The Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) invests in long-term innovation programmes in partnership with industry to increase the market success of the primary industries.

Review of the PGP – 2018

What's happening?

The Minister of Agriculture has asked for a review of the Primary Growth Partnership. Until the review is complete, MPI will not be considering any new funding proposals.

However, this doesn't affect proposals under development that have already been approved. Business cases are being prepared for 9 new programmes that fall in this category. They will progress through the application process as usual.

MPI does not expect any current PGP programmes will be affected by the review. 

Once the review has been completed, the review team will present recommendations to the Minister of Agriculture. As the review progresses, updates will be posted on this web page.

Review process and timeline

The review, which started in January, is a 'desktop review' being led by MPI staff. It involves 2 phases: 

  • Phase 1: This involved evaluating existing governance and other documentation, such as progress review and programme completion reports, evaluations, and audits. It aimed to identify improvements to MPI's processes and systems, for example in the areas of governance, PGP programme application criteria, and providing assistance to applicants on business case development. 
  • Phase 2: This focused on outcomes and economic benefits to date from PGP programmes.

We've completed the assessment phase of the review and expect to finalise a report of findings and recommendations in June. We'll publish the report on the MPI website once the Government has had time to consider it, and agree on any resulting changes to the PGP.

What the PGP will achieve

The PGP aims to:

  • boost productivity, value and profitability in the primary sector
  • deliver long-term economic growth and sustainability across primary industries, from producer to consumer
  • encourage more private investment in research and development in New Zealand.

The PGP is a prime example of how MPI is helping primary industries to reach their maximum potential and to work towards goals like doubling the value of exports by 2025.

Read more about the PGP and each programme [PDF, 3.1 MB]

Find out more

Potential benefits worth billions of dollars

A recent report by New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) shows that the PGP could add up to $6.4 billion to New Zealand’s GDP from 2025, with the possibility of a further $4.7 billion if the aspirational stretch of programmes is realised, the innovations are taken up widely, and all the research and development is successful.

Read the NZIER report on the potential benefits of the PGP [PDF, 1.4 MB]

Who and what the PGP covers

PGP programmes cover the breadth of the primary industries: wool, dairy, fishing and aquaculture, meat, pastoral, bee keeping, forestry, wine, viticulture, and horticulture.

Programmes include focusing on areas like:

  • education and skills development
  • research and development
  • product development
  • commercial development
  • technology transfer.

Download the 2016-2017 Annual Report [PDF, 5.1 MB]

Current programmes

Around $759 million of government and industry funding has been committed to 22 PGP programmes to date, over their lifetime.

PGP committed investment ($ million) over time by sector (June 2017)

PGP Committed Investment ($ million) over time by sector

PGP funding arrangements

Government funding is released in stages after invoices are received for the work undertaken by contracted programmes.

As at 31 August 2017, total government funding paid to programmes underway was $244.26 million.

Good governance important

Good governance, monitoring, assurance, and evaluation are important to protect all the interests in the PGP.

Investment Advisory Panel

Decisions on PGP investment are made by the Director-General of the Ministry for Primary Industries, supported by advice from the Investment Advisory Panel.

The independent panel is an advisory group of up to 6 representatives, chaired by John Parker. It's responsible for assessing PGP proposals, and advising MPI on PGP investment decisions. It also gives advice to MPI on the monitoring of contracted programmes.

How to apply

The success of the PGP is dependent on industry groups coming up with ideas and being willing to back them with co-funding.

Video – PGP expo 2016 (5:00)

[Video footage of attendees and representatives at the Primary Growth Partnership 2016.]

Justine Gilliland, Ministry for Primary Industries: "The PGP is great for New Zealand in terms of looking right across the value chain. So we go right from on-farm or on-orchard or in the sea, right through to delivery to consumers. And it's enabling innovation right across that chain, and in terms of smart technologies and new high value products."

Dave Woods, Precision Seafood Harvesting: "The Primary Growth Partnership has meant that the funding has lowered the risk of taking on these innovative new concepts and bringing it through commercially. That lowered risk has allowed a collaboration of normally competitive companies to come together as a partnership. It's been a very inspirational to see this. The communication has been fantastic. Precision Seafood Harvesting is a seven-year programme, it's got three main partners with Moana, Sealord and Sanford. We've also got a research partner in Plant & Food Research. Initially, the program set out to commercialize a new concept in seafood harvesting. These are modular harvest systems, and they take the traditional trawl gear and take it into a very low fatigue low-velocity environment. What we're seeing is that the fish get a better chance of survival, and we also get a premium quality seafood at the end of it."

Michael Smith, Red Meat Profit Partnership: "The PGP has allowed, I suppose in our case, a lot of collaboration within the sector. So Red Meat Profit Partnership actually consists of ten partners, so you've got nine industry partners, six meat companies, two banks, and Beef & Lamb, which is the farmer's voice, and MPI, which provides the Crown contribution. What I suppose we've allowed to date is actually a lot of collaboration within the sector, and being able to utilize the partners and the breadth across the industry to bring together a number of things. If I look at for example the Farm Assurance Programme, we've been able to utilize the knowledge and experience from some of our partners to actually pull together a nationwide system."

Russell Dale, Steepland Harvesting: "The PGP programme has enabled us to really accelerate this programme, and to take on risky projects that the industry would have had difficulty funding on its own. The program was set up to improve the productivity and safety of harvesting on steep country.We had introduced mechanized harvesting on flat country and that resulted in significant benefits of safety and productivity. But we hadn't achieved those same benefits on our steep country where we're still reliant on people with chainsaws felling trees and people connecting logs onto wire ropes in very hazardous situations."

Brad Siebert, New Zealand Avocados Go Global: "The PGP's been a game changer for us. It's enabled us to do a lot of things that we had planned and now we understand how and why we want to do that. So it's enabled us to touch with a whole lot of people along the supply chain."

Andrew Fletcher, Transforming the Dairy Value Chain: "So our PGP programme, it's focussed right along the dairy value chain, from what's going on at the farm through to the science behind end products. We're five and a half years into a seven-year term, And we're just starting to see an awful lot of the science and the good work that we've done start to turn into commercial outcomes. Post farm gates one of the big achievements is, we've put an awful lot of science behind the mozzarella technology Fonterra was building, and enable that to really scale up and actually be a success. A lot of work around also cream, creating cream products used in food service application So the science behind how to make cream stay in good shape on a cream cake for 24 hours. This year Fonterra relaunched the Anmum brand with PGP science behind what's gone into it. So those are the big things post farm gate."

Martyn Dunne, Ministry for Primary Industries: "Today gives us yet again a demonstration of the benefits of having a product that the world wants. And it aims at the high-value end of the market rather than just a commodity-based process. And I'm sure those that are participating in it have seen the benefits of it, the benefits that many, not just from an economic point of view, growing our economy and growing their businesses, but growing the initiatives and the outcomes of those are manifest here in the demonstration, the expo, that you see around us."

Hon Nathan Guy, Minister for Primary Industries: "What we're seeing here today is all of these magnificent companies and industries that have come together right across the value chain. Whether it's red meat, dairy, seafood, forestry, lifestyle wines, pasture genetics, There's a huge amount happening. So this is fantastic, it's sophistication it's adding value it's growing the regions. It's a significant investment by government; 727 million dollars, 19 programmes. It's really exciting and having everyone together collaborating, that's one of the sorts of untold stories where industry and companies come together, collaborate, and ultimately it's about reaching our aspirational target of doubling the value of our primary sector exports by 2025."


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Who to contact

If you have questions about the PGP, email pgp@mpi.govt.nz

Once the review has been completed, the review team will present recommendations to the Minister of Agriculture.

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