INDEPENDENT NEWS

No Access for NZ Apples to Australia

Published: Fri 1 Dec 2006 11:17 AM
No Access for NZ Apples to Australia
New Zealand apple growers have been denied meaningful access to export to Australia, after the final Import Risk Analysis was released today.
Growers say Australia has blindly ignored World Trade Organsation rulings and international scientific evidence to keep New Zealand apples out.
In a joint statement today Pipfruit New Zealand (PNZ) and the Australian Apple Action Group (AAAG) called upon the Government to take immediate WTO action against Australia as already promised by New Zealand Government ministers.
Australia had resorted to an effective non-tariff trade barrier by imposing prohibitive conditions and excessive costs designed to make it uneconomic for New Zealand growers to export apples, they said.
PNZ chairman Ian Palmer said the industry will be meeting with New Zealand Government officials as soon as possible to request commencement of WTO proceedings.
He said the frustration was felt by all New Zealand stakeholders at both the process and outcome of Biosecurity's work - "It smacks of political science, not biological science."
"We hope the Government will show the intestinal fortitude to follow through with what is now a necessary process WTO action."
AAAG spokesmen Rupert Ryan and Phil Alison said growers would not give up the fight and would plan future actions to seek the support of New Zealanders.
"We have waited long enough. This application process has taken seven years in total we have been fighting this for 24 years and the ban has been for 80 years surely it is time for the New Zealand Government to act," they said.
ends

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