Governance and structure

MPI has more than 2,200 staff working in over 70 locations across the country and internationally to grow and protect New Zealand. Find out about MPI's 6 branches and the 4 systems they support.


A future-focused organisation

With the New Zealand economy set to grow, MPI's important role in leading, regulating, and enabling the primary sectors will only increase.

MPI provides policy and regulatory advice, market access and trade services, and operates large-scale biosecurity, food safety, forestry, fisheries management, and animal welfare programmes. MPI also has strong relationships with other government agencies, primarily within the economic, border, and natural resources sectors.

Six branches support 4 major systems

MPI's structure is aligned around 6 branches:

  • Office of the Director-General
  • Policy and Trade
  • Operations
  • Regulation and Assurance
  • Sector Partnerships and Programmes
  • Corporate Services.

These branches each lead work that supports MPI's core business, which is directed through 4 major systems:

  • Biosecurity: Through our leadership of the biosecurity system, MPI works to prevent harmful pests and diseases from entering and establishing in New Zealand. We manage surveillance and readiness programmes to monitor for, and respond to, pest incursions and diseases when they do occur and we support the management of established pests. In doing so, MPI protects New Zealand's natural advantage and resources, and facilitates trade. This is critical to ongoing market access for many of our export products.
  • Food safety: Through our leadership of the food safety system, MPI is focused on ensuring that food is safe and the health and wellbeing of consumers is protected. MPI sets regulatory requirements for New Zealand's food safety system and food exports. We undertake auditing and monitoring of the system, verification to support assurances to export markets, enforcement of food safety requirements where necessary and are responsible for ensuring that imported food is safe and suitable. MPI also contributes to the shared trans-Tasman food standards environment.
  • Sustainable economic development: Through our leadership of the primary production system, MPI oversees New Zealand's primary production. Our role includes educating on, and enforcement of, animal welfare standards across New Zealand and developing mechanisms for sustainable limits and practices within our agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries. MPI also works with central and local government to support increased productivity across the primary sector, and increased sustainable use of resources, such as water and soil. We play a major role in New Zealand's domestic and regional economic development through our work with farmers, fishers, foresters, corporations, banks, Māori, and industry-level bodies.
  • Trade: Through our involvement in New Zealand's trade system, MPI maintains and enhances market access and the New Zealand export system. As the major regulator of the primary sector, MPI is a critical player in the negotiation and maintenance of access to overseas markets for primary products. Many companies and primary producers depend upon MPI's facilitation, certification and verification activities to get products across borders. New Zealand also plays a key role in influencing international arrangements and standards that facilitate trade.

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