Local growers are celebrating after winning their fight against the relaxation of anti-dumping measures.

They have been lobbying against a proposed relaxation of the measures, which threatened the local canning industry.

Cabinet had agreed in principle to change the rules which would have resulted in anti-dumping duties only after damage to local industry was proven, with the duties removed after an Automatic Termination Period (ATP).

Dumping is illegal under World Trade Organisation agreements.


In an open letter to Tukituki MP Craig Foss, Hawke's Bay Fruitgrowers Association president Lesley Wilson said if the new regime came into place growers would remove trees and jobs would be lost.

The Golden Queen peach industry was worth $15 million to the Bay, she said.

"Add on top of this the Black Doris plum and William Bon Chretien pear industry, and indeed the production of other process fruit, then the effect on the Hawke's Bay economy will be significant.

"At a time when the Hawke's Bay economy is struggling, it beggars belief that the Government would be looking at introducing the ATP."

Mr Foss said he met ministers and tabled a growers' petition in Parliament.

"The Government has taken into account feedback from growers, as well as further analysis from officials that shows an ATP could have a negative impact on some industries," he said. "This is great news for local growers and for Hawke's Bay."

In June the Government identified a shipment of Greek peaches that fitted dumping criteria - it was to be sold for less in New Zealand than the price charged on the home market.

Heinz Wattie's managing director Mike Pretty welcomed the decision. "The decision is positive for the fruit industry and the broader community ... which feared that the proposed change would destabilise the industry in a way that would lead to the end of fruit processing."