No evidence pandas would boost economy
It's been revealed Prime Minister John Key has no evidence that pandas at Wellington Zoo would boost the economy despite offering taxpayers money to fund bringing them here.
Mr Key is keen on bringing panda's to New Zealand. He's even suggested exchanging them for kiwi.
He says cities exhibiting the creatures have done very well, but an Official Information Act response shows the treasury hasn't been consulted, and doesn't have any information about the costs or benefits of pandas to New Zealand.
It's reported Adelaide paid more than $10 million for its panda enclosure.
Labour leader Andrew Little says it's no surprise the Prime Minister doesn't have the figures.
"There is no basis to say having a panda would create millions of dollars' worth of benefit. Every article I've seen about pandas in zoos, other than zoos in China, is that they are a net cost over time," he says.
Mr Little says it's similar to Mr Key's claim that a new flag would bring billions of dollars' worth of benefits - which has no basis in fact.