FAQs related to National Pest Programmes
The National Pest Plant Accord (the Accord), developed in 2001, is a cooperative agreement between the Nursery and Garden Industry Association, regional councils and government departments with biosecurity responsibilities.
It identifies plants that are unwanted organisms under the Biosecurity Act 1993. These plants cannot be sold, propagated or distributed in New Zealand.
The Accord is not a pest management strategy. It is a non-statutory agreement between member parties. The process followed to establish and review the Accord is very different and completely separate from processes to establish and review pest management strategies.
Anyone can submit proposals for plants to be added or removed from the Accord list at any time. Proposals will be held by the Ministry for Primary Industries until there are enough to justify a review, unless there is some urgency involved with adding or removing the proposed species.
The Ministry for Primary Industries seeks public submissions on the risk assessments carried out by the Technical Advisory Group (TAG). The Accord Steering Group (made up of representatives from the Ministry for Primary Industries, the Nursery and Garden Industry Association, regional councils and the Department of Conservation) considers the submissions when it decides on any changes to the Accord list. The Steering Group also works with industry to implement any changes to the Accord list.
No, not all species will be included on the Accord.
Technically, a ban comes into effect when the plant is determined to be an unwanted organism by the Chief Technical Officer but regional councils do not enforce the ban for the first six months, to ensure that all outlets are aware the plant is banned.
The Steering Group of the Accord decides which species are included on the Accord.
The Steering Group is the decision-making body and has oversight for the Accord. It comprises representatives from the Ministry for Primary Industries, the Nursery and Garden Industry Association, regional councils and the Department of Conservation.
When making its decision, the Accord Steering Group will consider TAG’s advice, the regulatory impacts and the submissions received. Other criteria the Steering Group use to make their decision include:
- whether the species is present in New Zealand
- whether it is widespread throughout the country
- and whether the Accord will be an effective mechanism to reduce the impacts of the species.
No, you won’t have to pull them out. It is legal to have a plant that is on the Accord list, but it is illegal to sell, propagate or spread it. The agencies and industry groups involved in implementing the Accord work together to make sure that home gardeners receive good information, including the reasons plants have been included on the Accord (ie their environmental impacts).
When a new species is added, the Steering Group members discuss options to minimise or mitigate impacts of the ban. At the least there will be a six month phase out period where regional councils will advise outlets of the ban. Some species, if there is an acceptable level of risk, will be notified as being intended to be included in the Accord from a certain date. These species will not be announced to the public, but will give outlets a chance to minimise losses of sales.
There is no compensation under the Biosecurity Act for people who lose sales of a plant on the Accord. However the parties will be working with those affected to minimise losses.
The Ministry for Primary Industries maintains a consultative list, who are provided with regular updates and are sent any consultation material. You can be added to the consultative list by emailing your contact details to email@example.com
More information about the National Pest Plant Accord is available on the Ministry for Primary Industries Biosecurity website www.biosecurity.govt.nz/NPPA.