[07 March/Radio NZ]

Over 75 percent of commercial beekeepers voted against a levy from Apiculture New Zealand (ApiNZ). The levy is asking for all 1734 beekeepers in New Zealand with 26 hives or more to pay a levy of 10 cents on each kilogramme of honey. ApiNZ reported that most other primary sector industries have a levy system, and one in apiculture would enable investment in research, biosecurity and market development. Voting ran throughout February and of 1057 voters, 76.4 percent said they did not support the proposal. The proposal caused some divisions in the honey sector with Beekeepers New Zealand, a different industry group urging its members to reject the levy as they argued beekeepers were already struggling financially due to poor prices for non-mānuka honey.