Proposed changes to the way organic production is regulated

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Contact: Food policy team


4 December 2018: Cabinet agreement on enabling National Organic Standards

On 3 December, the Government announced that a national standard for organic production will be progressed as a Bill next year.

This Bill will allow the development and introduction of National Organic Standards and ways to check that these requirements have been met.

Next steps

The next step is to draft an organics Bill to be introduced next year. There will be opportunities for the public and those in the industry to feedback at the Select Committee stage.

Officials will also start developing a national organic standard and associated regulations.

There will be further consultation on the content of:

  • the bill during the Select Committee process.
  • organic standards and associated regulations.

To get updates on new organic regulation, email

10 August 2018: Summary of submissions and Cabinet paper released

Next steps

The next step is for Government to consider whether and how it would like to proceed with work on new organic regulation. Should the Government decide to proceed with new organic regulation there will be further consultation on the:

  • legislation that will be required to support a standard
  • content of the standard itself. 

What was proposed?

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) sought feedback on whether New Zealand would benefit from new organic regulation.

To assess whether regulating organics would have merit for New Zealand, it is important to think about how such an approach might work in practice and understand its possible benefits, costs and impacts.

The discussion paper proposed changes to the way organics are regulated and set out some options for what a new regime for organic products could look like.

During the consultation, which ran from 14 May 2018 to 11 June 2018, public meetings were held throughout the country.

Consultation documents

Public meetings

MPI held public meetings to provide information and answer questions on the proposal.

Submissions are public information

Note, that any submission you make becomes public information. People can ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we have to make submissions available unless we have a good reason for withholding it (refer to sections 6 and 9 of the OIA).

Tell us if you think there are grounds to withhold specific information in your submission. Reasons might include that it's commercially sensitive or it's personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may tell us to release it.

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