A few people are discussing whether Red Alert should be closed down. Just in case it is, I’ll respond now to a blog from Trevor Mallard on the Crafar farms:
And to make it clear, it is my view that there is no reason whatsoever to sell these farms offshore. To anyone.
That’s an interesting view, but that is like me having a view on who Sam Morgan should have sold Trade Me to. Labour do not own the Crafar farms. The Government does not own them. The taxpayers do not own them.
The reason the farms may be sold offshore is because someone offshore offered the owners more money for them.
Landcorp could probably hock off a couple of its non core farms and then buy Them all using its very strong balance sheet to raise debt finance for the balance.
Yes they could. And all they have to do is offer more money than any other bidder. Nice and simple, and that way the owners do not end up out of pocket, just so politicians feel better.
The Overseas Investment Act has criteria on which a sale to non-residents should or should not be approved. The Crafar farms are a small fraction of the farm land sold to non-residents and approved under the last Labour Government. One can have a sensible debate about amending the criteria, but a poling of banning all sales is just appealing to xenophobia and racism. I can guarantee you if it was an Australian farmer bidding for the farms, we’d be rolling out the welcome mat.Tags: Crafar, foreign investment, Trevor Mallard