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eBay: New Zealand Not for Sale

May 12, 2006

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ New Zealand is not for sale, despite somebody in neighboring Australia trying to offload the nation of 4 million to the highest online bidder.

With a starting offer of just one cent, brisk bidding for the prime chunk of South Pacific real estate quickly boosted the price to $2,330 before eBay pulled the plug on the auction this week.

``Clearly New Zealand is not for sale,″ eBay Australia spokesman Daniel Feiler told the New Zealand Press Association, adding that 22 bids had been made before the company acted.

``It is mostly household items we have for sale, but there are the occasional quirky items put up,″ he added. ``We have a look at them and if they are OK we leave them, but if it is something that can’t be sold, we take them off.″

The trader has not been named, but apparently was unimpressed with the country he was trying to sell.

The rivalry between the two countries is intense and in his advertisement the man said New Zealand had ``very ordinary weather.″

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