Tuesday 9 July 2019

MBIE releases ‘Options Paper’ as part of its review of the Plant Varieties Rights Act

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has released an Options Paper as part of its review of the Plant Varieties Rights Act 1987 (the PVR Act). This Options Paper builds on the Issues Paper that was released last year, and sets out MBIE’s preferred reform options.  

The PVR Act is being reviewed because New Zealand needs to comply with its Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership obligations to align our PVR Act with most recent version of the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (ie, UPOV91). MBIE is also taking this opportunity to amend the PVR regime to comply with the Crown’s obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi. 

MBIE’s preferred option is to ‘give effect‘ to UPOV 91, rather than acceding to the Convention directly, so that the revised PVR Act can take into account the recommendations of the Waitangi Tribunal set out in the Wai 262 report. Other key proposals include introducing a disclosure of origin regime and setting up a Māori Advisory Committee that could provide advice to the Commissioner of Plant Variety Rights as to whether kaitiaki interests would be adversely affected by the grant of a PVR. 

MBIE is seeking submissions on the Options Paper. Submissions are due by Monday 9 September 2019. For more information see MBIE’s website.