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Exports And Jobs At Risk From Coalition Government Decision To Axe Therapeutic Products Act

A Coalition Government commitment to repeal the recently passed Therapeutic Products Act 2023 is a huge blow to the industry and threatens growth in jobs and exports.

"We are very disappointed at this agreement which flies in the face of the significant contribution the industry makes to our economy through exports and jobs," said Samantha Gray from Natural Health Products NZ.

"The industry exports $640 million of therapeutic products every year and employs thousands of New Zealanders but we are once again being left high and dry by this decision which we are struggling to understand.

"We waited so long for the Therapeutic Products Act to be finally passed this year and while it’s far from perfect, it provided a long-awaited regulatory framework to allow the industry to take a big step forward.

"We are seeking urgent clarification of exactly what is intended, as the previous regime for regulation of products in the natural health sector was decades out-of-date, confusing and not fit for purpose."

Natural Health Products NZ is the peak industry body representing around 80% of the sector whose members range from small businesses to companies employing thousands of New Zealanders, across manufacturing, distribution, research and retail. Our members include New Zealand’s most trusted natural health products suppliers and brands.

"We were really hoping the new regulations currently being drafted that will underpin new Act would unlock the export potential of our industry. Our members estimate exports could roughly double with the right suite of regulations. Now the proposed repeal of the Act shuts the door on this, shackling what is a $2.3 billion industry.

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"Right now, consumers are prevented from knowing about the evidence-based health benefits of products for sale in New Zealand. Manufacturers and producers are hamstrung by a dysfunctional system that has not been kept up to date. Further delay in regulatory reform puts the entire industry at risk.

"We urgently need a regime that encourages innovation and export and reassures consumers about safety and quality. This should fit squarely in the new Government’s economic growth agenda. We call on the new Ministers of Health, Trade and Innovation to meet with us urgently on this matter," said Samantha Gray.

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