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Australian ban on NZ apples unacceptable

Hon Dr Lockwood Smith National Party Foreign Affairs & Trade Spokesman David Carter National Party Agriculture Spokesman

23 March 2005

Australian ban on NZ apples unacceptable

Australia’s continued ban on the import of New Zealand apples is unacceptable, say two National MPs.

The frustration of apple growers was strongly demonstrated at a Havelock North meeting last night, attended by more than 200 people.

“Unless substantial progress is made by Labour between now and the election, National would instruct officials to begin a World Trade Organisation case immediately after the election,” says National’s Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman, Lockwood Smith.

Agriculture spokesman David Carter says the science is clear, as demonstrated by a United States case against Japan –fireblight is not spread by mature apples.

“The apple industry is under enough pressure as it struggles along with the rest of rural New Zealand from huge compliance costs imposed by Labour, without having to face a ban based on a fallacy,” says Mr Carter.

The MPs say New Zealand has played the fair trade argument with honesty.

“Silent Sutton and Labour must demand that Australia do the same,” the MPs say.


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