consulted on an Issues Paper. MBIE also held regional hui for engagement with Māori, as well as public and industry meetings around New Zealand. More information on the consultation may be found on the Plant Variety Rights Act 1987 review section of the MBIE website.

Consultation on Options Paper

MBIE have now released an Options Paper for consultation. This paper is informed by the issues stage and by an independent economic analysis of the Plant Varieties Innovation system commissioned by MBIE. This analysis was carried out by the Sapere Research Group.

The Options Paper sets out options for changing the PVR Act and, where supported by the analysis, some preferred options.

Making a submission

Anyone is welcome to make a submission before 5pm on Monday 9 September 2019. Please refer to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) website for the consultation documents and more details on how to make a submission.

If you have any questions in relation to the submissions process, please contact MBIE.

Next steps

Once the consultation period on the Options Paper has closed, MBIE will review the feedback received through submissions, then provide advice to Ministers on changes to the PVR Act.