Green Party | 15 April 2011
Selling the Crafar farms to an overseas consortium cannot possibly be in New Zealand’s economic interests, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.
The Shanghai Pengxin International Group will have to prove to the Overseas Investment Office that its bid for the Crafar farms is in New Zealand’s economic interests.
“With food prices rising globally, selling off large chunks of New Zealand’s productive farmland to overseas bidders is economic folly,” said Dr Norman.
“Chinese agricultural company Agria are also looking to take control of New Zealand rural services company PGG Wrightson, dependent again on the Overseas Investment Office’s approval.
“Companies in China – often with government backing – are looking to buy up land and farming goods worldwide,” said Dr Norman.
“While this plan makes excellent sense for China, it is certainly not in New Zealand’s long term interests that our farms and farming companies fall into overseas ownership.
“The Key Government’s tweaking of our overseas investment rules last year did not stop New Zealand’s productive land from being flogged off overseas,” said Dr Norman.
“The solution to losing control of NZ Inc would have been to keep the privilege of ownership of New Zealand land for New Zealand citizens, permanent residents and companies.”