New Zealand First Deplores Govt's Manuka Honey Wrecking Ball

New Zealand First deplores the government’s wrecking ball approach to manuka honey authentication.

“This authentication process began over three years ago and is now being delayed till the end of this year,” says New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“The government is meddling in the definition of a manuka standard and it is destroying the manuka honey industry.

“National has claimed ownership of someone else’s good idea but meddled their way to its destruction.

“Why the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) has been so tardy on this matter needs explanation.

“Businesses and workers in the industry are on the rack because of the government’s ineptness. Valuable markets are being lost offshore.

“The Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) was built by science over 20 years, all of which is at risk now. The standard was needed against fake Manuka products.

“Why would MPI and National produce a test regime without scientific evidence that it would work?

“Manuka honey is now being devalued, degraded and stock piles are growing. It has been delay after delay since it was mooted in 2013 and enough is enough.

“After a bad growing summer processors have halted growth-related investment.  We won’t know until next summer just how many apiarists have given up, but we know there will be casualties of businesses and workers and this government is entirely to blame. 

“New Zealand First challenged this process from the beginning and we are saddened to have been proved right. I well remember all the hype of Mr Joyce visiting Kerikeri to boast about the government’s involvement.

“Like the by-election in March 2015 it would have been better if he had stayed well out of the place.

“We will scrap MPI’s wrecking ball, apologise to the entire industry for National’s stuff-up and adopt Unique Manuka Factor asap,” says Mr Peters.