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26 May 2010
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Director-General Murray Sherwin
today announced the first allocation of funding to industry from the Primary
The Investment Advisory Panel recently recommended three business plans for
funding, collectively seeking $20m for projects of between five and seven years.
All three were approved by Mr Sherwin, creating government-industry partnerships
worth more than $45m.
The Primary Growth Partnership is a government-industry initiative that will
invest in significant programmes of research and innovation to boost the
economic growth and sustainability of New Zealand's primary, forestry and food
The first business plans to be approved are led by the Foundation for Arable
Research, the New Zealand Forest Owners Association and the New Zealand Merino
Funding has been tagged for a diverse range of projects including harvesting
trees on steep country, radically expanding the merino industry in New Zealand
and using natural deterrents in grass to keep birds at bay.
Murray Sherwin says the three industry groups have gone through a rigorous
process to get to this point.
"These applicants put in proposals in the first application round, which
closed in October 2009. Since then, each of the business plans which were
subsequently called for has been scrutinised by the Investment Advisory Panel
and MAF staff.
"This has been a thorough process, which is critical when investing
"I'm confident these business plans present ideas that will transform parts
of the primary sector and that in years to come, 2010 will be seen as the year
when a very fruitful partnership between the government and the primary sectors
truly took off."
Investment Advisory Panel Chairman Bill Falconer says the IAP put applicants
through a rigorous test to prove their ability to deliver on their objectives
and provide benefit to New Zealand.
A further four industry groups who submitted proposals in Round Two are
developing business plans in their bid for funding, and the IAP will soon review
the 11 proposals received in Round Three.
MAF Media contact:
Iain Butler, Senior Communications Advisor, MAF Policy, Phone: 04 894 0471,
Mobile: 029 894 0471, Email:
The Foundation for Arable Research
Rachel Greenwood, Communications Manager, Email:
firstname.lastname@example.org, Mb: 021 960
The New Zealand Forest Owners Association
Russell Dale (Future Forests Research), Ph: 07 921 7258, Mb: 0274 938 061,
New Zealand Merino:
John Brakenridge, Chief Executive Officer, Ph: 03 377 7990, Mb: 021 454 607
John Nichol, Chairman, Mb: 021 320 592,