Skip to main content

Modernising our export legislation for food and fibre products

Update – 20 February 2023

A summary of the 41 submissions received has been released. This document summarises the submissions received during the consultation that closed on 30 September 2022.

Summary of submissions: Modernising our export assurance systems [PDF, 725 KB]

We have heard your views on issues such as:

  • better understanding of the benefits of proposed legislation for your sector
  • desire for more information on what proposed legislation would and wouldn’t do
  • the importance of private standards
  • concerns about duplication with existing systems
  • concerns about cost.

Over the next few months, we intend to speak with you, and your sector, on the key issues raised in your submissions.

We will be in touch with submitters shortly with more details. 

If you have not engaged with us on these proposals yet, it is not too late. We would still like to hear from you. Email us at

Find out more about modernising our export legislation

Background to this consultation

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) sought your feedback on options to improve our export legislation.

We wanted to have a strategic discussion about a key enabler of market access – the regulatory settings that underpin MPI's export assurances.

Consultation was open from 11 July to 30 September 2022.

We sought feedback from anyone interested in exporting food and other primary products and who wanted to help shape the future legislative foundations that support market access, including:

  • those currently involved in exporting food and other primary products
  • future exporters of food and other primary products
  • others with an interest in market access and government export assurance systems.

Your views were essential to helping us better understand the impacts each option may have on you or your business.

The feedback from this consultation will help us determine the best way forward and help MPI further develop a preferred option for Cabinet consideration.

More information was in the discussion document: Modernising our export assurance systems: legislative options.

Consultation document

Discussion document: Modernising our export assurance systems: legislative options [PDF, 1.3 MB]

Related documents

Sapere independent cost-benefit analysis [PDF, 404 KB]

Proposals on a page [PDF, 189 KB]

Fact sheet for Māori partners [PDF, 255 KB]

What was proposed?

We asked for feedback on new export legislation that would streamline the existing frameworks that these systems are implemented under. We want to ensure we continue to have the best regulatory settings for accessing overseas markets and growing New Zealand’s exports sector, and to keep pace with and respond to changes in the global trading environment.  

All 3 legislative proposals would create a new legislative framework that would future-proof the current approach by ensuring the Government has the tools it needs to successfully manage issues and disruptions. This would help to protect current export revenue, improve market access, and help to reduce impacts to exporters when issues arise.

Currently, only animal product and wine exports are supported by legislation that includes provisions to enable government export assurances.

The 3 legislative options build on each other:

  • The first legislative option would create new legislation for exports. This enables export requirements to be put in place more efficiently, if these are specifically needed to facilitate trade. This option does not introduce requirements at the outset – regulation is there to be used if needed for market access.
  • The second legislative option adds a set of minimum legislative tools that would apply immediately to the export of all food and other primary sector exports, including responsibilities for exporters.
  • The third legislative option would give MPI visibility by applying a visibility tool over all food and other primary sector exports.

New legislation takes time to develop. This is why we are taking the time now to explore what new comprehensive legislation could look like for the export of all food and other primary sector products.

Find out more about our work in modernising our export legislation for food and fibre products

Cost-benefit analysis explainer

A cost-benefit analysis (CBA) involves comparing the value of different options by assessing their projected or estimated costs and benefits.

This report by Sapere compares 3 legislative options to change the framework for the export of food and fibre products. Looking at the next 20 years, the costs and benefits that could occur for each option have been compared to the costs and benefits that are assumed would happen under the status quo.

How costs and benefits are analysed

Two categories of cost are considered: administrative cost on MPI and compliance cost on industry. The costs of each option are represented by a dollar value.

There are 3 categories of benefit for the options in the report:

  • avoiding negative export events (like temporarily not being able to get product into a foreign market)
  • responding more quickly to export issues (like new market requirements or an interruption in trade)
  • responding more efficiently (requiring fewer resources).

The benefits of the first legislative option could be estimated using a dollar value (quantitatively). The differences in benefit across the 3 legislative options cannot be distinguished due to the limited information currently available. Instead, the different qualitative benefits of each option are described.

The results

Sapere’s analysis found that all options for new legislation would provide a net benefit. However, options 1 and 3 would add the least additional cost, therefore they provide the most marginal value. Due to a lack of information, costs and benefits come in a range, but the final calculations of all values use central estimates.

The CBA’s findings have been summarised in the discussion document to illustrate where potential costs and benefits may lie. Another CBA will be completed after the consultation period and once a preferred approach has been identified.

Submissions are public information

Note that all, part, or a summary of your submission may be published on this website. Most often this happens when we issue a document that reviews the submissions received.

People can also ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we must make the content of submissions available unless we have good reason for withholding it. Those reasons are detailed in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA.

If you think there are grounds to withhold specific information from publication, make this clear in your submission or contact us. Reasons may include that it discloses commercially sensitive or personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold details can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may direct us to release it.

Official Information Act 1982 – NZ Legislation