29 Jan 2012

Key wants NZ apples into every part of Australia

1:16 pm on 29 January 2012

The Prime Minister says he will continue to raise with the Australian Government the refusal of Tasmania to accept New Zealand apples.

Last August, Biosecurity Australia cleared the way for New Zealand apple imports following a World Trade Organisation ruling that fears of the fruit carrying the disease fireblight were scientifically invalid.

It brought to an end a 90-year ban on the Australian import of New Zealand apples.

John Key, who was meeting with his counterpart Julia Gillard in Melbourne on Sunday, says the Australian Government has accepted the WTO's ruling on apples.

Mr Key says it is up to it to hold Tasmania to account.

"Tasmania, in the past in other rulings, has been quite slow. They're quite a small market but we'll leave that to the Australians.

"We've raised that issue and we'll contine to talk about that. But we're pleased with the way Australia has accepted New Zealand apples in, and accepted the rulings."

Mr Key says New Zealand has no intention, at this stage, of going back to the WTO over Tasmania's refusal to import apples.

After the leaders' meeting, Mr Key and Ms Gillard will be joined by ministers from both governments for a joint Cabinet meeting.

John Key says the relationship between the two countries couldn't be better.

"If you look at Australia we don't have a relationship that's more significant or comprehensive and it's a sign of the strength of that relationship that we're having another joint Cabinet Minster's meeting, only the second time it's ever happened.

"Australia doesn't do that with any other country."