21 January 2021
[FYI request #14233 email]
Thank you for your email of 2 December 2020 requesting further information relating to the
2010 Funding Agreement between MPI and the Royal New Zealand Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RNZSPCA). Your request has been considered under the
Official Information Act 1982 (OIA).
The Government has increased funding for the SPCA’s and the Ministry for Primary
Industries’ (MPI) animal welfare compliance and enforcement functions. The Government
continues to introduce new animal welfare regulations to ensure MPI and the SPCA are able
to enforce compliance with animal welfare legislation.
MPI also provides funding to the SPCA for compliance and enforcement
purposes. This includes funding for animal welfare inspectors and auxiliary officers,
who are appointed under the Animal Welfare Act. Their primary focus is to investigate
cruelty, abuse, neglect and abandonment in companion animals.
You requested the following:
Could you please confirm that this was the current contract from 2010 until replaced
with the new contract signed 13 July 2020.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) can confirm that the agreement for funding, dated 1
July 2010 was updated to a new contract signed 13 July 2020.
You can view updated 2020 document here: https://fyi.org.nz/request/13531/response/51514/attach/3/SPCA%20Funding%20Agreement
Could you please advise what criteria exist for search warrants under the new
agreement and the criteria for laying information.
With the advent of the 2019 memorandum of understanding (MOU) between MPI and the SPCA,
operational policies and procedures are now contained in separate documents. As indicated by the
following section from the 2019 Performance and Technical Standards for Inspectors,
must have policies and procedures in place:
Compliance and Governance
Charles Fergusson Building, 34-38 Bowen Street
PO Box 2526
Wel ington 6140, New Zealand
SPCA must have in place a policy and procedure for search warrants which is adhered to
by inspectors when applying for and executing a search warrant.
The Animal Welfare Act 1999 gives an Inspector certain powers. An SPCA inspector may enter
properties and houses, vehicle, aircraft or ships to inspect an animal that might be in distress.
During their inspection they can take photos, make notes and record sounds or video of anything
they deem relevant to the inspection.
You can view The Animal Welfare Act 1999 here: https://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1999/0142/latest/DLM51264.html?search=ts_act%40bill
Could you also please confirm that these criteria are enforceable up to and including
the date when the new agreement was signed.
The criteria in the 2010 MoU, pertaining to search warrants and laying information’s are in place to
provide instruction and guidance for Inspectors. Non-compliance with the criteria by an Inspector
does not constitute a breach of legislation. A decision to enforce a non-compliance of the criteria
through an internal performance management process is the domain of the entity the criteria
relates to. In this case, the SPCA.
I trust the information provided is of assistance. Should you have any concerns with this
response, I would encourage you to raise these with the Ministry for Primary Industries at [email address].
Alternatively, you are advised of your right to also raise
any concerns with the Office of the Ombudsman. Contact details are: Office of the
Ombudsman, PO Box 10152, Wellington 6143 or at [email address].
Gary Orr Director Compliance Services