Deep pockets needed to bring pandas 'fantasy project' to New Zealand

share

Source:

1 NEWS

Taxpayer dollars may be used to help bring giant pandas to New Zealand.

The cost of getting and keeping China's iconic bear at Wellington Zoo is estimated to run into the tens of millions and Prime Minister John Key has even suggested we could send endangered kiwis to China to help secure a deal.

Prime Minister John Key says investing taxpayers’ money into the panda project will be good for the economy.
Source: 1 NEWS

Bronagh Key visited a panda enclosure in China last year while Mr Key attended the Apec summit and he says media found it far more interesting covering Bronagh with the pandas.

The prime minister said he will raise the subject with President Xi Jinping and he believes the project would be worthwhile.

"If you look at it internationally, cities that have got them have done very well out of them."

But some have labelled it a fantasy project, saying taxpayer money could be better spent.

Prime Minister John Key says he will talk to the Chinese president about a possible swap of kiwis for pandas.
Source: 1 NEWS

Wellington's Deputy Mayor is keeping an open mind. "We don't want to commit ratepayers to something that might not be affordable but we want to explore the opportunity fully because it might be a really good one," Justin Lester says.

However Labour leader Andrew Little says if the Wellington economy is dependent on the arrival of one or two pandas then "we are in serious trouble".

Prime Minister John Key says he will talk to the Chinese president about a possible swap of kiwis for pandas.
Source: 1 NEWS

Initial estimates show it could cost at least $10 million to set up a panda enclosure and even if the capital does get pandas it would only be a loan, typically for 10 years. At around a million dollars a year the council hopes there would be some financial backing from the government.

Councillor Paul Eagle believes that while he loves pandas the plan is "real fantasy stuff".

"As a council we haven't seen any report, no figures, nothing...I think it's really a pet project of a couple of councillors who have said hey what about this."

loading error

refresh