April 23, 2019
Science sticking point in Manuka honey fight
A dispute over the grading of Manuka honey in the north is getting ministerial attention.
Ngāti Hine producers have complained their honey isn't passing the new tests for Manuka content set by the Ministry for Primary Industries, and their business is uneconomic without the premium paid for Manuka.
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says Manuka is an important part of the Government's billion trees strategy, and both honey and Manuka oil and important byproducts.
He will meet with Primary Industries Minister Damian O'Connor and Te Taitokerau MP Kelvin Davis to discuss some options.
"I cannot comment on how the scientists have arrived at where they are but at this stage the scientists haven't had the last word. We are going to try to identify where our government scientists are coming from and where the scientists representing the Māori interests and not only the Māori interests, all of the honey players up north," Mr Jones says.
There was a suggestions Ngāti Hine hadn't planted enough Manuka to meet its projections, so its leaders need to pick up shovels, wake up the nefs and go plant some trees.
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