Green Party | Tuesday, 26 April 2011
With commodity prices at record highs, New Zealand must protect its global advantage by keeping New Zealand land for New Zealand citizens, permanent residents and companies, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.
Fonterra is forecasting a record payout of $7.80 per kg of milk solids due to strong international dairy prices. The price of lamb has also increased and wool prices are at record levels.
"As food prices rise globally, New Zealand's productive farmland will become more and more attractive to overseas bidders," said Dr Norman.
"Global investors, many from China and often with the backing of the Chinese government, are buying up land in developing nations, and then exporting food back to China.
"While this plan makes excellent sense for China, it is not helping these nations who have lost their ability to export their primary produce."
Chinese agricultural company Agria are looking to take control of New Zealand rural services company PGG Wrightson, dependent on the Overseas Investment Office's approval. The Shanghai Pengxin International Group are also seeking Overseas Investment Office approval to buy the Crafar farms.
"New Zealand must protect itself from the global land grab by tightening its own overseas investment rules," said Dr Norman.
"The Key Government's tweaking of our overseas investment rules last year will not protect New Zealand's productive land.
"The solution is to keep the privilege of ownership of New Zealand land for New Zealand citizens, permanent residents and companies."
Link to global land grab website: http://farmlandgrab.org/