Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


MAF officials visit Australia for fireblight talks

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry officials would visit Australia next month to meet with Australian counterparts to discuss the report proposing the strictest conditions in the world on the importation of New Zealand apples, Agriculture and Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Biosecurity Australia, the agency responsible for assessing whether to allow plant and animal imports into Australia, made public the draft import risk analysis on New Zealand apples last Wednesday (October 11).

New Zealand has been trying to export fruit into Australia for 78 years but has been continually barred, for fear they might carry fireblight, a disease affecting apple trees.

New Zealand maintains that fireblight is not transmitted by mature fruit.

Mr Sutton, who returned to New Zealand today after attending the Cairns Group of agricultural trading nations meeting in Canada last week, said he would take advice from officials and expert scientists and would carefully consider the import risk analysis (IRA) report.

"If this is not scientifically based, we will take appropriate action. We will certainly be making a submission under the IRA process."

The interim risk analysis is subject to 60 days of consultation, before a final decision is made, probably some time in the new year.

MAF and Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry officials met ENZA and other apple industry groups last Thursday to discuss the IRA proposals, Mr Sutton said. Industry participants told officials that preliminary study of the proposals suggested that apple exports to Australia under the "unjustifiably restrictive" conditions were likely to be uneconomic.

Mr Sutton said MAF officials would visit Australia next month to talk to Australia counterparts, before a New Zealand Government submission was made as part of the IRA consultation process.

Mr Sutton said the IRA report was "pretty disappointing" but the process was not over yet.

He said there was an opportunity for all interested parties to make comments or raise objections of the IRA.

"Australians have had a generation of propaganda that portrays fireblight as the foot and mouth of the horticultural industry ? but it is nothing of the sort. Their fears are unwarranted.

"The risk of infection is minimal and their own scientific report concedes there is absolutely no scientific evidence that fireblight has ever been spread through trade in fruit."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Dealing Crackdown, Addiction Support: Government Action On Synthetics

The NZ Drug Foundation has welcomed the Government’s response to synthetic drug deaths. The response strikes a balance between giving law enforcement the tools they need to target criminal networks and changing drug law to make it easier for people to access help when they need it. More>>


Strategy Committee Unanimous: Wellington To Forge Ahead With Convention Centre

The three-storey Cable Street building, with around 18,000-square metres of floor space, will comfortably be able to host 1500 people for conventions. It includes a 1651sq m exhibition area that will attract international exhibitions too big for nearby Te Papa and provide an always-changing visitor attraction. More>>


Surveying The Surveillance: First IGIS Review Of Warrants Under New Act

The report sets out the Inspector-General’s interpretation of the new warrant provisions under the ISA and her expectations of the GCSB and NZSIS when they prepare warrant applications. More>>

SSC: 2018 Public Service Workforce Data Published

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has published the 2018 Our People, Public Service Workforce Data , which shows the Public Service is making significant progress in important areas. More>>


Sinking Cap: Auctions, Permanent Forests, Added To ETS

The move to auctions, signalled in an August consultation paper, will help put a cap on the number of emission units available over time. Annual announcements, looking forward five years, will help provide certainty for scheme participants, she said. More>>


Joint Select Committee Report: Achieving Smokefree 2025

In a historic first for select committees, the Māori Affairs Committee and the Health Committee presented their joint report on achieving the Smokefree 2025 goal to the House on Tuesday, 11 December 2018. More>>

"Shared Interests And Democratic Values": Peters To Visit USA

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington D.C. for talks with US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and other senior members of the US Administration. More>>




InfoPages News Channels