22 Jul 2004

New Zealand signals easing of taro import restrictions

11:48 am on 22 July 2004

New Zealand has signalled it may ease restrictions on the importation of Fiji taro.

New Zealand's trade negotiations minister, Jim Sutton, says the fumigation to eliminate a mite may no longer be needed because the mites cannot survive in New Zealand's climate.

After talks with Fiji ministers in Suva, Mr Sutton says this non-tariff barrier may be phased out:

"I believe we can do that and we are able to indicate a timeline for this project which is under way now. That relieves a little tension that's certainly been important to our Pacific trading partners."