The Prime Minister appears to have given up on bringing giant pandas from China to Wellington Zoo.
In a statement to ONE News, a spokesman for John Key confirmed there have been no conversations about acquiring the black and white bears since the cost of bringing them here was hotly debated last year.
"It’s a matter for Wellington Zoo," the statement says.
It was estimated it would cost $10 million to create a panda enclosure, with another $1.3 million each year to lease a pair from China.
The Government had lobbied hard for a deal, even suggesting New Zealand swaps two kiwi birds for two panda bears.
Today Wellington Zoo all but ruled the idea out, releasing a list of priority animals for the next decade, which did not include pandas.
It’s now interested in snow leopards, wombats and ring-tailed lemurs, saying it would find room for pandas if the Government covered the bulk of the costs.
City Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, who believed pandas would have "considerable conservation and economic benefits", has also changed tact.
A spokesman says "she has nothing further to add to discussion on panda bears".