Friday, June 05, 2015

And stinkier

Murray McCully's Saudi sheep bribe just keeps on getting worse:

Nearly 200 of the pregnant ewes flown to Saudi Arabia to stock an agri-business hub were bought by taxpayers from the same businessman the Government gave them to as part of a multi-million dollar deal.

A total of 900 pregnant awassi breed ewes were flown to Saudi Arabia for a "pilot research breeding programme" on a farm owned by Hamood Al Ali Al Khalaf in October 2014.

A spokeswoman for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise - one of the agencies involved in setting up the farm - said 195 were awassi ewes from Mathews Station in central Hawke's Bay, which is owned by Awassi NZ.

The rest of the sheep were bought from private on-farm sales and through an auction system.

Brownrigg, as lead provider, was responsible for that, NZTE said.

Al Khalaf's Awassi NZ Land Holdings company owns nearly a quarter - 24.9 per cent - of Brownrigg Agriculture Group.

So, just to make that clear, NZTE gave Hamood Al Ali Al Khalaf a pile of money to buy sheep for himself - and he bought them from himself. And MFAT thought this was OK. Whereas from the outside, it simply looks like blatant corruption.