7 Mar 2012

MAF to be renamed

7:23 am on 7 March 2012

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is to be renamed the Ministry of Primary Industries.

MAF was merged with the Ministry of Fisheries and the New Zealand Food Safety Authority during the first term of the National-led Government in 2008.

Primary Industries Minister David Carter says the new name reflects the range of government work the ministry carries out, including horticulture, aquaculture and biosecurity.

Mr Carter says it will cost about $800,000 to change signage and uniforms, but with the merging of food safety and fisheries back into MAF, it was faced with much of that expense anyway.

He says there has been strong support from primary industry groups for the name change.

That includes Federated Farmers which called for the name change two years ago.

President Bruce Wills says it will improve the co-ordination of the different industries in the sector.

The ministry has been in existence as MAF since the 1970s. Before that it was the Department of Agriculture.

The new name comes into effect on 30 April this year.