MAF and NZFSA to be merged

  • David Carter
  • Kate Wilkinson
Agriculture Biosecurity Food Safety

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority will be merged into the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, say Minister of Agriculture and Biosecurity David Carter and Food Safety Minister Kate Wilkinson.

Reintegrating NZFSA back into MAF allows for a single organisation focused on the integrity and performance of New Zealand's biological economy, Mr Carter says.

A single department will be legally created on 1 July, with full integration of the functions of the two departments expected to be completed by December.

"MAF and NZFSA already work closely together and this decision means the new Ministry will span the full primary industries value chain from producer to consumer," says Mr Carter.

"It will more closely align some of the key functions supporting the Government's economic growth goals, including sector performance, sustainable development and trade facilitation.

"Our future prosperity depends on the growth and productivity of our primary industries and in meeting international trade requirements for these products." 

Ms Wilkinson says ensuring consumers both here and overseas have confidence in the integrity of our products - and our regulatory processes - is critical.

"NZFSA and MAF are both highly regarded internationally and building on that reputation is important.

"We want to provide consistency in the regulatory approach for domestic and export-based businesses.  Having a single competent authority spanning imports and exports of animal and plant products and responding to public, animal and plant health biosecurity events makes sense," says Ms Wilkinson.

The amalgamation of MAF and NZFSA is part of a series of initiatives across the state sector to lift agency performance and improve service delivery to New Zealanders.