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Wine industry opposes MPI cost recovery proposal

New Zealand Winegrowers is opposing a proposal from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to recover $2.9 million (A$2.75m) per year from the wine industry to meet the costs of its wine regulatory programme.

“Wineries currently pay just over $200m each year in excise to the government,” said Steve Green, New Zealand Winegrowers chair.

“Payments have increased by $70m, or more than 60 per cent, in the past decade. From our perspective requiring the industry to pay an additional $2.9m to MPI every year is manifestly unjustifiable.”

The MPI proposal for wine is part of a wider review of fees charged 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 Green.

The New Zealand wine industry has excelled in the New Zealand economy over the past decade, according to Green. Exports have grown at a compound rate of over 13 per cent annually, lifting from $435m in 2005 to $1.33 billion in 2014 and are expected to reach $2bn 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 $200m to the government each year and as far as we are concerned that is enough,” said Green.





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