Wine growing bludgers whine as tax payer will no longer pay their MPI compliance cost


Turns out the MPI has been under-charging wine growers for their compliance services, effectively propping up our wine industry with tax payers dollars.  It’s about to end.  Queue the whining.

New Zealand winegrowers say changes to the way the Ministry for Primary Industries wants to recover the cost of its wine regulatory programmes will cost the industry $2.9 million a year and are “manifestly unjustifiable”.

The ministry is reviewing how it recovers the costs of its biosecurity and food safety systems across the country’s primary industries, after under-recovering for several years as the volumes of exports grew, according to its consultation paper on proposed revisions to the cost recovery regime.

While taxpayers in part fund it, under legislation the industry which benefits from the work must shoulder some of the cost. This is the first review of the cost recovery regime since 2008.

Since 2009 the volume of wine exports has increased 56 percent to 320 million litres in 2014.

MPI’s proposed changes would recover $2.1M from the wine sector in the 2015 to 2016 year, from a forecast $170,000 forecast for this financial year.

Why should the tax payer shoulder any of the Wine industry’s biosecurity and food safety costs?  These should be shifted directly onto the industry, who will in turn shift it onto the consumers.  There is no justification for any tax payer support of private companies.

New Zealand Winegrowers calculates the proposed changes as costing the industry $2.9M annually, adding to the $200M it pays the Government in excise tax each year.

“From our perspective requiring the industry to pay an additional $2.9M to MPI every year is manifestly unjustifiable,” NZ Winegrowers chairman Steven Green said.

“Other major primary industries are subject to the user-pays regime, however unlike the wine industry, none of those sectors also pay a product specific tax.”

This is completely irrelevant to the argument, and NZ Winegrowers should get their grape stained fingers out of the New Zealand tax payer’s pockets.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.