The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is no more – come April 30, it will be known as the Ministry for Primary Industries encompassing all government work across the agricultural, horticultural, fisheries and aquaculture, forestry and food sectors, as well as biosecurity.
“The successful mergers of the Ministry of Fisheries and the New Zealand Food Safety Authority with MAF have paved the way for a new organisation to focus fully on the performance and integrity of all our primary industries,” said primary industries minister David Carter.
“The name change is a logical move. It recognises the broad role of the ministry in growing and protecting the primary sector, the powerhouse of New Zealand’s economy."
Existing brands for MAF, Biosecurity New Zealand, the Ministry of Fisheries and the New Zealand Food Safety Authority will be phased out.
The Crown Forestry brand, however, will be retained because it is a commercial forestry business that stands apart from the policy, regulatory and service delivery roles of the ministry.
Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers president, welcomed the move.
“Whether it is aquaculture, dairy, forestry or wine, we have many issues that are common," he said.
“Our primary industries account for over 70 percent of known merchandise exports. In terms of foreign exchange earnings, the primary industries are almost five times larger than tourism. I guess a short name for the new ministry could well be the ministry for exports."