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WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand's government said on Monday it would continue allowing carbon emitters to offset just half of their emissions until at least 2015 to avoid putting New Zealand firms under more financial pressure as the economy struggles to improve.

In addition, the government will allow unrestricted use of cheaper, international carbon credits in the country's emissions trading scheme (ETS) through 2015 and cap the price of each carbon-offsetting unit at NZ$25 ($20.09).

"In these times of uncertainty, the government has opted not to pile further costs onto households and the productive sector," Climate Change Minister Tim Groser said in a statement.

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