[19 December/Rural News]

Labour has reviewed its initial plan to split the Ministry for Primary Industries into a series of separate agencies for Fisheries, Forestry, Biosecurity and Food Safety instead looking to undertake a reorganisation to create a series of portfolio entities for these activities under the MPI umbrella. Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, notes that these discreet areas will have their own funding and branding but they will all come under the overall control of MPI. It appears that the cost and disruption of a major reorganisation of MPI would have challenged the spending pledges that the Labour government have made and this proposal has been developed to provide greater clarity and unity of purpose for the four portfolio areas. Minister O’Connor added that the government is seeking enhanced visibility of government policy and regulatory activities with clear lines of accountability to and engagement with stakeholders. The Director General of MPI is now charged with delivering the revised structure while ensuring prudent and efficient use of taxpayer money.