Wellington, May 11 - The New Zealand Plant Variety Rights Bill has been introduced to the Parliament for the first reading. With New Zealand's current PVR legislation being over 30 years old, the bill is aimed at modernizing the system, bringing it in correspondence with those of the major trade partners. The law amendment is also one of the conditions under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which requires New Zealand to either accede to UPOV 1991 or implement a PVR regime that gives effect to UPOV 1991 by December 30, 2021. New Zealand opted for the latter approach with the result that the Bill does not go beyond the bare minimum of UPOV 1991, fully utilizing the Act's flexibilities. For instance, the Bill follows an extremely narrow approach to EDV, defining it as "... a variety that does not exhibit any important features that differentiate it from the initial variety."
Photo: Pat Ho on Unsplash.
Early on in the amendment process, CIOPORA expressed concerns with the Bill's provisions (then - the Cabinet Paper). Emphasizing, e.g., the narrow EDV definition and the lack of direct protection for harvested material, CIOPORA warned that these deficits may be detrimental to New Zealand's innovative fruit breeding sector. CIOPORA will continue to monitor the legislative process in New Zealand and, where the procedure allows, submit its improvement suggestions. Download the Bill.