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New Zealand finally launches its own GI system

Wine regions such as Marlborough or Hawke’s Bay could enjoy greater international protection under New Zealand government plans to implement a legal system of Geographical Indications (GIs).
The government announced this week that they would put into practice the Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Act which was first passed in 2006 but is yet to be enforced.

GIs offer a guarantee that a product comes from a specific region and enjoys the qualities and reputation specific to that region – just like Champagne and Chianti for example.

The move was ‘warmly welcomed’ by generic body New Zealand Winegrowers, whose CEO Philip Gregan said: ‘It will equip the industry with the tools to protect its premium brand from misappropriation or misuse, as well as help secure market access in some regions.

A Bill to amend the Act will be introduced to New Zealand’s Parliament later this year, and the Act is expected to be passed by the end of 2015.