Friday, 31 August 2012 15:55

Progress on MPI plan

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The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is making good progress in implementing the recommendations of the recent independent review of imports of kiwifruit plant material.

Director-General Wayne McNee says the ministry has now completed the 10 actions set to be carried out by the end of August 2012.

In February 2012, McNee commissioned the independent review of import requirements and border processes associated with imports of kiwifruit plant material in light of the outbreak of the bacterial vine disease Psa.

"In commissioning the report, I wanted assurance that the ministry is doing absolutely everything it can to manage biosecurity risk around products imported to New Zealand. If there were improvements to be made, I wanted to identify and implement them," McNee says.

The review report made six recommendations, five of which focused on improving systems at the Ministry. MPI accepted all six recommendations and identified 16 specific actions to implement these recommendations.

The recommendations, the actions to address those recommendations and the progress made is in a Management Action Plan available here:

http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/files/pests/psa/progress-update-psa-management-action-plan.pdf

"In addition to the 10 actions we have completed, four of the remaining tasks were to be started by today and I can confirm all have been initiated and partially completed. They are on track for delivery by the specified dates in 2012 and 2013," McNee says.

The remaining two actions have longer time frames as they involve the creation of IT tools to establish information sharing with other agencies.

Five of the six recommendations by the independent reviewers proposed changes to processes and procedures to better identify, study and manage biosecurity risks around the border. The report's first recommendation is, however, different.

"This recommendation suggests the ministry consider reprioritising its resources to better manage the risks to economically significant industries," McNee says.

"MPI's decision-making and prioritisation processes include the consideration of a range of factors, including the costs and benefits of actions to protect primary industries, the natural environment and human, health and cultural values.

"As our existing assessments already recognise the scale of industries and their potential biosecurity risks, we believe the current MPI processes already deliver significant benefit to the higher value industries," McNee says.

"However, in line with Government priorities and the Ministry's Strategy 2030, the relative weighting of resourcing toward economic outcomes has been increased."

For further information, contact: Lesley Patston, senior communications adviser, ph 029 8940163

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