First Primary Growth Partnership funding approved

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 Growth Partnership.

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 sectors.

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 Company.

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 taxpayers' money.

"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:, Mb: 021 960 058,

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,



Last Updated: 22 September 2010

Contact MPI

for general enquiries phone

0800 00 83 33