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Key scolds Carter for loose Crafar farm talk

Monday 24th May 2010

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Prime Minister John Key has advised Agriculture Minister David Carter not to make further public comment about the fate of the bid by Chinese investment interests for farms in the failed Crafar family's dairy empire.  

Carter was reported today as saying he thought "there is no show of that purchase ever taking place", based on media coverage of the issue.


Key, however, was in damage control mode at his post-Cabinet press conference on the issue this afternoon.


"I wouldn't draw that conclusion," he said of Carter's comments on the bid by Chinese investors behind UBNZ Ltd, which are seeking to purchase 16 farms from the Crafar family holdings, and are in the hands of receivers Korda Mentha. The Overseas Investment Office would make recommendations to two Ministers, Simon Power and Maurice Williamson.


"I wouldn't want to prejudice the position," said Key, who confirmed he had spoken to Carter about the remarks and told him: "I don't think we should make comments in that regard."

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