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Sharemilkers To Continue Contest

3 November 2000

"Disappointed but understanding," is how the Chairman of the Sharemilkers' Section, Conall Buchanan, described sharemilkers' reaction to the Bank of New Zealand's withdrawal from national sponsorship of the Sharemilker of the Year contest.

"The Bank of New Zealand has had a long and enthusiastic sponsorship relationship with the Sharemilkers' Section of Federated Farmers, the owners of the Sharemilker of the Year competition."

"Sharemilkers are passionate about the Sharemilker of the Year competition," said Mr Buchanan, who confirmed that many regional competitions would still continue.

"The competition has grown in size and status as a direct result of the Bank's involvement, but has now reached a stage where sufficient financial support was not able to be found to retain a nation-wide competition at the level it had achieved."

"Sharemilkers understand such investment decisions but are nevertheless disappointed that the excellent relationship with the Bank of New Zealand has to be wound back. The strength of that relationship, and the Bank's commitment, is demonstrated by the Bank's willingness to continue sponsoring the regional competitions, and we are pleased about that," said Mr Buchanan.

"In some ways, it is getting back to the regional origins of the competition. It provides an opportunity to restructure the competition so that it has a more secure financial basis at the national level in the future, and can better balance the needs of sharemilkers and sponsors."

"We are very grateful for our past association with the Bank of New Zealand over the competition and are confident that the relationship will continue in a very positive way, albeit at a lower level of support," concluded Mr Buchanan.

ENDS For further information: Conall Buchanan 025-333-674 Greg Maughan 025-722-986

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