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Renewed calls for Zespri investigation

Renewed calls for Zespri investigation

The ACT Party (Association of Consumers and Taxpayers) has renewed its call for a government investigation into Zespri, after a Chinese court turned over an appeal against smuggling charges.

Zespri has been ordered to pay reparations for “illegal gains”, which could reach $ NZ10 million and a Chinese Zespri subsidiary employee has been imprisoned for five years.

ACT says that the government is forcing exporters to go via Zespri and should, therefore investigate what it calls an abuse of privilege.

“Zespri’s actions have impacted on the whole Kiwifruit industry and all New Zealand growers are being caught up in this scandal,” ACT primary industries spokesman Robin Grieve said.

Grieve criticised the New Zealand Kiwifruit growers investigation of Zespri, saying that the two organisations are far too close to each other for an objective analysis.

“…staff share the same building and the same lunch room,” Mr Grieve said.

Zespri says it began an overhaul of its Chinese operations following the arrest of the importer.


Publication date: 7/18/2013