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NZ First Renews Calls For Action On Apple Access

14 June 2005

NZ First Renews Calls For Action On Apple Access

While New Zealand First trade spokesperson Dail Jones is pleased that the Government has finally acknowledged the importance of gaining access to the Australian market for New Zealand apple exporters, the Minister’s actions do not go far enough.

Mr Jones said the Australians had long used the fire blight argument as an excuse to block our apples, despite the fact that studies backed by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) showed there was no scientific evidence that mature apples can transmit the disease.

“The pressure on the Minister for positive action to be undertaken has been building for some time now and his inaction on this issue had painted a picture of his Government as one not prepared to stand up for our producers, lest we offend our neighbours, said Mr Jones.

“Unfortunately, the decision to place the issue on the agenda of a WTO sub-committee and not initiate full dispute settlement action falls short of the expectations of New Zealand First and industry members who expect a swift resolution to this issue. “We will not be giving up on this issue and will keep pressuring the Government until full and proper access is gained,” said Mr Jones.


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