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Winery compliance costs announcement

Speech Notes

Rick Barker
List MP

Embargoed until 5pm today

Winery compliance costs announcement

15 October 2008

Speech notes for Hon Rick Barker at the launch of Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers ‘Wine Story’ and International Regional Tasting at the Hawke’s Bay Opera House

Thank you for the invitation to speak to you here today.

I would like to acknowledge the organisers of this event and everyone who has taken time out of their busy schedules to attend. These events, hosted by the Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers, create an excellent opportunity for the industry to get together, to share ideas and to celebrate the unique taste of Hawke’s Bay wine.

Congratulations to the prize winners at the recent New Zealand International Wine Show. I was pleased to note that Hawke’s Bay wineries were recognised particularly for the quality and taste of their chardonnay, winning 11 of the 19 gold medal awards given to New Zealand wines in this category. In particular, I would like to extend my congratulations to the Church Road winery, which now holds the Champion Wine of Show Trophy and the Champion Chardonnay Trophy for its Reserve Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2006.

As a long-serving Member of Parliament to our region, I fully appreciate the contribution that the wine industry makes here. This extends to vital employment, industry training, hospitality and tourism. Visitors to Hawke’s Bay are frequently making comments about the quality of their wine tour experience, which is a testament to the excellent service that you are able to provide.

It is my pleasure to announce here today a new initiative that will help to reduce the compliance costs for wineries selling wine from their cellar door.

My fellow Associate Minister of Justice and Minister of Commerce, Hon Lianne Dalziel, has been championing the cause of winemakers following the Quality Regulation Review. This review aimed to identify and reduce unreasonable compliance costs for businesses. I would like to acknowledge Lianne’s work in this area and to thank those of you who took the time to make a submission as part of that review.

Many of you sell wine under an off-licence, which grants the holder certain rights to sell liquor for consumption off the premises and to provide complementary wine for sampling on the premises. The Government agrees that wineries that sell wine from the cellar door under an off-licence present a low risk for the public, and for young people in particular, of alcohol-related harm.

We have, therefore, decided that these off-licence holders should be able to apply for a new “perpetual licence”. The holder of a perpetual licence will be exempt from the requirement to renew their licence every three years. These premises will also be exempt from the requirement to have a manager on duty who has completed the prescribed training. I note that a certified manager will still have to be onsite to supervise sales and will be responsible for ensuring that the winery complies with the terms of its licence and with the Sale of Liquor Act generally.

These changes are expected to bring significant savings of both time and money. The exemption from the licence renewal requirements will also remove the costs of advertising the application, which I understand was a key concern that many of you noted in your submissions on the Quality Regulation Review. It is expected that a much smaller annual fee will accompany the perpetual licence, to cover the costs of any monitoring and ongoing registration.
The privileges attached to a perpetual licence recognise that some licensed premises, such as off-licence wineries, do not pose the same risks associated with excessive consumption or liquor abuse by young people that exist elsewhere. Wineries with an off-licence tend to sell relatively small volumes of wine to consumers who are more interested in the taste of wine than in getting drunk.

A special case has been made for off-licence wineries, and the Government would like to implement these policies through legislation next year.

I would like to acknowledge Lianne’s work in this area and to thank those of you who took the time to make submissions as part of that review.

Thank you for your time today. I hope you have a pleasant evening.


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