Advanced Search | Help
NZ Government Media Release
4 June 1999
Food, Fibre, Biosecurity and Border Control Minister, Hon John Luxton, today expressed disappointment at the reported decision of the Government Administration Select Committee not to advance the Food Amendment Bill.
"The decision reflects Labour's political grandstanding after earlier agreeing to a bipartisan approach. They have done a U-turn at the 11th hour for purely political point scoring. It was at the Hon Jim Sutton's insistence that the Bill was first introduced prior to the Christmas recess. At that stage the Labour Party wanted this Bill," Mr Luxton said.
"Whilst the Government has other options if there is not adequate support for the Bill, it is likely to increase costs to the tax-payer."
Mr Luxton stated that the Select Committee had been fully briefed on reasons for the Bill. The rationale for the legislation was provided to the Committee by the Ministries involved and the Minister.
A new agency would provide greater consistency and improved consumer confidence in food safety. To date there has been no single agency in New Zealand focused on food safety. MAF has focused mainly on food for export, while a small unit in the Ministry of Health has concentrated on food for the domestic market.
"The opposition parties have by their actions slowed down moves towards further enhancing food safety for both our domestic consumers and the very important export sector," Mr Luxton concluded.
For more information:
(04) 471 9707 or (025) 433 716