Government Stalls Manuka Standard (Again)

National’s complete mishandling of the permanent mānuka honey standard could end up costing people their jobs, says New Zealand First Leader and Northland Member of Parliament Rt Hon Winston Peters.


“Steven Joyce spent years boring the provinces about how committed National was to mānuka honey but like much of what National says it was hot air because the ‘interim’ standard turns three in 2017 and delays are costing the entire industry big time.


“Growers were promised that the vital mānuka honey definition was going to be released last year. It then became the end of January but National, keeping to form, has seen this slip to goodness knows when.


“According to Food Safety Minister David Bennett, the General Requirement for Export (GREX) ‘will be finished as soon as possible following consultation in 2017’. 


“That does not sound like it being next month which the industry was relying upon.


“If vacillation was an Olympic sport, Mr Bennett would win gold for New Zealand. 


“National needs to show leadership. Honey growers are hurting and this delay will result in people losing their jobs. It is that serious.


“Interminable consultation is now paralysis through analysis. This government needs to break the habit of a lifetime and make a decision,” Mr Peters said.