Overview of NPPA
NATIONAL PEST PLANT ACCORD OVERVIEW
1. The National Pest Plant Accord (the Accord) is a cooperative agreement between the Nursery and Garden Industry Association, regional councils and government departments with biosecurity responsibilities (primarily the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Department of Conservation). All pest plants listed under the Accord have been declared unwanted organisms under the Biosecurity Act 1993. This prevents their sale, propagation or distribution across the country. Regional councils undertake surveillance to prevent the commercial sale and/or distribution of these plants.
2. The Accord came into effect on 1 October 2001. Since this date, most regional councils have confirmed their commitment to the Accord by becoming signatories.
Changes to the Accord
3. Two fundamental changes have been made to the Accord since it was first established in 2001.
4. The first has been to clearly separate technical advice (the risk analysis) from the management decision. In practice this means that risk analysis advice is now given by an independent Technical Advisory Group, while risk management decisions (changes to the Accord list) are made by a separate decision-making body, the Steering Group (see further explanation below).
5. Clearly separating the technical advice and decision making roles in this way strengthens the Accord as:
they are different roles that require different skill sets (i.e. technical experts do not necessarily make good decision makers and vice versa);
independent, objective technical advice increases transparency and clearly separates an organisation’s objectives from good, science-based technical advice (an organisation’s views can be transparently brought to the Steering Group table by organisation representatives); and
there is a solid basis in risk analysis theory, which supports separating out an assessment of the significance of any given risk, to an assessment of how to best manage that risk.
6. The second change has been to the decision-making arrangements, where industry (Nursery and Garden Industry Association) are now included as one of the decision makers. The intended effect of this is to give industry more power in the process. Under the new arrangements industry has decision-making and consultation rights, as opposed to consultation rights only under the previous arrangement.
7. The Accord is governed by a Steering Group1, comprising representatives from MPI, the Nursery and Garden Industry Association, regional councils and the Department of Conservation. The Steering Group is the decision-making body and has oversight for the Accord. Its responsibilities include (among other things):
Reviewing the effectiveness of the Accord;
Providing guidance to ensure that the Accord is implemented nationally;
Ensuring any issues that arise are resolved in a timely manner; and
Reviewing the list of Accord species from time to time.
8. The Steering Group has established a Technical Advisory Group (TAG)2 which provides independent technical advice. The principle role of the TAG is to provide technical information that helps to inform the Steering Group’s decisions when amending and updating the Accord list.
9. Members on the TAG do not represent their respective employers but, rather, bring objective technical advice to the table. None of the agencies represented on the Steering Group are represented on the TAG. This is a fundamental change to the previous arrangement, when the TAG had mixed roles (see 4 above) and therefore included agency representation.
10. Under the terms of the Accord, MPI New Zealand is responsible for appointing TAG members. To ensure this process was transparent and fair, MPI sought nominations for the TAG and established clear criteria for making appointments. Nominations were sought from all of the parties to the Accord and organisations on the consultative list. MPI assessed nominations against the following criteria:
Ability to assess the full range of technical and management risks
Possesses a balance of terrestrial and freshwater expertise
Ability to make objective assessments and decisions
Is well connected and has a strong international standing
11. The Steering Group ratified clear evaluation criteria3, which established a framework for technical assessment of potential Accord species. The TAG assessed proposals for new species and current Accord species against these criteria.
12. The evaluation criteria apply a weed risk assessment model which ranks the ‘weedy’ potential of the plant against other plants. The plant’s current distribution and potential distribution, its appeal as a cultivated plant and whether it can be effectively managed are also considered.
13. MPI maintains a consultative list, which is a list of key stakeholders and parties who are interested in the Accord. Those on the list are kept informed of matters relating to the Accord by way of regular updates, and are sent any consultation material. Any person or organisation with an interest in the Accord can be added to the list by emailing the NPPA coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org).
3 Champion, P (2005). Evaluation Criteria for Assessment of Candidate Species for Inclusion in the National Pest Plant Accord. NIWA Client Report (HAM2005-027) for Biosecurity New Zealand. This report is available on the Biosecurity New Zealand website (http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/pests-diseases/plants/accord/tag-criteria.htm)
Page last updated: 25 June 2012