After the formal part of the meeting which included an update from the committee on the latest arrangements for the running of the upcoming National competition we heard from Daniel McGuire, the Napier Port Manager of Customs Service. He gave us a short history of the service and we learnt that it is the oldest government department. It was set up in 1840 to collect excise taxes of, mainly from alcohol in those days. But today it covers all duties of products coming and going into and out of NZ as well as the biosecurity of our boarders. For the 2013-14 year it dealt with 11 million visitors and collected $11.47 billion from fines, duties and excise. Much interest was around the alcohol excise and the regulations that commercial winemakers and brewers have to deal with. Thankfully we amateur makers are exempt so long as we don’t try to sell our product.
Brian won the raffle
David and Steve won Bronze medals for their Pilsner lagers.