After a lengthy testing process, the Ministry for Primary Industries has released its definition for mānuka honey.
The ministry has tested hundreds of plants and samples since 2013, when concerns were first raised about some mānuka honey not being true to its label.
Minister of Agriculture Damien O'Connor said honey would have to meet five requirements, before it could be sold overseas as mānuka.
"MPI will put in place a standard, based on four chemical markers and one DNA marker, which will be a requirement for all people who are exporting mānuka honey," he said.
"They will have to have that tested and that will then be true to label, and that is something that traders in China and the UK have been seeking for some time."
Mr O'Connor said it was an important step in safeguarding the value of this country's mānuka trade, estimated to be worth about $180 million.
'It's quite a significant trade and one that has been at risk by partners who haven't been assured that what they're buying is in fact true to label."
"What we did know was that there was more more mānuka honey being sold than was being produced in New Zealand, so obviously some cowboy operators were mixing honey that wasn't true to form and that's not good for the customers, some of whom are paying upwards of $44 a kilogram."
Mr O'Connor said the definition was based on robust scientific work, which was peer reviewed by international experts.
He acknowledged the long delays in getting to this point and how that might have frustrated some beekeepers. But he said it had been a challenging process.
"This won't please everyone, but we believe it's absolutely necessary and scientifically robust and while not be perfect, it's best international efforts to get this right."