Trotter on Crafar sale

February 3rd, 2012 at 12:04 pm by David Farrar

writes at Stuff:

At the risk of being branded a “traitor”, I’m declaring my support for the farms sale. Not because I like seeing productive New Zealand farmland pass into the hands of foreigners, I don’t.

The reason I’m in favour is because I believe New Zealanders should keep their promises and fulfil their undertakings.

In 2008, this country ratified a free-trade agreement with the People’s Republic of China. It was hailed as the most important foreign policy and trade achievement of the 1999-2008 Helen Clark-led government. Not only was it the first such agreement to be signed between China and a Western-style democracy, but it also offered New Zealand businesses immense economic opportunities. …

It was all the more perplexing, then, to hear Opposition leader David Shearer declaring his and the Party’s opposition to the sale. It’s simply inconceivable that Mr Shearer is unaware of the MFN prohibition against denying China the same right to buy land as the nations that bought upwards of 650,000 hectares of our national patrimony exercised when Helen Clark was Prime Minister, and Mr Shearer’s friend (and former boss) Phil Goff was the Minister of Trade.

To avoid the inevitable charges of rank hypocrisy and populist opportunism, Mr Shearer needed to accompany his statement opposing the sale with an announcement that Labour was committed, immediately on regaining office, to repudiating the New Zealand-China FTA and tightening up the legislation regulating overseas investment.

I’m still waiting for those other shoes to drop. And, frankly, I think I’ll go on waiting. Why? Because I simply don’t believe Labour is about to abandon its long-standing commitment to free trade. Nor am I confident Mr Shearer is any more willing to court the fury and retaliatory trade restrictions of the Chinese government than Mr Key. Both are well aware that this country’s future prosperity is inextricably bound up with China’s.

I actually see the deal as an exciting one. A partnership between Shanghai Pengxin and Landcorp has huge potential opportunities. The combination of their market contacts and capital, and our land and expertise could be golden.

Tags: , , ,

62 Responses to “Trotter on Crafar sale”

  1. Jack5 (4,224 comments) says:

    Farrar posts:

    …The combination of their market contacts and capital, and our land and expertise could be golden….

    The whole point is that it’s no longer our land. It’s their market conacts and capital and their land.

    As for Trotter. He’s a fat head in a number of ways. He throws a hundred darts at the political board, and occasionally hits it with one. Not this time. This is another of his hundreds of misses.

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

    He should join Fran for peoples replublic love in.
    It all so sickening and sycophantic.
    The diggers will be spining in their graves

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    Trotter is right when he suggests that Shearer needs to get his act togther on this matter. John Key said something similar yesterday. It’s not very often I agree with Key :) but I do on this. Of course this is a separate issue from what Labour’s policy should be on foreign investment. If Labour is opposed to the current set-up, then let’s hear them talk about changing the OIA and the paramters of the OIO. I would’ve thought that Shearer and his colleagues would at least have a thorough discussion about the issues before announcing Labour’s policy. It’s policy seems to be very unclear.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    > The whole point is that it’s no longer our land.

    It never was “our” land, so you’re starting from a false assumption. I think there’s been a fair amount of xenophobia around this issue which is never a great way to debate an issue. I think TV3 ran a poll- admittedly unscientific – last night on whether James Cameron should be allowed to buy farms here. 70% said he should. But more than 90% had previously said the Crafar farms shouldn’t have been sold to Chinese interests.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Jack5 (4,224 comments) says:

    Ross at 12.58 posted:

    …It never was “our” land…

    A libertarian pops up.

    Of course it was New Zealand land, and in the sense that it’s the land of all New Zealanders.

    Do you think any NZ land owners should be able to sell to whomever they like in the world? To a crazed North Korean or Belarus dictator’s desire for a South Pacific nuclear dump for example?

    The country has final say over whom from abroad, if anybody, can buy its land.

    Do you believe there should be any overseas investment checking at all?

    The xenophobia argument is like the “racist” call raised by others in controversies about entirely different matters. Any time anyone questions the legitimacy or even value of overseas investment within NZ you could call “xenophobia!” It’s meaningless, like heckling or banter, irrelevant to this argument. “Xenophobia” means according to the Oxford New Shorter Dictionary: “A deep antipathy to foreigners or to foreign things.”

    You are not xenophobic if you favour some types of foreign investment and not others.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. wreck1080 (3,527 comments) says:

    ‘Could’ be golden for who?

    We’re talking about milk here, hardly exciting or high tech.

    The business owners usually do well, pleb workers (ie, kiwis) are just wage slaves.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    Actually Jack5 it was the Crafar’s land, then it was Westpac’s land now its whatever Penguin’s land. The land is still there, you still cant walk all over it, and country of residence ownership really doesn’t matter a damn.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    > The country has final say over whom from abroad, if anybody, can buy its land.

    Certainly the OIO has the power to turn applications based on various criteria, and indeed has turned down applications in the past. The point’s been made that Labour should say if it intends to change the parameters of the office.

    As for xenophobia, it’s a legitimate complaint. The Chinese were the third racial group in NZ after European and Maori. They have been here since the early 1840s. They have for a long time been poorly treated here.

    > You are not xenophobic if you favour some types of foreign investment and not others.

    What are you then? As I explained earlier, a large majority in a TV3 poll said they supported James Cameron decision to buy two farms here. Maybe it’s because he’s American and not Chinese. Or maybe there are other reasons which have not been well articulated.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    > The land is still there…

    Well, quite. What if the land is subsequently sold to a private individual in NZ? By Jack’s logic, it would be “our” land again. That makes no logicial sense.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Graeme Edgeler (3,222 comments) says:

    Did the free trade deal with China even address land ownership?

    I had been lead to understand that it didn’t, though would welcome confirmation form someone more familiar with it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. rg (190 comments) says:

    Many of he Crafar farms use sharemilkers to run their farm. The sharemilking system is the secret to the success of NZ dairy farms. It allows young people the chance to build equity and raise the money they need to eventually buy a farm. There are few country’s that give people who are not from a farming family to get into their own farm. .
    Landcorp presumably will sack these sharemilkers and then sharemilk the farms themselves. What is the point in that?, a corporate like Landcorp will never run a farm as efficiently as an individual.
    Why should a governmnet owned corporation take opportunities away from NZ sharemilkers?

    The government by requiring it is in a conflict of interest isn’t it?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. moaningmoa (66 comments) says:

    > The diggers will be spining in their graves

    Errrrr why? Because if you are referring to WW2, you do realise the Chinese were on our side, and it was the Japanese that were the enemy.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. tvb (3,945 comments) says:

    The strategic possibilities with this sale probably exceeds any we have ever seen. I note the land sale to Cameron a big Hollywood Director/Producer, that is exciting too. NZ needs this sort of thing. Maybe people are beginning to see that NZ with its wonderful climate, which is second to none, is beginning to attract some people who can add real value rather that the drones we have on welfare. The Labour Party opposes both sales.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. BeaB (1,958 comments) says:

    I get annoyed with the people who proclaim, as though it’s the clincher, that Kiwis can’t buy land in China. Well, the Chinese can’t either although a friend was looking at a beautiful few acres that he could have leased for 999 years.

    Until we are rolling in cash ourselves, we must attract as much foreign investment as possible and the simple truth is the Chinese have the dough. It used to be the British as the number of large stations owned by absentee owners still attest. And I am sure Fay would have quickly turned over his purchases for the profit he could see he could make by offering well under the odds.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. profile (13 comments) says:

    That partnership next door between fletchers and citic sure turned out to be golden. The sawmilling sector is now booming.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. JC (840 comments) says:

    Go check the OECD:

    http://www.oecd.org/document/45/0,3746,en_2649_34529562_47216237_1_1_1_34529562,00.html

    There you find that NZ is one of the most restrictive places in the world for foreign direct investment.. right up there with China, Indochina Japan and 250% more restrictive than the OECD average.

    Now check China’s new (2007) property laws. After many centuries they are attempting to rationalise their laws in order to keep and attract investment:

    http://www.chinalawblog.com/2007/05/chinas_new_property_law_part_i_2.html

    You can click through to get all three parts.

    Now, foreign ownership in NZ. Prior to 1948 NZ didn’t have passports.. we were all British citizens, so in a sense near on 100% of NZ was in foreign ownership with perhaps most of the farms owned by Poms who continued to be Poms long after 1948. In fact then, there was a hell of a lot of foreign money going back home.. not to mention we imported damn near everything for ourselves and the farms. It would be another generation before we stopped relying on vehicles like Commers, Bedfords, Leylands, Land Rovers, Ausins etc.

    Yet, in the period 1900-48, when foreign ownership was dominant and we imported everything we were rated among the top three countries in the Western world for prosperity and quality of life.

    Anyway, in terms of foreign ownership, socialism, xenophobia and racism we are much more like China than we think.. except that China has started the long road (200 years) to genuine property rights and likely democracy and NZ after 170 years is still struggling with the concept of land rights and democracy.. because foreign investment is more than an essential economic tool for survival.. its an important part of being a democracy.

    Incidentally, if you read the above Chinalawblog you’ll see that the original property law was canned in 2002 because there were too many opponents of it.. three concerns of interest are mentioned:

    1. A more liberal property law would weaken Socialism (NZ, check)
    2.Would give legitimacy to illegal takings of land from community ownership by the state in times past. (NZ, check)
    3. Would weaken state control of state owned enterprises which could be asset stripped and sold off. (NZ, check)

    There you go.. we are more Chinese than the Chinese.

    JC

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Jack5 (4,224 comments) says:

    Kiwigreg posted at 1.28:

    country of residence ownership really doesn’t matter a damn.

    If “country of residence ownership” doesn’t matter, then the Chinese are wrong to lock out foreign investment in their mighty steel industry. They just haven’t woken up that “country of residence ownership” doesn’t matter. If our NZ Government was smart it would have negotiated with Beijing permission for the Superannuation Fund to put a few tens of millions into Chinese steel, or better still, Chinese rare earths. Whoops! I forgot. The Chinese regime is not libertarian – far too smart for that.

    Ross at 1.20 posted this in defence of his flawed assertion that all opposition to the Crafar land sale to China is xenophobic:

    a large majority in a TV3 poll said they supported James Cameron decision to buy two farms here. Maybe it’s because he’s American and not Chinese. Or maybe there are other reasons which have not been well articulated.

    Many of us who oppose the sale of Crafar land to China oppose sale of our agricultural land to all overseas residents. This is does not make us xenophobic. We don’t oppose other foreign investment, such as foreign ownership of the Bluff smelter or those who set up software arms in NZ. If China wanted to build from scratch a big space launch base in NZ that would be fine with me.

    However, if some people don’t mind Cameron buying land but oppose the Crafar purchase by a Chinese firm, they could have non-racist reasons.

    These could include Cameron is going to live here and farm the land; or they don’t mind an individual who has some rural background coming here to farm Western style but they don’t want foreign company farmers here; or it’s worth making an exception to snare for NZ a mogul who might, as a resident, be very helpful for another potentially big industry.

    Note these are not my views, but they negate the argument that anyone happy with the Cameron bid but unhappy with the China-Crafar deal must inevitably be racist. (These people cannot be xenophobic because xenophobes would oppose all foreign investment in NZ, whether in land, in industry, banking, or whatever. I haven’t heard of anyone who takes this position.)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. swan (651 comments) says:

    Jack5

    You (along with all the others opposed) will have to come up with some actual logic as to why this is bad for New Zealanders for me to believe you aren’t a racist.

    Remember to consider the effects on investment of populist government intervention in your argument.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Jack5 (4,224 comments) says:

    I’ve looked at the link JC provided to the China Law Blog of May 2007. I note that it says that agricultural land in China is owned either by the State or by collectives. Collective property, controlled by village councils. This collective property must be converted to State property before it can be sold. The State then decides who can buy it.

    And NZ libertarians support this?

    Meantime, to focus on China purchases of NZ land rather than all overseas purchases, the New York Times article below is worth looking at. It indicates that Brazil and Argentina are tightening rules to make it harder for the Chinese to buy land there.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/27/world/americas/27brazil.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. kowtow (6,717 comments) says:

    Couple of points.

    The vast majority of Chinese who came to dig gold,did just that and then left. Many did very well thank you very much. All this shit about the hard done by Chinese,you can make that argument foe just about any group in history.

    Trots is a comrade so shouldn’t have a problem about selling stuff to the Chinese comrades.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Jack5 (4,224 comments) says:

    Swan at 4.44 posted:

    You (along with all the others opposed) will have to come up with some actual logic as to why this is bad for New Zealanders for me to believe you aren’t a racist.

    Swan, you are asking to prove that if someone opposes overseas sale of farm land, they are not racist?
    How can this position be racist when it doesn’t specify race.

    If someone opposes specific sales of overseas land to Chinese but not to others (and this is not my position), they may sincerely have, or may argue they have, other valid reasons as outlind in my 4.29 post.

    Allegations of racist are bandied about so often the term is losing its meaning and power.

    You will have to come up with “some actual logic” to convince me you can think rationally, Swan.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. swan (651 comments) says:

    Jack5,

    Ok so no logical argument then, thats fine.

    You will have to point out the “reasons” in your 4.29 post, because I cant see them.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Waynes World (15 comments) says:

    “then the Chinese are wrong to lock out foreign investment in their mighty steel industry. They just haven’t woken up that “country of residence ownership” doesn’t matter. If our NZ Government was smart it would have negotiated with Beijing permission for the Superannuation Fund to put a few tens of millions into Chinese steel, or better still, Chinese rare earths”

    A pathetic argument, and completely irrelevant. New Zealand signed a deal in 2008. Part of that deal obviously did not include a buy in to the Chinese steel industry. And it did not include outright ownership of land in China by New Zealanders (how can it—Chinese can’t buy land in China).

    But that of course does not mean benefits are not reciprocal.

    If you offered a good price for my car I’d sell it to you. Regardless of whether or not you would sell your car to me. I consider what is a good or not a good deal from my own perspective.

    If some multi-millionaire offered a couple of million for my 300000 apartment I would accept the deal in a flash. I would not think—hang on, I will only sell it if he has his own land on the market for sale to me. That would be ridiculous.

    Reciprocity in commerce does not mean one should only swap eggs for eggs.

    Trading eggs for tomatoes can also be a fair deal. As long as both sides feel they have some benefit in the arrangment, and the deal is not made under duress.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Jack5 (4,224 comments) says:

    Wayne (re your 7.30 post):

    Nice to see you are more civil today than last Sunday when you were spouting terms such as (Anglo-Saxon) “most greedy motherfuckers” and “white thieves”

    Can you spell out please the part of the free trade agreement please that guarantees China groups or individuals the right to buy agricultural land in NZ?

    Are you saying that the agreement gave China special rights to purchase land in NZ beyond those existing before the agreement? If not, what does the free trade agreement have to do with the Crafar farms purchase?

    And let’s not get to caught up in the trade-for-trade argument. China is buying suppliers’ resources right up all its major supply chains: in Canada, Australia, Africa, Brazil, Argentina, NZ. It’s about long-term gain of supply resources.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    > his flawed assertion that all opposition to the Crafar land sale to China is xenophobic.

    Nothing flawed about it because I didn’t say it. I did refer to a a poll which showed 70% support for James Cameron’s purchase of farm land, but more than 90% against the purchase of farm land by Chinese interests. Are you honestly telling me that there is no anti-Chinese senitment there?

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

    The China Crafar deal, the Cameron and the many prior and still to come deals are good for a simple reason. Ordinary kiwis will get paid good money to do what we do well. In my rural service industry we see a far higher spend in my local community from the foreign owners than the average struggling ma and pa owner operator. This is spend per stock unit, spend per ha, spend per whatever measure is relevant. If it wasn’t for overseas owners the locals would be keeping their sphincters firmly clasped and the service providers would be the losers. My business has grown from Zero – 28 employees and every foreigner who buys land is welcomed with open arms because of the opportunity it gives us in an otherwise restricted environment.
    Sorry Jack5 etc, your assertion that the land has gone is ideological flatulence.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. SPC (4,675 comments) says:

    Roger

    From greed is good to foreign ownership is better than local ownership. You really should explain to the PM why turning our agricultural sector into a tenant farming should be our economic growth policy.

    Foreign owners ensure the value of land is bid up so that most of the farm earnings go to servicing the farm mortgage. This is why farmers pay little in income tax and oftern borrow against the farm to sustain income.

    That is not a sustainable economic model. It results in a dependence on CG for profitability (and there is no tax revenue from this) and that leads to foreign ownership.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Jack5 (4,224 comments) says:

    Re Ross at 8.40:

    Of course there is some racism in NZ, just as there is in China. Racism is morally wrong. It’s stupid, and it’s cruel.

    Chinese settlers were badly treated for a century or so. Helen Clark gave Chinese in NZ a formal apology for past prejudicial treatment. Without any public opposition, without public debate or loud dispute, and without broad political discussion, our traditional immigration has been re-engineered to allow the growth of a large Chinese population here. Present-day NZ can’t be too racist, can it? I wonder how a Tibetan or an Uighur would rank NZ on racism when comparing it with China’s race and ethnic policies.

    In the Crafar purchase v. Cameron purchase, it’s easy to see why the famous film director arriving to be a resident is welcomed, while the little known Chinese corporation is probably regarded with suspicion. Contrast an individual from another English-speaking country moving into a neighbourhood and the arrival of a huge foreign company from what too many is seen chiefly as a huge and powerful totalitarian country expanding its interests quickly round the world. The fact that this country has a different language and an exotic (to us) culture adds to the contrast with Cameron’s background. If you regard any difference at all in the reaction of locals to these two cases as racism, you are making a very wide definition of racism.

    Have you ever gone to live in another non-Anglo country, Ross? From the mild quips of “ros-bif” in France to the stronger “gwailo” in southern China you would have encountered light prejudice. It’s part of human nature everywhere. I would put the Cameron-v-Crafar reaction in this category.

    It’s wrong to dismiss as racism or xenophobia all opposition to NZ agricultural land sales to foreigners, and especially sales to a big foreign corporation. There are other reputable and substantial reasons to oppose these sales.

    In the first aborted bid for Crafar farms, the PR-led defence prompted quick allegations of racism against those who questioned the validity of the bid, even when the questioners were pointing out that the bidders were flaky.

    Cries of racism continue. Some of those crying “racism!” are making money from the Chinese investment in Crafar farms. I’m thinking of agricultural real-estate people, lawyers, PR-lobbyists, the bankers whose losses on loans are slashed by tens of millions, public servants whose department will grow because of contract management. Let’s hope that’s the full extent of it.

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

    The diggers fought agaist the axis countries who were facists

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    It is a very good thing that our OIC has such a wide-ranging purview, but can i ask why people are trying to get involved in a transaction of Australian-owned land [Westpac Banking Corporation] being sold to Chinese investors?

    These are not the Crafar’s farms

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. Waynes World (15 comments) says:

    Can you spell out please the part of the free trade agreement please that guarantees China groups or individuals the right to buy agricultural land in NZ?

    Are you saying that the agreement gave China special rights to purchase land in NZ beyond those existing before the agreement? If not, what does the free trade agreement have to do with the Crafar farms purchase?

    You are a bit obtuse Jack5. China under the FTA enjoys MFN. Therefore Chinese investment in NZ is treated in exactly the same way as that of Western investors.

    After hundreds of thousands of hectares of farmland has already been sold to Western countries, New Zealand simply could not turn down the Chinese proposed investment in the Crafar farms —as long as of course it ticked all the OIO boxes, without being seen to be breaching the terms of the FTA.

    That of course does not mean China has the right to purchase land in NZ. It will never have such a ‘right’. But if NZ does not observe the terms of an agreement, China will, like any other country not observe her part —with possible consequences of NZ trade.

    That is a very simple concept.

    Trotter is right. National had their hands tied by the FTA — something Helen Clarke agreed to and something supported by 70% of the population and something that has seen NZ benefit by something to the tune of billions of dollars.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. Waynes World (15 comments) says:

    Jack5:

    You tell us what Maurice Williamson should have done. If he rejected the deal on what grounds should he have rejected this particulary deal? That the investors are Chinese?

    And let’s not get to caught up in the trade-for-trade argument. China is buying suppliers’ resources right up all its major supply chains: in Canada, Australia, Africa, Brazil, Argentina, NZ. It’s about long-term gain of supply resources.

    Well it is trade for trade. New Zealand looks after her interests, China hers. If China wants to buy land for ‘long term gain of supply resources’ how on earth is that a problem. What difference does it make to NZ? As long as NZ laws are adhered to in the way the farms are managed, resource consents are adhered to etc, what does it matter?

    And really what do you mean by ‘long term gain of supply resources’?

    And it is true that China is buying land in different countries around the world. But so what? Is she threatening these countries with the use of force if land is not sold to her? No. Then what is the problem? Willing seller, willing buyer.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. Waynes World (15 comments) says:

    our traditional immigration has been re-engineered to allow the growth of a large Chinese population here.

    Absolute rubbish. The traditional immigration policy was never ‘re-engineered’ to allow more Chinese to come.

    In the late 80s the immigration policy simply became more or less non-discriminatory, with the natural consequence that we got more and more non-white migrants–including Chinese. As it stands now, New Zealand receives more British migrants each year than those from China.

    Contrast an individual from another English-speaking country moving into a neighbourhood and the arrival of a huge foreign company from what too many is seen chiefly as a huge and powerful totalitarian country expanding its interests quickly round the world. The fact that this country has a different language and an exotic (to us) culture adds to the contrast with Cameron’s background.

    Well basically you have just admitted it is about racism, or at least xenophobia and intolerance.

    What are you exactly saying? That it is understandable that the Chinese are discriminated against because they are non-English speaking and come from an exotic culture????

    Its like saying ‘I’m not racist….I am completely accepting of people who look and sound exactly the same as me!’

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. Waynes World (15 comments) says:

    I wonder how a Tibetan or an Uighur would rank NZ on racism when comparing it with China’s race and ethnic policies.

    If you are talking about ‘race and ethnic’ policies, China is way ahead of New Zealand (and other Anglo Saxon countries) in terms of the number of Tibetans and Uighurs as a proportion of the population in Tibet and Xinjiang (note Uighurs are no more indigenous to Xinjiang than Han), in terms of bilingualism, in terms of affirmative action, and in terms of retention of their cultures, not being restricted by the one-child policy, guaranteed representation in the National Peoples Congress, as well as an inordinate amount being spent on developing these remote areas.

    The fact is affirmative action for minorities in China is huge, compared to the case for minorities in the West:
    http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19970826&slug=2556773

    So Jack5: can you please describe what areas China’s ‘race and ethnic’ policies lag behind those of NZ?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    waynesworld “can you please describe what areas China’s ‘race and ethnic’ policies lag behind those of NZ?” I guess that must be the shooting / imprisoning dissenters part.

    Personally I see no problem with letting SP buy the Crafar farms but it is a long stretch of the bow to suggest that Xinjiang and Tibet are shining examples of ‘race and ethnic policies’. I’m not sure if you’ve been there?

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/07/06/us-china-xinjiang-idUSTRE5650SW20090706
    http://www.onislam.net/english/news/asia-pacific/453087-clashes-erupt-in-xinjiang-scores-dead.html
    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/4333bcfc-bb5f-11e0-a7c8-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1lLMKX1Yd

    And so it goes on.

    BTW your linked article above is dated Tuesday, August 26, 1997. Hardly current in any sense.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    And Tibet

    China cut off internet in area of Tibetan unrest
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/03/china-internet-links-tibetan-unrest?newsfeed=true

    and

    TIBET UNREST SIGNALS DEEPER PROBLEMS
    http://www.eastwestcenter.org/news-center/east-west-wire/tibet-unrest-signals-deeper-problems

    and

    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/01/31/world/asia/china-tibetans-explainer/index.html
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/world/asia/chinese-crack-down-to-curb-spread-of-tibetan-unrest.html

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. Waynes World (15 comments) says:

    “but it is a long stretch of the bow to suggest that Xinjiang and Tibet are shining examples of ‘race and ethnic policies”

    Not really. I’m talking of ‘race and ethnic policies’, not what the situation is on the ground.

    These are different from security measures taken by a nation to handle rioting or the threat of secession.

    Similarly we would not use New Zealand’s gross overreaaction to what was happening in the Ureweras to characterise this countries ‘race and ethnic policies’, neither should we do the same for China.

    Western countries have largely done away almost completely with their respective indigenous populations. No indigenous populations have had enough power to threaten to break away from the nation states they reside in.

    That is simply not the case for Tibet and Xinjiang.

    Another point. The imprisonment rate for Maoris, aborigines, and native americans is far higher than that of the general population. Whereas in China the opposite is the case.

    http://tinyurl.com/7j83me3

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    Wayne, well it’s patently obvious that the policies do not work and have not worked for decades.

    You seem to suggest that China has not done away with its indigenous peoples how do you reconcile this in the face of Beijing’ policy of forcefully migrating Han into indigenous regions to reduce the relative numbers of indigenous peoples?

    There is a reason imprisonment numbers are lower in China, it’s called a bullet. And excuse me while I chuckle at you quoting a decade old Xinhua News (*) statistic about the glowing performance of the PRC in race related imprisonment.

    * Xinhua News is the official PRC Govt. new agency so you can expect balanced and free reporting of the ‘facts’, or not.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xinhua_News_Agency

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. swan (651 comments) says:

    Jack5

    “There are other reputable and substantial reasons to oppose these sales.”

    Go on, I would love to hear them.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    “If you regard any difference at all in the reaction of locals to these two cases as racism, you are making a very wide definition of racism”

    That’s a strange statement after you’ve just explained that Helen Clark apologised to the Chinese community for racism perpetrated against the Chinese.

    Chinese people have been in NZ since the 1840s, so your argument about their exotic culture is somewhat curious. As is your comment that present-day NZ can’t be too racist. A few years back Debra Coddington wrote an article about the so-called “Asian invasion” here. How a journalist could write such racist drivel is beyond me, but then she also supports Act. You haven’t explained why the Chinese should have been denied the opportunity to buy the Crafar farms. And you haven’t explained what Labour should do about the OIO and the FTA agreement with China.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    Jack,

    One other point. You say that China is a totalitarian regime. That’s essentially true but the Chinese government has not bought the Crafar farms. Furthermore, the United States’ record on human rights is not too flash either. Should the US record on human rights be a factor in individuals from that country being able to buy land here? In other words, if James Cameron was Chinese, should he have been denied the chance to buy land here?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. Waynes World (15 comments) says:

    how do you reconcile this in the face of Beijing’ policy of forcefully migrating Han into indigenous regions to reduce the relative numbers of indigenous peoples?

    Is this really happening. Who claims this? You mean they are rounding up Han at gunpoint and forcing them into these areas? It would be huge news if this was the case. Can you show me your source for this?

    In any case, should Pakeha be banned from moving to Whangarei or the Ureweras or other areas with large numbers of Maori —in order to not reduce the relative numbers of indigenous peoples?

    Wayne, well it’s patently obvious that the policies do not work and have not worked for decades.

    So you saying the Australian and New Zealand and US policies do work? Look at the life expectancy of aborigines – less than that of Tibetans – in a much richer country. Look at all the statistics pertaining to indigenous peoples in these countries, for black people in the US. You saying these policies work and are better than that of China’s? In what way are they better, objectively speaking, and taking into account the large differences in living standards between the former and the latter.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. Waynes World (15 comments) says:

    Should the US record on human rights be a factor in individuals from that country being able to buy land here?

    That is a good point. However more importantly, the record of the US in terms of its multinational corporations interfering in local politics is the worst of any country. Heard of the United Fruit Company anyone?

    And of course the US and Britain are prone to use military force to back up their corporates. From the Opium Wars, to the Suez crisis, to Cuba, to Iraq, the history is not a good one. And certainly worse than that of China’s.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    http://peakwater.org/2011/03/riots-over-forced-migration-at-chinese-dam-project-leave-50-hurt/

    and the opposite

    http://blog.forcedmigration.org/category/region/asia/china/

    and I’m now arguing anything of the sort you are proposing

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. Waynes World (15 comments) says:

    The Chinese should not be sold the farms out of a sense of ‘fairness’ to the Chinese. Or out of a sense of giving them an ‘opportunity’. Whether or not to sell the farms should be based solely on New Zealand’s own interests. Whether or not it benefits the Chinese investors is for them to determine. For them to calculate the ROI and the benefit to risk ratios.

    The fact is the OIO found that the proposed investment was in New Zealand’s interests. And it was in New Zealand’s interests to approve the deal. Because if the deal was cancelled after the OIO found it ticked all the boxes, the Chinese would have drawn their own conclusions (which are pretty obvious) and initiated retaliatory action for breach of the FTA. That would not have been in New Zealand’s interests.

    So the whole thing is this. New Zealand is acting in its own interests throughout the process. So is the Chinese investor.
    Hopefully both will benefit from the sale.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    oops, that was meant to read “I’m not now arguing anything of the sort that you are proposing”.

    And we agree, the farm sale should have occurred.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  47. Waynes World (15 comments) says:

    Expat:

    The links you provided do not prove your point of forced Han migration to minority areas. The first link talks of people being moved away from a dam project—-this could happen anywhere in the world, and has nothing to do with some sort of population transfer or demographic engineering.

    The second link is highly dubious stuff put out by a Uighur emigre group. As an aside note that the Uighurs, just like the Han, are not indigenous to Xinjiang.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  48. Waynes World (15 comments) says:

    Thanks for the chat, expat.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  49. JC (840 comments) says:

    “There are other reputable and substantial reasons to oppose these sales.”

    Go on, I would love to hear them.”

    It comes down to local power politics/money and you can see it in operation in every hellhole in the world.

    What power would Mugabe have if he allowed Western charity and investment to fill his people’s bellies and develop his country’s vast resources? He is forced to deal with China in isolated parts of the country because the Chinese wont lecture him about human rights or undermine him.

    What advantage would Nth Korea’s rulers have if they allowed the West to supply and *distribute* food to the starving? No, they have to rattle the nuclear sabre so that only they get to direct the food to the military and the oligarchs first.

    Same with some Maori.. what advantage to them to agree that the TOW has now largely been honoured if it means they personally cant control the flow of resources and investment to any area of interest to them?

    Same with the Fay bid for the Westpac farms.. what advantage to him, the local Iwi and farmers in the group if they cant pick up the farms at a distressed price?.. why, they’d be forced to hang onto the land, invest in development and have competent management.. no windfall profits there!

    What advantage to the greenies if the Chinese have the money to develop the farms responsibly?

    And what advantage to Labour if the long term results of foreign investment create a more equal society?

    In short, there are vested interests everywhere on this deal that lose out if it goes ahead and the more they have fought it, the more obvious it is that they see this is a watershed moment that takes power/money away from them. For far too many of them NZ is a carcass and it profits them not if a lion (or a dragon) chases them away from the easy pickings.

    JC

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  50. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    > there are vested interests everywhere on this deal

    There are vested interests in any deal. What’s your point?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  51. Jack5 (4,224 comments) says:

    Wayne’s World: are you based in Beijing? You seem to be posting at unusual hours. For example, 5.39am today.

    You ask in this post:

    …Jack5: can you please describe what areas China’s ‘race and ethnic’ policies lag behind those of NZ?

    Get real. You can’t be ignorant of the continuing violence in Urumqi as the Turkic people resist China’s monocultural yoke. The Uighurs have twice tried to declare independence in the last 70 years. Uighurs killed 16 Han policemen in a 2008 attack. Hundreds were killed in 2009. The unrest continues.

    In Tibet, nationalists are burning themselves to death, and China has the region virtually under martial law.

    Even among the Han Chinese, Beijing continues to push its Mandarin language above regional languages.

    In your posts in threads on the Crafar farms sale you have used the following terms to describe the ethnicity of pakeha New Zealanders: “most greedy motherfuckers” and “white thieves”.

    Don’t hold up yourself or your Beijing regime as paragons of racial equality!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  52. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    Wayne, we all know the PRC Govt. has an active policy of Sinicization of the minority cultural groups of the PRC including Tibet and Xinjiang http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinicization

    The methods employed have ranged from changing the common language used in these regions to Mandarin through to bringing in Han immigrants some of whom, it has been reported, were forcefully sent there. Obviously the forced migration isn’t freely reported by the Govt. news agency Xinhua.

    Some points: http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=164&catid=5&subcatid=89

    Complaints by Xinjiang People About China

    Many people in Xinjiang don’t like the Chinese. Some Uighurs spit on the ground whenever they pass a Han Chinese and call Chinese women baorzi (sluts). The Muslims in Xinjiang are unhappy about three major issues: the mass migration of Han Chinese, the testing of nuclear weapons in Lop Nor and the exploitation of Xinjiang oil, which locals view as theirs.

    Flight attendants on flights to Xinjiang speak English but not Uighur. On trains in Xinjiang only Chinese is spoken. To get gain entrance into a Chinese university and get a good job, the Muslim minorities in Xinjiang have to pass Chinese-language examinations. The people of Xinjiang also resent having Mandarin names attached to their ancient ruins, and believe that its none of the Chinese business how many children they have. When Uighurs do speak Mandarin they are often mocked for heir accents by Han Chinese.

    Many Chinese support the rough treatment given to Uighurs and other Muslims. One Chinese man from Sichuan told the Washington Post, “You have to watch them carefully. A lot of them hate us, you know. We have to suppress them. There’s no other choice.”

    Rebiya Kadeer wrote in the Times of London, “Uighurs have been slowly suffocating from official policies aimed at eliminating our Turkic culture and mystical brand of Islam—much in the same way that official policies have destroyed the culture and customs of Tibetans.”

    On Chinese migration diluting the local population, Nicholas Bequelin of Human Rights Watch told the Washington Post, “China probably has the most efficient assimilation model in the world. It’s the ultimate solution.”

    One Uighur man told Reuters, “What we want is simple—freedom. But there are too many Han and too few of us.”

    Even so most Uighurs are opposed to violence, knowing that protest would almost certainly be suppressed by the People’s Liberation Army, and accepting that investment from Beijing is providing work, development and greater prosperity for Uighur people.

    Han Settlers in Xinjiang

    About 2.5 million Han arrived in Xinjiang between the late 1990s and the late 2000s. Han settlers often get free transportation, insurance, housing and help finding jobs and starting businesses.

    Beijing has loosened immigration rules and offers tax incentives to encourage Han Chinese to head to Tibetan and Xinjiang to open new businesses. In many Xinjiang cities, Chinese live in modern apartment blocks while Uighurs live in run-down mud-rick homes.

    Many arrive in Urumqi on the 56-hour train ride from China’s east coast and know little about Xinjiang other than that the region boasts 10 percent growth rates and individuals can make $400 a month, twice the amount they can back home.

    The economic crisis in 2008 and 2009 and the closing down of factories and the decline of construction in eastern China spurred even greater numbers of Han Chinese to head to Xinjiang.

    Leaders in other places in China have encouraged their residents to move to Xinjiang, effectively exporting their unemployment problems and potential for unrest to Xinjiang. The city of Chongqing said it was going to send 100,000 people to Xinjiang in 2009. One county in Ningxia gave 3,200 peasants it was sending off a special ceremony. In March 2009, the railroad ministry boasted 109 trans has carried 210,000 people from three cities in central China to Urumqi to work in construction, agriculture and energy. [Source: Los Angeles Times]

    Job Discrimination in Xinjiang

    Many employers refuse to hire Uighurs for even the most menial positions, even things like dangerous mine work or packing cotton. In one request for new workers in the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, 800 of the 840 civil service job openings were reserved for Han workers.

    Many of the best jobs are government jobs. Advancement is easier if one joins the Communist Party which requires one to renounce their religion. Most Uighurs are not willing to do that. Many Uighurs have to migrate to the east to find opportunities.

    The Chinese are accused of taking all the good jobs and being only interested in money. “Every employee I saw in my Western-style hotel was a Han,” wrote Thomas Allen in National Geographic. “All the police officers I saw were Han. Even unskilled laborers were Han, lured from other provinces to work on the dozens of high rises, sprouting in Urumqi.” Allen saw only one Kazak woman in a factory that produced leather jackets for export to Sweden. The jackets were made from sheepskin brought in by Kazakh herdsmen on bicycles and donkeys and then sewn into jackets by Han woman who earn more in two months than a herdsman makes in a year.

    Ilham Tohti, a leading Uighur intellectual and economic profession at the Central Nationalities University in Beijing, estimated that 1.5 million Uighur workers—the equivalent of half the adult males—are unemployed. In 2009 Tohti disappeared and is believed to be under house arrest.

    Phrases like “Han only” and “No ethnic minorities” routinely appear in classified job ads. The Los Angeles Times reported a job listing in a government-rum employment agency that went: “Room service staff needed. 18-40 year old. Junior high school degree required. Han only.”

    Bilingual Uighur university graduates have more difficulty than Han Chinese on job placement tests that require knowledge of thousands of Chinese characters.

    Uighurs get especially bitter when they see the discrimination against them coupled with the advantages given the Han. “All we want is the same opportunity,” one Uighur told the Los Angeles Times.

    Owners of Uighur and Muslim restaurants in Beijing complain of being harassed over trivial health matters by health officials and police. Uighur workers at these restaurants and other Uighurs sometimes have heir papers checked every morning by Beijing police. Many Uighurs who were in Beijing at the time of the Olympics left. Those that didn’t leave voluntarily were pressured to leave by police

    About 2.5 million Han arrived in Xinjiang between the late 1990s and the late 2000s. Han settlers often get free transportation, insurance, housing and help finding jobs and starting businesses.

    Beijing has loosened immigration rules and offers tax incentives to encourage Han Chinese to head to Tibetan and Xinjiang to open new businesses. In many Xinjiang cities, Chinese live in modern apartment blocks while Uighurs live in run-down mud-rick homes.

    Many arrive in Urumqi on the 56-hour train ride from China’s east coast and know little about Xinjiang other than that the region boasts 10 percent growth rates and individuals can make $400 a month, twice the amount they can back home.

    The economic crisis in 2008 and 2009 and the closing down of factories and the decline of construction in eastern China spurred even greater numbers of Han Chinese to head to Xinjiang.

    Leaders in other places in China have encouraged their residents to move to Xinjiang, effectively exporting their unemployment problems and potential for unrest to Xinjiang. The city of Chongqing said it was going to send 100,000 people to Xinjiang in 2009. One county in Ningxia gave 3,200 peasants it was sending off a special ceremony. In March 2009, the railroad ministry boasted 109 trans has carried 210,000 people from three cities in central China to Urumqi to work in construction, agriculture and energy. [Source: Los Angeles Times]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  53. Jack5 (4,224 comments) says:

    Wayne’s World posted at 8.46:

    if the deal was cancelled after the OIO found it ticked all the boxes, the Chinese would … [have] initiated retaliatory action for breach of the FTA.

    1. Please spell out provisions in the trade deal that cover China’s investment in NZ. Specifically how they refer to purchase by the two parties’ citizens and corporations of freehold land in NZ and China respectively.

    2. Does China try to push countries like Brazil and Argentina into selling their land to China?

    I repeat a link relevant to China and these countries’ land:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/27/world/americas/27brazil.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

    SECOND:

    JC at 9.34 asks for reasons other than racism on which someone can oppose these sales. Here are a few, many of them pointed out repeatedly or alluded to frequently in Kiwiblog threads on the Crafar topic recently:

    - Reciprocity

    As pointed out ad nauseum China does not sell freehold title to agricultural land to foreigners. Why give them this right when they don’t give it to us?

    China shuts foreign investors – including NZ – out of its key industry, steel. Agriculture is our key industry.

    - Scarce resource

    Our agricultural land is a scarce resource and we should conserve it for New Zealanders.

    - Family farming

    Our agricultural industry, on which New Zealand survives economically, is built on family farming.
    Foreign sales of agricultural land drive up the price of land to the extent that the they cannot give a decent economic return, and thus shut out younger farmers moving on to them and developing them. This threatens to force a change from family farming to company farming. If foreign investment destroys family farming it may never return. Young NZ agriculturists could well end up at best being managers for foreign owners.

    - Supply chain

    It is obvious that to benefit further from our agriculture we need to move to higher value products and higher intensity farming. This will require innovation and enterprise. Family-owned farms, and local ownership has in the past produced a stream of innovative, enterprising agriculturalists. There is little likelihood this would continue if foreign ownership were to impose on NZ a latter day form of serfdom.

    Everywhere, from Africa to South America to North America, to Australasia, China is moving up the supply chain for security reasons. Because of its size and its economic power it can operate these foreign (to it) businesses at sub-optimum returns to itself for long-term strategic purposes. At worst, small local businesses will be unable to compete with its subsidaries because of this. At best, because of this and because of China’s power as a consumer, Chinese subsidiaries abroad will be able in effect to set ceiling on prices received by all in many local industries.

    - Relative size

    NZ is tiny. China is vast. For most of history it has been the world’s biggest economy. We need to be highly cautious about locals who would have us sell our limited agricultural land to China. We have unequal bargaining power and need to avoid haggling with the giant over scarce natural resource assets.

    - Nationalism

    We have a right to own our own country, just as China does to own its own territory.

    - Biculturism

    Many, such as Fran O’Sullivan in today’s Hooerald, make much of multiculturism, a fuzzy, left-wing concept. Tolerance and acceptance and intermingling are ideal and to be welcomed, but the concept of multiculturism is Utopian dreaming. True multiculturism would entail NZ having a score of official languages, requiring tens of thousands of official government interpreters. It would require a swarm of parallel education systems, of health and retirement systems. Above all it would require political representation based on race. Apartheid South Africa was multicultural. Multicultural means culturally distinct groups. Personally, I prefer the American approach: assimilation. However NZ seems to be doing okay balancing its two historic treams: Western culture, and Maoridom.

    To respect the Maori side of our biculturism, we need to heed Maori views and concerns. Maori seem mainly opposed to sale of agricultural land abroad. This isn’t surprising after their land losses over the last two centuries.

    Our broadly European proportion of the population seems to oppose sale of agricultural land to foreigners, too, if opinion polls are accurate.

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

    I see Fran is continuing to bleat, long with the fifth columnists that are starting to appear on the blog similar to what happened during the olympics.
    This is a nightmare situation being placed upon the country

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  55. JC (840 comments) says:

    Jack5@ 1pm,

    I wasn’t the one who asked the question, but nevermind..

    All those points and many more have been considered by the OIO, and deemed to be of lesser importance that an ongoing economic relationship with China.. exactly as foreseen by the FTA.

    And by what possible standard would you apply to certify Fay as being of ongoing “good character”?

    JC

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  56. SPC (4,675 comments) says:

    Er, Fay was only buying one or two of the properties – the rest to iwi and local farmers – are you suggesting the OIO should regulate sales to locals by the same standards?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  57. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    Fay is a non resident for tax purposes so he isn’t “a local”

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  58. SPC (4,675 comments) says:

    Fay was only buying one or two of the properties.

    And if the issue is about paying tax – most income from farming is now CG.

    So really this further shows that we do need to tax CG.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  59. wat dabney (3,463 comments) says:

    There seems to be this strange concept here that the Chinese government, by ignoring economic realities, can get one over on naive Kiwis by overpaying for assets or some such shit.

    Really? Really?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  60. hj (5,703 comments) says:

    One treasury economist believes we would have been better off without the large population increases since the 1980′s (80% people from outside NZ)
    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/downloads/pdfs/mi-jarrett-comm.pdf

    The Property Council must be nervous about views like that, since inflows of people are their bread and butter.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  61. Jack5 (4,224 comments) says:

    Following HJ’s 11.38pm post.

    The economist’s views are interesting. I think he’s from the Reserve Bank, though the document is on the Treasury web site.

    The continuing deficit in NZ’s overseas balance (at a time of record commodity prices, too) supports his argument that the increase in population through immigration has not benefited NZ.

    As most of the country’s new population is in Auckland, David Farrar’s column in the Hooerald on January 27 is relevant. He expects that by 2040 Auckland will have a population of 2.5 million.

    How will this population be sustained by our tiny export base?

    Today, Auckland over a third of the national population. This proportion will grow.

    If Shanghai had the same proportion of China’s population as Auckland does of NZ’s now, China’s biggest city would have 440 million people rather than the 16.5 million who live there now.

    Similarly, London would have 20.7 million people rather than its present 8.6 million, New York-Newark would have 103 million rather than its present 19.3 million. Tokyo is closer to Auckland. It has 36.5 million, but if had Auckland’s present proportion of NZ’s population it would have 41.7 million.

    It’s typically in impoverished countries like poor El Salvador, that you find proportions similar to Auckland’s of a national population concentrated in one city. San Salvador, El Salvador’s main city, has 34 per cent of that country’s population.

    Old Len Brown had better come up super quick with a way to make Auckland a huge exporter as well as the main consumer of NZ’s imports. If not, the question will be will be who will be as as poor as: Western Samoa, or Tonga?

    This will need a helluva lot more than an urban rail system, Brownie.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  62. Bob R (1,253 comments) says:

    Selling off productive land to overseas interests makes little sense. Trade agreements should include greater restrictions on this.

    The extreme libertarian view of the world is inconsistent with actual human nature and the existence of communities and national interests. Governments need to protect these and not be bullied by ideologues like Fran O’Sullivan.

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

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.