The Government will not take action against Tasmania for its continued refusal to accept New Zealand apples, Prime Minister John Key says.

The island state is holding out against the imports despite a World Trade Ruling rejecting Australia's 90-year ban on Kiwi apples, and Biosecurity Australia's final approval last August.

Australian growers fought hard to prevent the trade because of fears of allowing the devastating fire blight disease into their orchards.

Tasmania has refused to accept the WTO ruling.


Key, who is in Melbourne for talks with counterpart Julia Gillard and a joint meeting of the transtasman cabinets, said Australia had accepted the ruling and it was a matter for it to ensure it ultimately held Tasmania to account.

"Tasmania in the past in other rulings has been quite slow," he said.

"They are a pretty small market but we'll leave that to the Australians."

Key said the issue had been raised with Australia, but that New Zealand had been pleased at the way transtasman apple exports had been accepted.

"There have been one or two biosecurity issues and we need to continue to ensure we get them absolutely, perfectly correct.

"I know people have been working with the Australians to make sure of that,"

Asked if New Zealand would take action against Tasmania, Key said: "No, not at this stage."