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National Offers Govt Support Over ENZA Problems

National would most certainly support legislation to ensure growers are not unfairly made to pay for foreign exchange losses belonging to ENZA, Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley said today.

Mrs Shipley was commenting on proposals promoted by Nelson MP Nick Smith.

"Crown Law advice clearly shows that ENZA is wrongly deducting income from growers.

"National is normally very reluctant to interfere in commercial contracts. In this instance we would much prefer that ENZA were able to come to an agreement with growers. If they don't Parliament should act. The worst outcome would be years of protracted legal proceedings and a divided industry.

"If a speedy resolution is not achieved, National would support amendments to put this matter right. This can be achieved by changes to the Government's bill that deregulates the apple industry.

"National also supports a thorough and independent inquiry into the foreign exchange losses. There is significant uncertainty over the magnitude of the losses and the decisions that caused them.

"As an exporting nation, we need to know what went wrong so we can minimise such losses in the future," Jenny Shipley said.

Mrs Shipley said she was making the statement prior to the Agriculture Minister's meeting with ENZA today to ensure he knows he has cross-party support to take a firm position with the company.


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