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Govt battle to keep $600,000-plus deal secret

Government concedes battle to keep $600,000-plus deal secret

The Government has conceded a battle to keep a $600,000-plus deal secret, a North Canterbury farmer said today.

The Government has paid out $600,000 to Mt Oxford farmer Mark Feary in return for dropping three proceedings in relation to their 1780ha Mt Oxford property.

Mr Feary said he had previously been threatened with `breach of deed’’ if he had told anyone about the settlement.

The Oxford property has gone back into Government control.

The Government must also compensate Mr Feary by returning Mt Oxford to him freehold and must find ``an effective farming area of not less than 850ha’’ or the equivalent in value.

Mr Feary’s counsel Willie Palmer of Buddle Findlay said the high country land deal case had been complex.

``This has been a long and difficult journey for a New Zealand farming couple and hopefully full and final settlement is in sight.’’

Mr Feary said that the settlement will be of significant interest to other high country farmers.

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