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Wine Bill passed

Parliament passed the Wine Bill by a significant majority last night, approving a new approach to regulation in the wine industry, the New Zealand Food Safety Authority said today.

The Wine Act 2003 will come into force on 1 January 2004. It replaces the existing regulatory regime for wine currently administered under the Wine Makers Levy Act 1976 and the Wine Makers Act 1981.

Since the mid-1990s, New Zealand winegrowers have sought the development and introduction of new, industry-specific legislation capable of addressing the issues that face their rapidly developing industry. The wine industry and Government officials have negotiated their way to the new Act which provides for the regulation of domestic production and exports as well as allowing flexibility for the industry to develop and innovate.

NZFSA's Wine Programme Manager, John Barker, says the new legislation will provide a single integrated compliance system covering all aspects of wine production.

"The Act covers several areas. It allows for designing and setting wine standards for the production and identity of wine; managing food safety issues; facilitating export assurances; and protecting the reputation of New Zealand's wines," he said.

" It also promotes consultation with industry organisations ensuring this industry can continue to grow and expand."

After several years of negotiations, we are happy to have a brand new piece of legislation where industry and the NZFSA will work together to build an appropriate regulatory framework that adds value to the wine industry", Mr Barker said.

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