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The Geographical Indications Act

The Geographical Indications (Wines and Spirits) Act 2006 establishes a legal framework for the registration of geographical indications relating to wines and spirits.

A geographical indication (GI) is a name, usually a regional name, that’s used to identify the origin of goods where some quality, reputation or other characteristic of the goods is related in some essential way to their geographical origin.

The Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Act 2006

The GI Act was brought into force in 2017. It provides a regime for registering New Zealand place names (eg, Marlborough, Hawkes Bay) as GIs, for wine or spirits. It also allows for foreign GIs for wines or spirits to be registered in New Zealand.

The GI Act was developed to help New Zealand wine and spirit makers:

  • promote and protect their product in competitive overseas markets
  • protect their reputation and build value
  • gain access to overseas markets where government-recognised GIs are required
  • register New Zealand GIs overseas
  • give consumers confidence in a product’s authenticity, assuring them of its value for money
  • take action if someone falsely claims a product comes from a certain region.

The Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Regulations 2016

The GI regulations set out the procedure for examination and registration of a GI, as well as the process for setting up the Register of Geographical Indications, which will be administered by the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ).

More information

More information on the GI Act, the GI Bill and the implementation process may be found at the following links: