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Legislation will boost recognition of Kiwi wines

24 June 2005

Legislation will boost recognition of Kiwi wines

The Geographical Indications (Wines and Spirits) Registration Bill that has been introduced to Parliament demonstrates the government's support for the growth of New Zealand's wine industry, Associate Minister of Commerce Judith Tizard said today.

The Bill updates the Geographical Indications Act 1994 and introduces a registration system for recognising and protecting geographical indications for wine and spirits.

A geographical indication indicates that a wine or spirit comes from a specific geographical origin and possesses a particular quality, reputation or other characteristic that arises from that place of origin. Famous international examples include Champagne for sparkling wine and Scotch for whiskey.

Judith Tizard said the proposed changes are aimed at streamlining the process for registering geographical indications and providing greater certainty for users of registered geographical indications.

Registration will be voluntary and existing measures to ensure truthfulness in labelling, such as the Fair Trading Act 1986, will continue to apply.

“New Zealand’s reputation as a producer of quality wines is growing all the time and increasingly our customers, overseas and domestically, are recognising distinctions between our wines from different regions, such as Marlborough and Hawke's Bay,” Judith Tizard said.

"The changes will provide important support for New Zealand wine branding efforts. Geographical indications are an important tool to help protect and exploit the marketing advantages these distinctions bring."

ENDS

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