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Submissions On Funding Biosecurity Published

Submissions On Funding Biosecurity Published

Media Statement
28 April 2005

Submissions on the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry's review of current funding arrangements for central government biosecurity services have vindicated the decision to conduct the review, Biosecurity Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton said submitters want more rational, consistent, transparent and workable funding arrangements. They were, however, generally supportive of the review's intent, objectives, approach and many of its recommendations.

Last year, officials reviewed current biosecurity funding arrangements and identified that biosecurity services are most appropriately funded by those best placed to do at least one of the following: · change behaviour to reduce the costs of the service or the risks that give rise to the need for the service; · assess whether the benefits of the service at its current level of provision outweigh the costs and consequently influence the level of service provided; and/or · determine whether the service at its current level of provision is being delivered most cost-effectively.

The review found the Crown to remain the most appropriate funder of most biosecurity services, largely due to their public good nature.

It did, however, identify a number of areas where greater industry funding contributions ? accompanied by greater industry involvement in decision-making and management ? would seem appropriate, including import health standard provision and surveillance programmes and incursion responses targeting pests and diseases of industry concern.

The review also identified a number of areas where existing cost-recovery regimes need to be implemented more rigorously to avoid over- or under-recovery, including cargo clearances and export certification.

Mr Sutton said that submissions were generally supportive of many of the review's recommendations, some expressed concern about the potential burden on beneficiaries and industry, highlighted the need for further work and consultation on the specific details of proposed changes, and considered the proposed timeframes for implementation to be too short.

He said that the work had been independently peer-reviewed and found to be a "credible and creditable piece of analysis".

It makes no presumption of charging any one group over others, instead allowing the characteristics of the service to determine charging.

However, timeframes for implementing changes (e.g. the review of cargo clearance and laboratory diagnostic fees as part of revising the Biosecurity (Costs) Regulations 2003) have been extended.

"Consultation with interested parties will continue."

The discussion document Future Funding of Biosecurity Services and a summary of submissions are available at: http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/bio-strategy/papers/future-funding-services.htm


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