Australia fights NZ over Manuka honey trademark

A battle is brewing between Australia and New Zealand over the naming rights of Manuka honey.

It stems from a decision by the UK Trade Mark Registry to allow Kiwis to trademark the term, because Manuka is the Māori name given to the tree.

The Australian Manuka Honey Association says the decision is unfair, and has hired lawyers to fight the trademark attempt.

They say Australian producers should be able to use the term because the country is home to more than 80 species of Manuka, compared to just one in New Zealand.

They also say Australian Manuka has exceptionally high levels of antibacterial activity, and claim that New Zealand's one species was originally migrated from Tasmania.

The UK Trade Mark Registry allows a period of time for interested parties to object to the ruling.