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Trans Tasman Agency plan suffers another set-back

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Trans Tasman Agency plan suffers another set-back

Health Minister Annette King’s plans to hand control of natural health products to an Australian-dominated agency suffered another set-back today.

The Australian Government has agreed to delay implementation of the proposed joint agency for 12 months, because the NZ Government lacks the votes to pass enabling legislation in Parliament.

The two countries had agreed to pass legislation by the end of last year, but National, The Green Party, United Future NZ, NZ First and ACT have all refused to support the plan, saying it will damage the local industry and advantage Australian companies.

One industry group opposed to the proposed agency, the NZ Health Trust, said that public and industry opposition to the proposal was gathering momentum, with thousands of people signing up to fight the Trans Tasman Agency proposal.

“There is evidence from both sides of the Tasman that this deal will cost New Zealand jobs and see consumers face less choice and higher prices,” said the Health Trust’s Amy Adams.

“Advisers to the Australian Government have advised it should not proceed, and that it will not benefit New Zealand in any way, but Annette King seems determined to keep trying to get it through,” Mrs Adams said.

ENDS

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