The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is pausing the finalisation of the definition for mānuka honey until the end of the year.
"We have decided to take more time to fully consider the alternative definition industry provided during consultation," says Director Systems Audit, Assurance and Monitoring, Allan Kinsella.
"We will ask the industry to provide all the data and methodology that supports the definition they are proposing so it can be fully considered.
"MPI's focus has always been on ensuring the rules for exporting of mānuka honey are based on a robust and accurate scientific definition.
"These final rules will give other governments and consumers' confidence in the authenticity of New Zealand mānuka honey."
Developing a robust scientific definition for mānuka honey has never been attempted by any other regulator in the world.
It's a complex task, adds Mr Kinsella. We have undertaken a careful and thorough science programme over 3 years to get to this point. We are not prepared to rush it and we just want to take the time to get it right.