Poll shows New Zealanders against Zespri monopoly
The company commissioned Colmar Brunton’s Consumer Link Research to conduct the poll, which surveyed 503 people between Mar. 29 and Apr. 4.
The survey showed the majority of New Zealanders were critical of the government promoting free trade on one hand while preventing it with the other.
In a letter to Prime Minister John Key, Turners & Growers chairman Tony Gibbs called on the government to repeal Zespri's monopoly powers, with the backing of 82% of respondents.
"New Zealand is a champion of free trade and yet has the world’s last remaining statutory monopoly, Zespri," he said.
"We cannot ask other countries to remove trade barriers when all New Zealand kiwifruit growers are forced to sell through Zespri, and owners of non‐Zespri kiwifruit varieties are banned from selling their fruit anywhere but Australia and New Zealand.
"Zespri has monopoly powers conferred upon it by Government, but is a private company, not a cooperative. Shareholding is not linked to production, so many ordinary growers are shut out because they cannot buy shares in Zespri.
Gibbs pointed out the government's own taskforce said Zespri's monopoly power should be revoked.
"New Zealand growers should have the right to choose which fruit they grow and who they sell to, especially considering there are now numerous innovative new kiwifruit varieties, but Zespri still only markets two," he said.
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