New Zealand’s complaint to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) about Australia’s continuing 86-year ban on NZ pipfruit imports has drawn a fierce riposte.
Australia has claimed New Zealand’s complaint is based on "shoddy" scientific methods, irrelevant trade figures and misleading legal arguments, according to local press reports.
The country has said that New Zealand's "lack of precision" means Australia can’t mount an informed defence.
The New Zealand complaint accuses Australia of delaying the apple approval process for eight years for political purposes, keeping the market closed to imports.
The ban on New Zealand pipfruit, primarily apples, has been in place since 1921 when it was introduced to stop the spread of diseases such as fire blight. The embargo has been a cause of contention between the neighbours for many years.