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Wine industry strongly opposes MPI cost recovery proposal

Wine industry strongly opposes MPI cost recovery proposal

New Zealand Winegrowers (NZW) is strongly opposing a proposal from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to recover $2.9 million per year from the wine industry to meet the costs of its wine regulatory programme.

“Wineries currently pay just over $200 million each year in excise to the government” said Steve Green, Chair of New Zealand Winegrowers. “Payments have increased by $70 million, or more than 60%, in the past decade. From our perspective requiring the industry to pay an additional $2.9 million to MPI every year is manifestly unjustifiable”.

The MPI proposal for wine is part of a wider review of the fees MPI charges to primary industries for the services and activities it undertakes as part of New Zealand’s biosecurity and food safety systems. “Other major primary industries are subject to the MPI user-pays regime. However unlike the wine industry, none of those sectors also pay a product specific tax”, said Mr Green.

The New Zealand wine industry has been a stand-out performer in the New Zealand economy over the past decade. Exports have grown at a compound rate of over 13% per annum lifting from $435 million in 2005 to $1.33 billion in 2014 and are expected to reach $2 billion in 2020.

“We would have thought MPI, as part of the Business Growth Agenda, would have been looking at how its supports the wine industry’s growth, rather than imposing more costs on the sector. We already pay more than $200 million to the government each year and as far as we are concerned that is enough” said Mr Green.
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