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

 


Greens Hoping For Full Ban On US Grape Imports

Green Party MP Ian Ewen-Street today said he was hoping for a full ban on the import of grapes from the United States and Mexico, as such imports threatened to decimate New Zealand's $2 billion wine industry.

New Zealand MAF officials placed a suspension on grape imports from Mexico and the United States at the end of the last importing season as vineyards in California and Mexico were ravaged by Pierce's disease which is spread by a small cicada-like insect called the glassy winged sharpshooter.

This suspension will now continue into the next importing season which begins in late May.

"The Greens have been hugely concerned at the possibility of Pierce's disease ever making its way into New Zealand, and continuing to import grapes from affected areas would have been absolute madness," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"We are really pleased that one of the biggest biosecurity threats facing this country in terms of economics has been halted but the sooner this ban is formalised the better for our crucial wine industry," he said.

Mr Ewen-Street said he was pleased that a comprehensive risk analysis was being conducted as any concrete ban on these grape imports could potentially open New Zealand up to action under the WTO.

"Australia has recognised this risk to their wine industry and have banned American and Mexican grapes and, as a result, they are now being threatened with WTO action," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"The Green Party are really pleased that New Zealand's wine industry has been spared the risk of another season of imported US and Mexican grapes," said Mr Ewen-Street. "The threat to our wine industry of continuing to import cannot be overstated.

"We are pleased this message appears to be getting through and now hope that every possible step available will be taken to protect our valuable wine industry."

Ian Ewen-Street will be visiting California early next month to look first hand at the damage done to the region's viticulture by Pierce's disease and to look at the internal biosecurity measures implemented to try and minimise the damage.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news