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WTO Apple Intervention Welcomed

Media Release

23 January 2008

Apple Exports to Australia Promote a Healthier Economy

New Zealand First welcomes intervention from the World Trade Organisation to investigate Australia’s refusal to lift its 80 year ban on imports of New Zealand apples.

“We support Kiwi growers’ endeavours to break into the Australian apple market,” said New Zealand First agriculture spokesperson, Doug Woolerton.

“Australia’s stringent regulations are not scientifically justified and contravene world trade rules.

“New Zealand First believes that gaining access to the Australian apple market is a priority and we had always advocated that the matter be referred to the World Trade Organisation.

“Australia’s argument that they run the risk of contracting fire blight would appear to be unfounded according to scientific research. Even Japan, who had had the same concerns, relented after seeing the evidence against the likelihood of such an outbreak occurring in their own backyard.

“A breakthrough into the Australian market could mean an enormous potential return for New Zealand apple growers,” said Mr Woolerton.


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