Our work

MPI staff work in a range of environments – from airports and beaches to laboratories, abattoirs and fishing vessels. Learn more about the work of our 2,200 staff in New Zealand and throughout the world, and how science is a critical part of what we do.

Growing and protecting New Zealand

MPI helps grow and protect New Zealand by:

  • providing policy advice and programmes that support the sustainable development of New Zealand's primary industries
  • being the Government's principal advisers on, and maintain effective management of, New Zealand's fisheries and aquaculture
  • leading New Zealand's biosecurity system
  • managing forestry assets for the Crown
  • ensuring food standards for consumers of New Zealand food
  • playing a key role in enabling international market access for New Zealand's primary products
  • representing the interests of the New Zealand primary sector in international trade policy and standard-setting forums.

MPI is a large, diverse organisation. Watch the video to see how we work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year growing and protecting New Zealand.

Video – what we do

Published 18 May 2015 – 3:24

[Logo: Ministry for Primary Industries]

New Zealand’s global reputation for high quality primary products is this country’s most important asset.

Our vision is growing and protecting New Zealand, by enabling the primary sectors and partnering with them.

We work across all aspects of primary production, from the paddock... and ocean... to the plate.

Our focus is on:

  • Maximising export opportunities
  • Improving sector productivity
  • Increasing sustainable resources
  • Protecting from biological risk.

Are all over the place. We work with industry, local government, trading partners and other government agencies.

Value our partnership with Maori in the primary industries.

Have more than 2,200 staff in over 70 locations.

Administer more than 50 Acts in Parliament.

Have helped negotiate 8 Free Trade Agreements, giving our exporters access to over 2 billion potential customers.

Approve more than 140,000 export certificates a year to more than 100 countries.

Manage biosecurity risk across 700,000 containers, 140,000 vehicles and machinery, 35 million mail items x-rayed.

Help around 33,000 NZ food businesses to make sure what’s on the menu is safe.

Help improve the productivity and profitability of farms, orchards, vineyards and forests.

Invest $100 million a year in science and innovation.

Do more than 20,000 lab tests a year looking for unwanted insects, mites, fungi, bacteria, photoplasmas, viruses and viroids.

Co-invest with industry $720 million over time into 20 Primary Growth Partnerships.

Sustainably manage more than 100 commercial fish species.

Monitor fishing within the 4th largest EEZ in the world (4 million square kilometres).

Work to fulfil the potential of our aquaculture industry.

Undertake nearly 30,000 fishing patrols and inspections a year.

Work with around 660 wine exporters to ensure NZ wine is good to go. 
Enough to fill 76 Olympic swimming pools.

Are the 15th largest forest owners, managing 19 forests.

Help prepare for climate change, managing the Emissions Trading Scheme and working to reduce greenhouse gases.

Help drive productivity and drought resilience by boosting irrigated agriculture through a $35 million fund.

Help clean up our fresh waterways through the Dairying and Clean Streams Accord.

Sniff the bags of 5 million travellers each year.

Set more than 7500 traps for uninvited insects – like fruit flies from Queensland.

Check that imported fruit – including more than 80 million kilos of bananas – doesn’t bend the rules.

Oversee the welfare of lions, tigers, monkeys and meerkats at zoos and wildlife parks…
and 16 Codes of Welfare.

Partner with Maori to enable increased sustainable productivity of the $10.6 billion of Maori assets based in the primary sector.

It’s a big job.

In the last year 71% of our total merchandise exports came from the primary sectors.

That’s why growing and protecting is Number 1.

[Logo: The Ministry for Primary Industries.]

Science is critical to MPI

Our Science Strategy gives guidance on how we use science to support our work. MPI's strategic vision is to 'grow and protect New Zealand' through:

  • maximising export opportunities
  • meeting our international trading obligations
  • improving sector productivity
  • increasing sustainable resource use
  • protecting New Zealand from biological risk.

High quality science and science evidence are critical to helping us achieve these. As a major funder, user and generator of science it's important we have a robust and efficient science system. We've developed the Science Strategy to describe our science role, and how we'll use science throughout MPI.

The strategy will provide MPI with strategic direction for:

  • planning and prioritising our science needs
  • help guide our future investment in science
  • help us to monitor how these benefit New Zealand.

It also gives our partners and providers a clear understanding of our science system to support working in partnership.

Download MPI Science Strategy at a glance [PDF, 666 KB]

Download the full Science Strategy [PDF, 3.4 MB]

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