Biosecurity Act compensation

Find out about getting compensation under the Biosecurity Act 1993 and how to apply.


Why do we compensate?

MPI works hard with all New Zealanders to control and eradicate unwanted pests and diseases to help protect and grow New Zealand. Sometimes the control and eradication methods we must use – known as response activities – may cause some financial loss to individuals and businesses.

Under the Biosecurity Act 1993 (section 162A), if you feel you've incurred a loss as a result of our actions, you may be able to claim compensation.

Reasons for compensation

The Biosecurity Act 1993 provides compensation to be paid for a few reasons, including:

  • to encourage people to report pests and diseases to MPI 
  • when the exercise of Biosecurity Act powers damages or destroys property, or places restrictions on the movement or disposal of goods.

You can read section 162A of the Biosecurity Act for full details about the available compensation.

What's eligible for compensation?

The Act (section 162A) provides that in certain circumstances a person or business is entitled to compensation where MPI has exercised powers, and a verifiable loss has resulted. For example:

  • You have had property damaged or destroyed.
  • Restrictions have been imposed on the movement or disposal of your goods, which have caused you loss. The restrictions might be through a Restricted Place Notice, a Notice of Direction, or a Controlled Area Notice.

Losses must be verifiable, and reasonable steps must have been taken to mitigate any ongoing losses.

MPI can help you if you're affected by the exercise of Biosecurity Act powers by looking at options to reduce your loss – although you'll need to ask us to do this.

What's not eligible for compensation?

Compensation cannot be claimed if the:

  • loss was caused by the unwanted pest or disease and not the exercise of powers
  • loss was suffered before the exercise of powers commenced
  • claimant failed to comply with biosecurity law in a serious or significant way, or in a way that contributed to the presence or the spread of the organism being eradicated or managed
  • goods were unauthorised (for example, if imported items were not cleared for entry to New Zealand)
  • claim was submitted more than 12 months from the loss being incurred.

Note also, you can't make a claim if:

  • you took actions 'above and beyond' the instructions given directly by MPI
  • you're not directly affected by the exercise of powers. 

Apply for compensation

The person or business incurring the loss needs to complete a claim, and include verifiable evidence to support it. We may ask for additional evidence if the information provided is insufficient to verify the loss.

We will consider all claims for compensation and offer payment when this is in line with section 162A of the Biosecurity Act.

Application documents

Use these documents when applying for compensation:

Ex gratia payments

Where a loss is incurred but falls outside of what can be compensated under section 162A of the Biosecurity Act, the Crown may consider providing an ex gratia payment. These are decided on a case-by-case basis.

Other government assistance

During a response, other government agencies may be able to provide other forms of financial and non-financial support to industry, communities, or businesses in accordance with the Primary Sector Recovery Policy.

Who to contact

If you have questions about compensation:

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