Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive

  • Hon Penny Simmonds
  • Hon David Seymour
  • Hon Andrew Hoggard

Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products. 

“Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. It can take nine years and wrangling government agencies to get approval here,” says Mr Seymour. 

“Farmers overseas are using innovative technologies that we don’t have access to that make animals emit less methane, make fruit and vegetable plants grow faster, and control pests and diseases with less environmental harm.

“If we don’t remove these barriers to productivity, we will fall behind our global competitors when we need to grow the economy through trade. 

“New products need approval from the Environmental Protection Authority and New Zealand Food Safety. The review will look at the process and the overlap between regulators. It will not cover gene technology which will be done separately.

“New Zealand farmers and growers are among the most efficient in the world. What the Government needs to do is reduce barriers and let them continue to make positive change,” says Mr Seymour.

Ms Simmonds says she welcomes the review by the Ministry for Regulation.

“Having been involved with farming all my life, the value of our agriculture and horticulture industries is clear to me. I understand the daily frustrations with red tape that farmers and growers face while they make a significant contribution to our economy. It is only through a strong economy that we can reduce inflation, lift incomes and afford the quality public services Kiwis deserve,” Ms Simmonds says.

Mr Hoggard says New Zealand’s farming and food safety reputation underpins the sector’s export success.

“We need access to new technologies and products to keep ahead of the game. Our primary sector will contribute $54.6 billion in export revenue this year. That’s about 80 per cent of all merchandise exports,” Mr Hoggard says.

The Ministry for Regulation is developing terms of reference and timetable for the review.

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