He didn't mention the ongoing WTO disputes. The most recent one, by Indonesia, should have a final report out in the second half of 2016. I am not a lawyer; I expect that the Prime Minister's statement about NZ being on strong legal ground if it mandates plain packaging means he reckons Australia will win in the set of WTO disputes.
There's no good outcome of the WTO fights. Either WTO rules against Australia and NZ winds up being in WTO trouble if it goes ahead with plain packaging, or it rules in favour of Australia and we wait to see which country wishes to be first to impose plain packaging on wines including New Zealand's. Otago public health has suggested plain packaging for soda....
- Plain Packaging and Evidence. In which I went through some of the arguments on plain packaging and smuggling.
- It's hard to tell what the effects of plain packaging are if you bundle them with simultaneous tax hikes. But you might need simultaneous price hikes to counter downshifting in brands and consequent increased consumption at the lower price point, if you want to reduce consumption.
- If NZ is determined to do it, why not roll it out as a policy trial to try and figure out what the effects actually are?
- On the consumption value of beautiful packaging.