NZ land sales 2007 – 2011

February 6th, 2012 at 9:17 am by David Farrar

I’ve had to do this over two graphs so one can see how miniscule the amount of land purchased by Chinese domiciled people or companies have been.

This strongly suggests to me that has been a significant factor in the opposition to the sales. There was nothing like this level of outcry when land was sold to people in Liechtenstein or Canada or the UK or Australia.

This is not to say all those against the Crafar sales were motivated by racism. Many opponents are genuinely against all foreign land purchases, but some opposition is clearly based on the race of the purchasers, or worse politicians playing to those sentiments.

Tags: , ,

40 Responses to “NZ land sales 2007 – 2011”

  1. Michael (910 comments) says:

    I wonder if Liechtensteiners own more land in NZ than there is land in Liechtenstein. In the last 5 years they’ve bought 20sq km – Liechtenstein is only 160sq.km in total.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. hj (7,059 comments) says:

    We’ll soon fix that
    Harcourts International continues with its expansion throughout China
    http://news.harcourts.net/harcourtsgoingglobal/2011/04/17/harcourts-international-continues-with-its-expansion-througout-china/

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. hj (7,059 comments) says:

    The world is the rich mans oyster and the New Zealand state is a nullity. Bring back the Liberal Government of the 1890’s whose goal was to break up the large estates so it could be settled by farming families.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Nigel (517 comments) says:

    The graph should include the Crafer sale.

    I actually think it’s less racism against Chinese as a realization because of the scale of the sales, not saying there is not racism involved, just that it’s a lesser factor.

    I still can’t understand why the crafar farms had to be sold as a big block, instead of being split into say 4 smaller blocks.

    [DPF: As I understand it some of the individual farms are worth very little, so you get a better price selling them al a block]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. hj (7,059 comments) says:

    When NZ was settled we had a debate as to whether land should be free hold or leasehold. Freehold won as it was argued that people would look after freehold land. They wouldn’t have considered a wired interconnected world which allows farmer/ speculators to bypass the citizenry.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    What are the units on the vertical axis?

    But yeah! Let’s catch Australia by selling our primary means of production. That should work great…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. hj (7,059 comments) says:

    One of the first things organisms have to learn is to distinguish between “them” and “us”; that’s why we instinctively react negatively to an Asian rather than (say) a German. One way to look at it is that the German has been sneaking in under false pretenses (if there are valid reasons not to sell farmland out side of the national population).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. flipper (4,194 comments) says:

    Nice graphs DPF.

    Question: Is the scale NZ or $US or hectares/acres?

    That asked, of course it is NOT rascism otherwise Doris de Bressie (former PSA organiser!) would be throwing his HRC toys from his socialist cot.

    The opposition is 90% venal politics, AND rascism

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. hj (7,059 comments) says:

    John Key told the BBC that we are a pro immigration country. One treasury economist argues that it is population growth (80% from outside NZ) which has held us back:
    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/downloads/pdfs/mi-jarrett-comm.pdf

    and you need to remember that a view like that is opposed by a self interested right and Keith Locke types (the left).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    hj (1,961) Says:
    February 6th, 2012 at 9:42 am

    One of the first things organisms have to learn is to distinguish between “them” and “us”; that’s why we instinctively react negatively to an Asian rather than (say) a German.

    Wow. :-o

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. wreck1080 (3,956 comments) says:

    I’ve no problems with selling every farm to the chinese, so long as they pay fair tax on profits.

    That is the question, will the chinese ever declare a profit, given they are Communist after all.

    Mind you, there are also plenty of very rich local farmers who pay very little tax either.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. iMP (2,416 comments) says:

    Let’s carry the logic of ‘Don’t Sell Assets to Foreigners’ further:
    1. Kiwis can’t buy apartments on Gold Coast
    2. Euro money is not allowed here to make LotRings, the Hobbit, Avatar II, etc etc
    3. Kiwis shouldn’t marry foreign people
    4. Kiwis can’t be CEOs of big foreign companies
    5. Kiwis cannot own or buy overseas co., incl shares in facebook
    6. Maori should never have been allowed to ship flax to Britain
    7. Sheep exports should be banned
    8. Kiwis should not study in foreign universities.

    What are we, Zimbabwae? The ‘No Assets’ brigade are base mongers of untruths, distortion and 19th C thinking. Assets sold in NZ benefit NZ, several times over.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. hj (7,059 comments) says:

    Yes Wow. :-o

    http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Forgotten-Ancestors-Carl-Sagan/dp/0345384725

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. minto57 (197 comments) says:

    That right push the racism. We are all nasty xenphobe racists.
    This site is sounding more like mouthpiece for the Totalitarian Peoples Republic who really are are evil in the treatment of the its peoples the majority of whom are Han Chinese

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. jcuk (709 comments) says:

    I remember when it was the Dutch and Pommies in the firing line :-) Back in Kiwi Keith’s day.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. hj (7,059 comments) says:

    “Assets sold in NZ benefit NZ, several times over” You meanwhen the plum enterprise is sold to foreign owners, the real estate agent buys a Ferrari and that benefits a local car dealer and the seller buys a flash house by the sea which employs a builder and the remainder is invested in a bank which finances a furniture making enterprise?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. minto57 (197 comments) says:

    How about a graph on land owned by democracies.
    Or a graph showing countries that donot allow land to be owned by foreigners.
    Or graph showning PRC ownership in other countries.
    I notice that in Australia the fire is being stoked also

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. hj (7,059 comments) says:

    The Dutch were thought highly of as they were craftsmen and the Poms were criticized for moaning (“moaning Poms”). We didn’t need infill (flag) housing then.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. JC (967 comments) says:

    “Bring back the Liberal Government of the 1890′s whose goal was to break up the large estates so it could be settled by farming families.”

    It worked very well.. and a huge number of split off farms were then sold to.. foreigners.

    Never mind, those foreigners then gave NZ a consistent top three position in the world for prosperity and quality of life 1900-1950. Thats despite many of them exporting their profits back “home” and condemning us to buy everything from clothing to machinery, implements, clothing and vehicles from the UK. Foreigners also owned and had a monopoly on the freezing works and shipping as well. Chinese style vertical integration anyone?

    JC

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. flipper (4,194 comments) says:

    Minto 57 sounds suspiciously like the worn out rent-a-protest “Minto of HART” and to Minto of North Shore (Lord protect our pupils from his ministrations!) who is searching (in vain, so far) for his brain.
    One of the things about the socialist SU that caused its crash, minnie57, was that the socialist bureaucrats (like you) lied to the politbureau on economic output (and most other matters) and the socialist politbureau lied to the world – and to themselves.
    Stop lying to yourself minnie57.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. hj (7,059 comments) says:

    JC (628) Says:
    “Bring back the Liberal Government of the 1890′s whose goal was to break up the large estates so it could be settled by farming families.”

    It worked very well.. and a huge number of split off farms were then sold to.. foreigners.
    ….
    “foreigners” in this case is just a debating trick

    “Never mind, those foreigners then gave NZ a consistent top three position in the world for prosperity and quality of life 1900-1950.”?

    Agricultural technology improved breaking the North Island hill country (etC) into production,.

    Thats despite many of them exporting their profits back “home” and condemning us to buy everything from clothing to machinery, implements, clothing and vehicles from the UK. Foreigners also owned and had a monopoly on the freezing works and shipping as well. Chinese style vertical integration anyone?

    At the end of WW2 we had the 3rd highest standard of living in the world. There is a difference between borrowing money to build meat works and selling the ground on which the grass is produced.
    and BTW we are where we are now because of a deliberate policy choice whereby we have been investing in roads and infrastructure for an expanding population and business investment has been crowded out.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    one claim to fame is I have actually stayed in Lichtenstein – one normally drives through it without realising – we did have to slow down to make sure we didn’t miss the place. It’s got quite a bit money for its size and is quite good at helping people dodging paying tax but I digress.

    The scales don’t matter it’s the relativity that is important – it’s obvious with such a disparity that the racenation card was played. I will be generous and posit that a significant element of the reaction was based on the emotional response to the Chinese government, which is still bluntly in the regime corner…. or more accurately hypocritical elements using this.

    We cannot have our cake and eat it too. Either we are in favour of free trade and relatively open markets or we aren’t, which means we have to let other people buy our stuff. I would like to see reciprocity as that seems reasonable i.e. if we cannot buy land in your country you cannot buy land in ours. That fits the openness requirement.

    It is interesting how anti open markets the greens tend to be about our stuff and how anti the yanks they are when they do the same to others. Mind you, considering many of their ‘religious’ beliefs I am not surprised there’s a logic free zone there.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. hj (7,059 comments) says:

    @ slijmbal

    I don’t suppose politicians make mistakes occasionally do they?
    Also land is different
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0254/is_1_67/ai_n25146056/?tag=mantle_skin%3Bcontent

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. minto57 (197 comments) says:

    Flipper the doublespeak is breathtaking how is opposition to a land grabbing evil totalitariam goverment, be construed as having loony socialist tenacies.
    Sounds more like a personal attack. Please try to stay on topic.
    You obviously support the the selling off NZ land to foreign nationals for what?
    Maybe they will be lenient with the rent.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. hj (7,059 comments) says:

    Neville Bennett : We need a land tax

    http://www.interest.co.nz/rural-news/53668/opinion-land-crisis

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Jack5 (5,144 comments) says:

    Funny that the PR’s of National and China should have dredged up Liechtenstein as a country buying more NZ farmland than China. This is an indictment of NZ’s overseas investments sleeping watchdogs.

    Not only is Liechtenstein a money transaction spot, where nine-tenths of deals are by others than Liechtensteiners, but it seems to be continuing to have some problems with money laundering by international drugs traders. This is despite a tightening up in the last decade after an international outcry.

    When a purchase of NZ farmland is attributed to Liechtenstein, it is probably bought by some other international party, and still in fact may have been bought by a drugs gang in Colombia or the Golden Triangle.

    I oppose sales of our agricultural land to all overseas parties, not just to Chinese ones. I also happily agree that China is harsh on its drug traffickers (these days chiefly in amphetamines). This is despite, or perhaps because of, the West’s appalling forcing of opium imports on the Chinese people a century and a half ago.

    Our Overseas Investment Office deserves serious investigation to see what checks and double checks it is making on land purchases from Liechtenstein. How can our Ministers of Immigration have allowed this?

    Is the current Minister, the Honourable Maurice William-Sung, partying with the staff dancers while the once-luxurious, now rusting SS New Zealand drifts towards the rocks?

    On Liechtenstein:

    http://aml-cft.blogspot.co.nz/2008/03/liechtenstein-vulnerable-to-money.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/07/business/world-business-briefing-europe-liechtenstein-money-laundering-cases-increase.html

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/country_profiles/1066002.stm

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. flipper (4,194 comments) says:

    So, Minto57 are you Minto of Hart and Minto Rent-a-protester?

    It is your lack of brains AND lack of ability to think clearly nd objectively that worries me – and most of NZ.
    Say, minnie57, did you and “mana” get your electoral deposit back?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Jack5 (5,144 comments) says:

    Whoops! In my 11.47 post, I spoke of Ministers of Immigration.

    The Crafar bid was approved by the Ministers of Land Information (Williams-Sung) and the Associate Minister of Finance (Coleman).

    If we don’t need have a Minister of Overseas Investment, we sure as hell need one.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Jack5 (5,144 comments) says:

    More on tiny Liechtenstein. The current CIA World Factbook assessment of Liechtenstein says this under the heading “Illicit drugs”:

    Has strengthened money laundering controls, but money laundering remains a concern due to Liechtenstein’s sophisticated offshore financial services sector.

    The country’s population, according to the CIA, is 35,236.

    It would be interesting to know how many of them, if any, have bought farmland in NZ, are farmers, or have moved to NZ to farm.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Matt (227 comments) says:

    Listening to some of the xenophobes, you’d think the Chinese were going to fold the land up, slip it in their pockets and take it with them back to China

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. Jack5 (5,144 comments) says:

    David Farrar argues that racism has been a significant factor in opposition to the Crafar land sales.

    Racial prejudice is likely always a strand in political issues such as sale of a country’s land to foreigners, just as religion always is a strand in an issue such as abortion.

    However, don’t exaggerate the part of racism. Opposition to foreign land sales goes back decades. For example there has been opposition and criticism of American purchases of land at Te Anau as long as 40 or 50 years ago, and more recently of the Canadian Twain’s purchase of mainly leasehold in Central Otago. The Te Anau opposition at the time was strong, vocal, more regionally based, but just as hot.

    The size of the Crafar land deal – $200 million – and the number of family-size farms involved are factors in the current criticism. Has there been a bigger sale of land to foreigners in recent years?

    Also, many people dislike the politics of China, as distinct from how they feel about Chinese people.

    Many others dislike the concept of company farming, as opposed to family-unit farming. There’s long been a similar hostility in much of rural NZ to local absentee owners – the “Queen Street farmers”.

    Racial prejudice may be less of a factor in the opposition to the Crafar deal than Crafar sale supporters and Fran O’Sullivan argue.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. Tautaioleua (309 comments) says:

    Some people are still living in the twentieth century with their “communist” reactionary rhetoric. I thought the Cold War was long over, and if memory serves me correctly,

    Am I right in saying that the most prosperous free market is being propped up by Communist China to the tune of trillions?

    China is a lot more free market than some would like to think. Google the Chinese agricultural revolution.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. wreck1080 (3,956 comments) says:

    @tautaioleua : Many of Chinas free market organisations are fronts for the red army.

    Why do you think chinese students are unwilling to repeat a sit-in at Tienanmen square?

    I’d suggest you do some googling yourself.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. Tautaioleua (309 comments) says:

    Wreck, you’re just being silly now. We’re talking about the agricultural sector and how China currently produces some of the world’s greatest shares in food and other popular resources – not to mention its shares in the Western debt crisis lol.

    When agriculture was tightly controlled by the Chinese state there was no denying its financial ruggedness. But when it finally embraced a series of free market ideologies it ushered in a new era of economic transformation never seen before in its colourful history.

    No amount of populist rhetoric changes the fact that China is an unorthodox in relation to communism, almost liberal if you like. It gets the best of both worlds.

    :P

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. hj (7,059 comments) says:

    “SICK of seeing paper wealth evaporate, investors are looking for “tangible assets with strong underlying fundamentals” – and that describes Australian farmland, land agent Philip Jarvis says.

    From his office in Armidale, NSW, Mr Jarvis specialises in discreetly matching wealthy overseas investors – mostly from his native United Kingdom – with local farmland investments, usually without going through the open market.

    Overseas business at Philip Jarvis & Associates has been quiet for a few months as the European situation shakes out, Mr Jarvis said, but enquiry is picking up as investors look for a safe haven from the firestorm of wealth destruction occurring around paper instruments.

    “Agriculture and farmland are now recognised as a new investment asset class that is not correlated to mainstream asset classes,” Mr Jarvis said.

    China “has had a very good look” at investment in Australian farmland, Mr Jarvis said, but so far has opted to instead buy up land in African countries less politically sensitive to foreign acquisition.

    “I’m sure the Chinese will make a move in Australia at some stage. You have 21 per cent of the world’s population living on six per cent of the world’s arable farmland.”

    Meanwhile, the Gulf States, notably Qatar and its government-owned food arm Hassad, have not been so reticent.

    Qatar now owns about 750,000 ha of Australian agricultural land. With Hassad reportedly only halfway through spending the $400 million it plans to invest here, the tiny Arab nation could eventually own more of Australia than there is of its 11,400 square kilometre homeland.
    http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/19949

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. hj (7,059 comments) says:

    Chinese want slice of rural Australia
    http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/19890

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. Jack5 (5,144 comments) says:

    Switching the topic to China’s politics lets the OIA, the Government, the Crafar-to-China lobby off the hook on the astonishing trumpeting of the sale of NZ farm land to hot-money enclave Liechtenstein.

    However, to those who have moved the debate to defending China’s politics, note the authoritative Foreign Policy magazine nicely labelled China’s system Market Leninism.

    It says this:

    Indeed, if you benchmark the Chinese Communist Party against a definitional checklist authored by Robert Service, the veteran historian of the Soviet Union, the similarities are remarkable. As with communism in its heyday elsewhere, the party in China has eradicated or emasculated political rivals, eliminated the autonomy of the courts and media, restricted religion and civil society, denigrated rival versions of nationhood, centralized political power, established extensive networks of security police, and dispatched dissidents to labor camps.

    In addition to land (except for some housing and commercial building sites), the Chinese Government owns nearly every Chinese bank, and thus calls the shot on who gets loans at which interest rates. It owns all news media in China.

    Te Chinese Communist Party keeps control with the People’s Liberation Army – the party’s army, not the country’s.

    Throughout the vast country there are two sets of local body officials – the elected and, in parallel, party officials. “Slate” says that the party’s shadowy Organisation Department dictates all China’s senior personnel appointments in ministries and companies, universities and the media. “The party oversees just about every significant position in every field in the country,” says the online magazine.

    So Tautaioleua’s suggestion in his 2.07 post that China is “almost liberal” is rubbish.

    And thank you, HJ at 2.25, for highlighting the vast new moved to buy up land in others’ countries.
    Australia has well over 30 times the flat land that we have. If they want to sell it to whomever, that’s their business. Giants like Brazil and Argentina putting up barriers to this will increase buying pressure on those countries that don’t resist.

    If indeed most NZ’ers overwhelmingly are against our Government approving sale overseas of our agriculture land, then that’s our business.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. hj (7,059 comments) says:

    Is it human nature to distrust those who come from outside our own community? Our primate ancestry may hold some answers.

    “I think there’s probably a very deep-rooted fear and suspicion of outsiders,” says Michael Wilson, a primatologist at the University of Minnesota.

    He says it makes sense chimps defend their territories. Several studies have shown that a bigger territory means more food for the group, and a better chance of survival.
    -“Sort of bred into the primate line is that you belong to a group and you don’t necessarily like outsiders,” he says.
    http://www.theworld.org/2011/08/xenophobias-evolutionary-roots/

    The way to break the trend is be a National Party real estate industry $hill.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. @BoJangles (6 comments) says:

    Ignorance of things Chinese or the Asian way by our puritanical population is the driver of the outburst of racial rejection of the Crafar deal. Even our anthem entreats ‘God defend New Zealand”……..from evil from foreign land-grabbers etc etc

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. somewhatthoughtful (467 comments) says:

    Got any proof of the racism? I thought it was the threat of a communist govt. owning stuff of yours when we can;t own the same of theirs.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote