30 Jun 2009

Losses from Australian apple ban put at $20m

9:28 am on 30 June 2009

Apple exporter Pipfruit NZ says being effectively shut out of the Australian market could be losing New Zealand up to $20 million per year.

Australia banned imports of New Zealand apples in 1921 due to the risk of fireblight.

The ban is now lifted, but New Zealand officials are at the World Trade Organisation to argue its rules on imports are too strict.

Pipfruit NZ chief executive Peter Beaven says this still may not be the final step.

If either party appeals, Mr Beavan says the final decision could take a further eight months.