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Major NZ conference to map wine industry future

News release - 17 November 2006

Major New Zealand conference to map wine industry future

A conference aimed at mapping the next steps in the sustainable growth and global competitiveness of New Zealand’s wine industry takes place in the Hawke’s Bay next week.

Planning for the Wine Industry – Sustaining and Maintaining Growth will be held over November 22-23.

Organised by New Zealand Winegrowers and Bell Gully, key legal advisers to the wine industry, in partnership with the Ministry for the Environment, Local Government New Zealand and Hastings District Council, it is New Zealand’s first land use planning conference drawing together the wine industry, territorial authorities and central government.

Key industry players will come together to discuss issues and options for policy to secure future global competitiveness for New Zealand’s wine industry, while meeting the objectives of the Resource Management Act.

Bell Gully senior partner David McGregor, counsel for New Zealand Winegrowers which represents the industry’s national and global interests, says the conference has been borne from a growing recognition that New Zealand must plan for the future now to remain globally competitive. The involvement of local government and central government in the process is critical.

“New Zealand continues to produce more wine than ever before – and there are no signs of the growth abating. This year for the first time more than 100 million litres of New Zealand wine has been sold already and our national vineyard is growing by about 2000 hectares a year.

“There is great potential for us to further stamp our mark on the global palate but there are also key issues and actions needed to ensure we can maximise the opportunities in a sustainable way meeting the needs of winegrowers and the wider community,” says David McGregor.

He says the conference is aimed at providing a springboard for developing policy and guidelines for planning for viticulture, an initiative backed by the Ministry for the Environment .

Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule and Environment Minister David Benson-Pope will open the conference at the Hastings District Council on Wednesday, November 22, and the following day will see a range of speakers and subjects for discussion at the Mission Estate Winery in Napier.

On the agenda are issues including:
- strategic rural land use;
- district plan provisions for cross-boundary effects;; and o
- sustainable development; and
- developing a planning guideline for viticulture addressing RMA issues such as noise,
rural/residential subdivision, traffic and parking.

ENDS

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