28 Jun 2010

Key may swap pandas for kiwi

6:51 pm on 28 June 2010

Prime Minister John Key says he is will pursue the idea of leasing two giant pandas from China for 10 years, when he visits the country next week.

Mr Key says it would be very expensive: as well as an annual leasing fee, there would be the cost of building a special enclosure, and hiring specialist panda staff.

Mr Key will visit China during a trip to Asia next week.

He says offering kiwi as a possible trade for the pandas is an option, given the national significance of the two species to China and New Zealand.

Mr Key says the Government would make sure any kiwi involved in a swap were treated properly in China.