Prosecutions and infringements

Find out how we decide whether or not to prosecute and the process we follow.

We encourage voluntary compliance

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) strongly encourages voluntary compliance across all the areas we regulate including biosecurity, food, animal welfare and fisheries.

We recognise most people follow the rules and want to comply but there will always be some who don’t. For that reason, in certain circumstances we may need to take appropriate action – sometimes including prosecution.

Our policy guides prosecution decision-making

MPI has an organisational policy our employees use to guide them when managing a potential prosecution. The policy sets out what are – and aren’t – valid reasons for deciding whether or not to prosecute and the process that needs to be followed.

Download the policy (December 2016) [PDF, 672 KB]

Other prosecution guidelines

Crown Law has also published guidelines for government departments like MPI and other prosecuting agencies.

Who to contact

If you have questions about the information on this page, email

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