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NZ: Government says no to PSA bank guaranteesThe government of New Zealand is not ruling out further assistance for a kiwifruit industry struggling in the face of PSA, but says that this is not likely to come in the form of bank guarantees.
Growers made their calls to government in the wake of a new report that revealed that the industry was likely to face continuing financial difficulties for some years to come. Some growers have pointed out that, as a result of disease decimated orchards, their properties are worth less than the mortgages on them.
Minister for Primary Industries David Carter said that from the outset of the PSA outbreak, the Ministry for Primary Industries "has worked hand in hand with the kiwifruit industry to support growers in the management of the disease.
"This includes a Government contribution of NZ$25 million, matched by industry, for a disease fighting fund," Carter said in relation to the government's initial response to the outbreak.
"The Government is continuing to work with the industry to consider what possible further assistance may be given," Carter said.
Finance Minister Bill English told media in Parliament Buildings on Thursday afternoon the government had already put NZ$25 million toward helping the industry.
"It's unlikely we'll be offering them bank guarantees," he said.
"People can always approach the government, but we've already put in NZ$25 million in cash, and that's been pretty helpful for them."
Publication date: 5/11/2012
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