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Review Of NZ Wine Industry Legislation Underway

MAF Update - http://www.maf.govt.nz

Review Of The New Zealand Wine Industry Legislation Underway

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is inviting submissions from the public on a recently released discussion paper, Review of Wine Legislation.

A copy of the paper can be obtained from MAF. Submissions close 2 February 2001.

The objective of the review is to determine the most effective and efficient regulatory environment to support the New Zealand wine industry, both now and into the future, and to determine the roles and responsibilities of industry participants.

The review is relevant to both the grape and non-grape wine industries.

The discussion paper raises issues for consideration for those interested in the New Zealand wine industry, provides information to stimulate discussion on what role and involvement various parties should have in the wine industry, and presents options for any future industry regulation.

Standards and standard setting, export certification, responsibilities for compliance and enforcement activities, and funding of industry activities are considered central to the review and are specifically covered in the discussion paper.

For the review, MAF looked at current wine industry related legislation (Wine Makers Act 1981, Wine Makers Regulations 1990, and Wine Makers Levy Act 1976). The wine industry, through the Wine Institute of New Zealand highlighted gaps in current legislation that have the potential to affect the New Zealand wine industry, as it becomes more export focussed.

Exports are now a dominant feature of the industry and have increased dramatically over the past ten years. Thirty two percent of New Zealand wine production was exported in 2000 compared with seven percent in 1990. The increase in the value of wine exports has been even more dramatic, with export earnings in 2000 up 35 percent from 1999 figures, and almost eleven times the export value in 1990. The increase in value over volume reflects the fact that New Zealand wines are increasingly being sold in the higher priced segments of international markets. Wine Institute projections suggest that wine exports will grow to $375 million by 2005, and to around $600 million by 2010.

The paper presents four options for future regulation. These are: maintaining the status quo; a proposal developed by the Wine Institute of New Zealand; an alternative proposal based on principles found in recent legislation (the Commodity Levies Act 1990, the Food Amendment Act 1996 and the Animal Products Act 1999); and the revocation of wine-specific legislation.

The discussion paper has been developed by an inter-departmental review team lead by MAF, which includes the Treasury, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the New Zealand Customs Service.

Any electronic copy of the wine legislation review can be obtained from the MAF website. A hardcopy can be obtained from the MAF Information Bureau, PO Box 2526, Wellington.

For further information contact: Lisa Winthrop, Policy Analyst, MAF Policy on 04-498-9821.


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