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Hands off our apples!!

Hands off our apples!!

New Zealand's pipfruit innovations must not be sold for a pittance, Green Party Agriculture Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street said today.

An Australian research group has offered HortResearch a meagre $1.2 million for the Kiwi crown science company's "new variety" programme. Taxpayers are understood to have contributed up to $20 million to the research programme over the past 20 years.

Mr Ewen-Street said it would be a real mistake to flog off any more of the horticultural family silver for a small return.

"New Zealand is a world innovator and trendsetter in apple varieties in particular. To sell such valuable intellectual property rights for such a miniscule amount of money would be ludicrous.

"This would repeat the huge mistake New Zealand made with kiwifruit, where we sold our intellectual property rights and lost our competitive advantage.

"New Zealand's apple innovations are a Goliath on the world stage. Why would we deliberately sell ourselves short?" he asked.

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