Biosecurity Act compensation

We compensate people under the Biosecurity Act 1993 for a number of reasons – including to encourage early reporting of risk organisms (those that carry or may be infected with pests and diseases). Read our summary of what we compensate, why we compensate, and how to apply.


Why we compensate

We have a compensation scheme in place under the Biosecurity Act 1993. It's there for a few reasons, including:

  • to encourage people to report pests or diseases to MPI
  • to compensate people when the exercise of Biosecurity Act powers damages or destroys their property, or places restrictions on the movement or disposal of their goods.

We pay out compensation when Biosecurity Act powers are used to manage or eradicate an organism. These powers must cause a verifiable loss.

Read section 162A of the Biosecurity Act for full details of compensation provisions.

What's eligible for compensation?

Types of loss that can be eligible for compensation include:

  • healthy plants or animals that are destroyed or damaged under MPI’s direction to eradicate or manage an organism
  • loss arising from restrictions under Part 6 of the Biosecurity Act on the movement or disposal of a person's goods.

To be eligible for compensation, you must have taken every reasonable step in the circumstances to avoid loss. We'll help people subject to the exercise of Biosecurity Act powers by looking at options to reduce their loss - although they'll need to ask us to do this.

What's not eligible for compensation?

Types of loss that are not eligible for compensation include:

  • when you fail to comply with the biosecurity law in a serious or significant way, or in a way that contributed to the presence of spread of the risk organism
  • a loss suffered before the time the powers under the Act commenced
  • damage caused by the organism itself
  • loss resulting from the inability to sell, display, breed or propagate affected plants, animals or property that result from the status of the organism rather than the exercise of powers under the Act
  • a loss related to goods not given biosecurity clearance to enter New Zealand
  • for any voluntary action undertaken that is not a result of the exercise of powers under the Act
  • one year has elapsed since a loss occurred unless MPI considers that the delay in lodging the claim was caused by circumstances beyond your control.

How we calculate compensation

It's up to the organisation or individual incurring the loss to present a claim, which we then verify by evidence. We may ask for additional evidence if the information provided is insufficient to verify the loss.

We'll consider all claims for compensation, and offer payment where this is consistent with section 162A of the Biosecurity Act.

Ex gratia payments

Where a loss is incurred, but falls outside of what is compensable under section 162A of the Biosecurity Act, the Crown may consider providing an ex gratia payment on a case-by-case basis.

Apply for compensation

Use these documents to apply for compensation:

Further government assistance

During a response, other government agencies may be able to provide other forms of financial and non-financial support to industry, communities, or businesses in accordance with the Primary Sector Recovery Policy.

Who to contact

If you have questions about compensation, email info@mpi.govt.nz

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