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A Hampden debate over economic growth versus sustainability has just got hotter, with a team of National Party MPs being withdrawn by Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean.
She has told organisers of the February 19 Hampden Union Challenge Debate that comments they made in last Saturday's Otago Daily Times indicated her team was "not actually wanted" because they would not meet the standard of the Hampden team.
Hampden's team is Australian economist and adjunct Prof Richard Denniss, Associate Prof Susan Krumdieck (Canterbury University) and Associate Prof Bob Lloyd (Otago University).
Hampden Community Energy chairman Dugald MacTavish on Saturday, after announcing the team, hoped Mrs Dean's Government team would include senior Cabinet ministers.
Mrs Dean's team was herself, Invercargill MP Eric Roy and Selwyn MP Amy Adams.
Yesterday, Mr MacTavish was sorry about Mrs Dean's reaction and hoped the "door was not entirely closed".