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Integrity Must Be Upheld

22 March 2004

Integrity Must Be Upheld

Dairy Farmers of New Zealand (DFNZ) is pleased that regulators have acted to uphold the integrity of New Zealand's food export system after allegations of fraud linked to a $50 million milk powder export scandal.

"New Zealand is a trading nation that has forged a reputation as an honest and reliable place to do business. It is imperative that New Zealand maintains that reputation," said Kevin Wooding, Chairman of DFNZ, an industry group of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

Today's Dominion Post reports that seven people have been charged with fraud over the so-called 'Powdergate' scandal after an 18-month SFO investigation.

An initial probe was carried out by the predecessor of the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA), which aims to enhance New Zealand's reputation as a trusted supplier of food. The investigation was later passed to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

"Though farmers would have preferred the events dubbed 'Powdergate' had never happened, we are pleased the NZFSA and SFO have taken steps to bring this incident to a conclusion."

Ends

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