Prime Minister John Key has told the Agriculture Minister not to make any further comment on the possible sale of Crafar farms.
The receivers for the dairy farms, formerly owned by the Crafar family, have agreed to sell them to a Chinese-backed company UBNZ as long as the deal is approved by the Overseas Investment Office.
At the weekend, David Carter told a National Party conference in the South Island he thought the sale was unlikely to go through.
A spokesperson for the minister says he was expressing a personal opinion and also told the audience there was a formal process to be followed.
Mr Key says he does not think the minister's comments will prejudice the case but has told Mr Carter that he should not comment further.
The Green Party has called on the Government to block the sale.