6 Mar 2009

PNG Government to try and tax New Zealand's mutton flaps off their market

11:11 am on 6 March 2009

The Health Minister of Papua New Guinea, Sasa Zibe, says his Government is going to call on New Zealand's help to end the import of mutton flaps into the country.

Other Pacific countries, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands have been critical of New Zealands export of the cheap meat, blaiming it for worsening obesity and diabetes.

The New Zealand government has previously said it doesn't agree with banning the trade outright but that it would work with Pacific countries to improve the quality of the meat, to reduce the fat content of the mutton flaps and to reduce consumption of fatty meat products.

But Mr Zibe says his Government is planning a hefty import tax to discourage the trade and will ask New Zealand to help end the trade.

"Our NAC and the parliament are agreed that we will certainly do that. The best way to do this is to raise the import tax and we are going to place a very high import tax on this."