Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Act 2006 review

We are reviewing the Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Act 2006 (the GIs Act).

The GIs Act provides a registration regime for wine and spirits geographical indications only. Although the GIs Act entered into force in 2017, it was originally enacted in 2006 and has only had minor amendments made to it since. As of November 2022 there were a total of 27 registered geographical indications:  21 for New Zealand wine, two for foreign wine and four for foreign spirits.

The GIs Act was developed in the early 2000’s and was designed to specifically meet the needs of New Zealand wine producers, who were the only sector known for using geographical indications at that time. However, New Zealand’s food and beverage sectors have changed significantly since that time and it may be that other food and beverage producers have started to use geographical indications as part of their marketing strategies.

The driver for reviewing the GIs Act now is the conclusion of negotiations for a free trade agreement with the European Union, under which New Zealand has agreed to protect around 2,000 European geographical indications for food, wine, spirits and other beverages.  The GIs Act will be the legislative vehicle for protecting these European geographical indications.

Find out more about the free trade agreement:

New Zealand-European Union Free Trade Agreement(external link) — New Zealand Foreign Affairs & Trade

Release of a discussion paper

In connection with our work to implement protection for EU GIs required under the EU-NZ FTA we have released a discussion paper reviewing the GIs Act. The purpose of the discussion paper is to obtain information from:

  • Treaty partners, who we know from prior engagement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, have an interest in exploring how GIs could provide protection for mātauranga Māori domestically and internationally
  • food and beverage producers to better understand if the scope of the registration regime under the GIs Act should be extended
  • the public more broadly to understand what opportunities an extended GIs registration regime would provide to New Zealand
  • wine and spirits producers on whether there are any problems with the current regime under the GIs Act that we should look to address.

Find out more about the discussion paper and making a submission in response to the discussion paper here:

Have your say on EU-NZ Free Trade Agreement: Review of geographical indications law

Next steps

After the consultation on the discussion paper closes on 28 February 2023 we will use the information gathered to make recommendations to the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs on:

  • changes to the GIs Act to implement the EU‑NZ FTA
  • whether we should undertake further consultation on extending the registration regime for wine and spirits GIs to other products and, if so, what those changes should be made.
Last updated: 23 November 2022