Some sense on Crafars

April 8th, 2012 at 11:53 am by David Farrar

Q+A interviewed , a Kiwi who has lived in China for the last 25 years and invests there. Some extracts from the interview:

SHANE      So can you tell us exactly what China wants? Is this just one deal or the start of China targeting our resources?

 DAVID       China actually wants resources – whether they’re fibre, timber, wool – or whether it is protein. In the case of the farm deal, it’s a search for protein. The Chinese aren’t looking to buy land and to own land around the world; they’re looking to secure the resources that their own narrow agriculture base doesn’t supply them. And given the fact that Chinese are urbanising in such great numbers, and the demand for food is increasing, there is an urgency for the Chinese to secure good lines of supply.

Jenny Shipley has said the same thing. They basically just want secure supply of food, to feed their own population. This is an opportunity, not a threat.

If you look at the Crafar deal, already these farms have been owned by Australian banks. Effectively you’re transferring Westpac debt, largely, into Chinese equity. So the land was already lost to New Zealand by the time the company went into receivership. 

Exactly. The farms are now effectively Australian owned. Those who oppose the sale then are not really against – just Chinese investment.

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58 Responses to “Some sense on Crafars”

  1. slijmbal (1,224 comments) says:

    Why we think there is any real difference between Ozzie, US, European or Chinese foreign owners is beyond me.

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  2. Mark (497 comments) says:

    This should be an opportunity for NZ, not a threat.

    If China main aim was to buy farm land they are a lot of closer countries that they could buy land for a fraction of the price.

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  3. mara (752 comments) says:

    They want NZ’s uniquely good dairy branding. Why don’t they consider leasing the land if all they want is protein etc? Did they not say a refusal would threaten the free trade deal?

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  4. decanker (222 comments) says:

    “they’re looking to secure the resources…”
    “there is an urgency for the Chinese to secure good lines of supply”

    At our (long term) expense? I still fail to see how these and other land sales, designed to secure supply for foreign owners, benefit NZ over and above those new owners.

    If China is concerned about food security, then it is to our commercial advantage to keep the land in our hands.

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  5. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    we should just lease land to foreigners…like many other countries do…

    ..including china..

    ..and just because we have a history of flogging off the land/best assets…hardly makes the case to continue down that particular road to perdition..

    ..we need to draw a line in the land…

    ..now’s good..

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  6. Jack5 (4,917 comments) says:

    The best sense in this Q&A discussion came from the Greens’ Norman. I’ve never voted Green, but if the General Election were reheld this month I would either switch my party vote from National to Green or just not exercise that party vote.

    As for Mahon and DPF’s attempt to suggest that the choice is Australian bank or Chinese ownership – bull.

    The banks are in the Crafar chain only because they had to foreclose after overlending to the Crafars. The banks want out and the choices are NZ ownership or Chinese ownership, and if they would sell the farms individually rather than as a block that would mean small NZ farmers owning them.

    Debt does not equal equity as Mahon undoubtedly knows. Otherwise, you might say the Australian banks own the whole of NZ now. These banks are in such a dominant position because of the fuckwits the politicians put in charge of the BNZ at privatisation time. These directors and their new chiefs threw out the book of traditional bankers’ conservatism and led to the BNZ going almost broke and being sold to the Aussies.

    However, I believe Mahon was right in that NZ should have a policy on its land. I would favour reserving to NZ citizens and permanent residents ownership of all arable or potentially arable land. Intensive farming land makes up quite a small portion of this small mountainous country. Sales of individual farms to Dutch, Germans, Irish, Americans and so on has largely gone unnoticed until the huge Crafar block came on the market. The Crafar farms were already in the public mind thanks to reporting of problems with animal welfare.

    The Argentinians and Brazilians have more guts than NZ. They are moving to restrict sales to foreigners of their land (and China interest has caused this). A panelist in Q&A reminded us of this.

    Mahon has his own interests of course. It would have been helpful if Q&A had spelled out his NZ and Chinese business interests.

    In my view, Mahon overemphasised the inevitability of future dominance of China on the NZ economy. Australia is our biggest trade partner, and because of geography, culture, language, laws, ethnicity, will always be the most important relationship of New Zealand. Of course, China as a huge consumer of Australian minerals has an indirect influence on us through Australia, as well as its direct trade with NZ.

    There are other huge Asian economies or emerging huge economies that seem to be looking to the USA as a strategic counter-balance to China. These include Japan, India, Vietnam, the Philippines, and probably Indonesia. Possibly their trade with NZ in total will be greater than China’s.

    From relying on Britain as an overwhelming trade partner, to transferring political dependency to America after the Japanese aggression in World War 2, some now would now sell NZ into a similar dependency relationship with China. As a small trading nation, luckily with a close trade relationship with Australia, which is destined to be a large economy, NZ could build a future with widely diverse trade. It would thus be buffered when China inevitably suffers the same slowdown experienced by Japan, which in the early 1990s was trumpeted as the coming world economic giant.

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  7. Australis (100 comments) says:

    Why is the residence of the ultimate major shareholders in a land-owning company a political issue?

    Tens of thousands of NZ residents move to Australia every year, and many own land here. What happens when they board the plane? Somehow they turn into alien demons who must be divested of those properties.

    Put differently, the domicile of a landowner has no effect whatever on me. It doesn’t change the use of the land, or the regulatory environment affecting the land. It doesn’t change anything.

    Net tax-paid profits from land operations (if any) will eventually flow abroad. But that will almost certainly be less than the interest that would have flowed abroad if the land was bought by a company with NZ-resident shareholders.

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  8. Jack5 (4,917 comments) says:

    The role of Landcorp in pushing the sale of the Crafar land to Chinese interests is quite interesting.
    Landcorp stands to benefit as what Q&A showed will be virtually a share-milker relationship with the Chinese owners.

    But here we have a State-owned entity heavily involved in one side of a strong political debate. Is this right?

    Because of its role in heavily pushing the sale to China, it’s probably pertinent to look at the State-appointed board of Landcorp. This information comes mainly from the Landcorp web site.

    Chairman: Jim Sutton, former farmer and Labour MP, who served as Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Trade Negotiations.

    Deputy chairman: Bill Baylis, of Queenstown, an accountant who also chairs South Island dairying investor Dairy Holdings Ltd, and the tourism firm Real Journeys.

    John Brakenridge, of Christchurch, head of New Zealand Merino. The Landcorp site describes him also as is an active member of the Synlait Innovation Advisory Committee. (Chinese interests own 51 per cent of Synlait).

    Traci Houpapa, of Hamilton, owns and runs a business consultancy and chairs the Federation of Maori Authorities.

    Marise James, of New Plymouth, a former share milker, farm owner and now a chartered accountant and a director of TSB Bank.

    Warren Larsen, of Wellington, former chief executive of the Dairy Board and an Air NZ director.

    Jane Mitchell, of Alexandra, experience in farming sheep, beef, deer and seeds, and a qualified soil conservator.

    Basil Morrison, of Paeroa, a former farmer, chairman of MANZ Dairying and chairman of the Local Government Commission. A member of the Waitangi Tribunal.

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  9. JC (933 comments) says:

    Since we are going to have another bash at the Chinese who walked all over the poor locals, lets look at what the receivers actually did to promote sales..

    From Fran O’Sullivan

    “But KordaMentha receiver Brendon Gibson confirms there was no real difference between the way the Crafar farms were marketed here and overseas.

    The wording used in the advertising material in New Zealand was quite explicit in what was being offered. “There is the potential to purchase a single property, a selection of properties, or the entire portfolio,” the advertisement stated.

    This was patently clear in copies of the NZ advertisements which Bayleys placed.

    The firm had been instructed to market the portfolio to the widest potential buyer audience possible and secure the best possible outcome by maximising the value of its clients’ property assets.

    Bayleys ran a “blanket awareness” campaign which involved marketing the properties to the immediate vicinity in which they were located, marketing them regionally throughout the Central North Island, and marketing them to the greater rural sector throughout New Zealand.

    Local print media were used and advertisements placed in major metros, including the Sunday Star-Times, and rural newspapers.

    The properties were also marketed to the individual buyer databases of all Bayleys’ rural sales people in regions where the Crafar farms were located and 20,000 copies of a special Crafar portfolio brochure were distributed through rural sales teams in areas such as Rotorua, Feilding, Wanganui, Hamilton, Matamata, Cambridge, Tauranga, Taupo and New Plymouth.

    Some 500 copies of the brochure were distributed to rural bank managers, an additional 800 copies sent to rural business investors, and 11,516 copies of the publication were mailed directly to rural delivery addresses.

    Of the entire print run, 250 copies were sent offshore.

    The properties were also advertised internationally in the Australian Financial Review, the South China Morning Post, the Singapore Straits Times, the Chinese Herald, and Neue Zyrcher Zeitung in Switzerland.

    All this could have been ascertained if Shearer’s team phoned Bayleys and KordaMentha.

    The best offer came from Natural Dairy which bid for the entire portfolio.

    Shanghai Pengxin emerged as the successful bidder when the OIO turned down the application from Natural Dairy.

    Such niceties will (not? Ed) bother those who are adamantly opposed to any Chinese firm buying New Zealand farmland.

    But it is surprising that Shearer did not seek more information before reacting.

    His advisers must surely have been able to tell him that the OIO has to first satisfy itself that the receivers have offered the farms locally – in keeping with overseas investment laws – before recommending ministers approve such an application.

    In any event, copies of the advertisements promote the sale to New Zealand buyers as a “single property, a selection of properties, or the entire portfolio” are clearly displayed within the OIO’s formal recommendation to ministers to approve Shanghai Pengxin’s application.

    It is clear that as long as Key lets this vacuum exist it will continue to be filled by misinformation – whether wittingly or by accident.”

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  10. Jack5 (4,917 comments) says:

    Re JC at 1.20.

    The issue isn’t whether the receivers are bound to get the highest prices for their clients, the banks. Nor whether the banks are bound to get the highest price they can, for their shareholders.

    It’s whether the land should be able to be sold to overseas interests.

    As for JC’s comment:

    …Since we are going to have another bash at the Chinese who walked all over the poor locals…

    This is about sales to overseas of our arable land. In my view it doesn’t matter whether the foreign money comes from China or Timbuktu or Iceland (especially if the bidder is one of Iceland’s internet banks).

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  11. elscorcho (153 comments) says:

    Seriously DPF?

    Assisting China to gain security of food sources increases their power vis a vis ours; it’s a bad move from a geopolitical perspective.

    We don’t want China to have ANY resources because if they don’t they can’t become a superpower.

    This is where the free-traders always fall down: free trade may lead to absolute gains for both sides but POWER IS RELATIVE NOT ABSOLUTE.

    Australis says: Tens of thousands of NZ residents move to Australia every year, and many own land here. What happens when they board the plane? Somehow they turn into alien demons who must be divested of those properties.
    <– if they put their own wellbeing ahead of the good of the country, why not? They are moving for selfish reasons.

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  12. Nichlemn (63 comments) says:

    Great depersonalisation effort there: “what China wants”, “China targeting our resources”, as if they’re a homogeneous mob of slitty-eyed demons out to take over the world, rather than individual buyers who happen to be Chinese. It’d be like if a German couple bought a NZ holiday home and it was framed as part of a new German expansionist policy.

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  13. JC (933 comments) says:

    “It’s whether the land should be able to be sold to overseas interests.”

    Which, of course was perfectly legal and several millions of hectares have been sold to overseas interests without fuss. The legislation (Sec 16) is designed to ensure that (eg) xenophobia and racism cannot be a reason for the Ministers to deny a bid by the likes of the Chinese.

    By all means, this can be challenged and changed.. but not applied to this particular sale without serious damage to our reputation, a possible appeal to the UN and damage to the economy.

    JC

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  14. Jack5 (4,917 comments) says:

    Nichlemn at 1.32 uses these words, which to me seem nasty and racist:

    … they’re a homogeneous mob of slitty-eyed demons out to take over the world

    How can those who apparently want to imply racism in others use such words?

    Meanwhile JC at 1.38 talks about a possible Chinese appeal to the UN if NZ were to block the Crafar sale to China.

    Get real JC? Even if it were within the UN’s mandate, where would it sit on the agenda? Between the complaints of the Tibetans, the Uighurs, and the ethnic Mongolians of Inner Mongolia, perhaps?

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  15. elscorcho (153 comments) says:

    Nichlemn
    It’s a common simplification in IR and FPA to view countries as thinking, acting entities. For you to find it odd is rather unusual.
    Would you prefer “The Chinese Government”?

    Geopolitics is not a game for children.

    Also, whether they’re individual buyers or not is irrelevant. Their purchase increases China’s strength vis a vis the Western bloc.

    You’d have been shipping as much rubber and oil as you could to Japan in 1940. I know your type.

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  16. bc (1,356 comments) says:

    So if China is only interested in “protein” from the land and not the land itself then I guess they won’t mind leasing the land then. Problem solved!!
    And saying the farms are ‘”effectively” owned by Australia because of Westpac holding the debt is some pretty weak logic! Westpac will be keen to get rid of this debt first chance they get.

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  17. Nichlemn (63 comments) says:

    “… they’re a homogeneous mob of slitty-eyed demons out to take over the world”

    Way to quote out of context. My implication is that that is what those who seek to depersonalise the Chinese are trying to create this image.

    It’s a common simplification in IR and FPA to view countries as thinking, acting entities. For you to find it odd is rather unusual.
    Would you prefer “The Chinese Government”?

    But the Chinese government isn’t buying them. A Chinese company is.

    Geopolitics is not a game for children.

    Also, whether they’re individual buyers or not is irrelevant. Their purchase increases China’s strength vis a vis the Western bloc.

    You’d have been shipping as much rubber and oil as you could to Japan in 1940. I know your type.

    Well, if you’re genuinely paranoid that China is on the brink of starting a global war, then maybe your opposition makes sense. I presume you also boycott all Chinese-produced goods and are busy building a fallout shelter.

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  18. elscorcho (153 comments) says:

    “But the Chinese government isn’t buying them. A Chinese company is”
    With the net effect an increase in the relative power of China (the Chinese government)

    Not on the brink no. But it’s not in our best interests to support anybody but the Western bloc and Russia to keep China honest on that northern border

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  19. MT_Tinman (3,055 comments) says:

    Q & A may have offered some sense on the Crafar Farm sales (or not) but the comments in this thread certainly do not.

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  20. Ross12 (1,284 comments) says:

    Jack5

    I agree with JC. The farm sales were marketed openly and widely as evidenced by Fran O’Sullivan’s article. They did not have to be sold as a block. They could have been bought individually at the right price.
    This whole process has been going for a long time. When the original deal fell through there was another opportunity for the Norman’s of this world “to put their money where their is”. Why did they not do a bit of business instead of just playing politics. ( I know it is easier to play politics) .

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  21. Nichlemn (63 comments) says:

    If China did start a war or otherwise abuse its power, the NZ government could just nationalise the farms anyway.

    In any case, is the marginal increase in security concerns worth forcing the receivers to lose $40 million?

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  22. Michael (899 comments) says:

    When I was a boy we were constantly told that the way to solve New Zealand’s economic woes was to crack the Chinese market. Here is an oppurtunity handed to us on a platter to sell our dairy to them as a beachhead for New Zealand to be the biggest international supplier to the Chinese market.

    And instead half the country goes into xenophobic mode – notice how no-one has picked on James Cameron who has bought three farms without having any stringent residency requirements (three weeks a year for three years is SFA).

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  23. Nichlemn (63 comments) says:

    My previous comments notwithstanding, I think the pro-sale side does itself a disservice by focusing so much on the xenophobia angle. That’s easily refuted by saying “oh, but I oppose all foreign asset sales”. Instead, we should focus on the fact that the main arguments depend on fallacious mercantalist reasoning.

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  24. Matthew Hooton (126 comments) says:

    David, there is no sense in these comments at all. Specifically, “in the case of the Crafar farm deal, it’s a search for protein.” As I understand it, Landcorp, as the tenant, will be supplying all the milk to Fonterra. Fonterra will process it and sell it wherever they want – some to China, but all around the world. So China gets no more protein from this deal than if anyone else owned the farms. Unless, of course, the plan is not to supply Fonterra but some other entity that we don’t know about yet. Interestingly, that can’t be the Chinese landlords, because they will be prevented from investing down the supply chain by the OIA. So whatever this deal is about, it is not about greater protein exports from NZ to China. The best way for China to guarantee protein supply to its people is to expand its domestic protein production, which it is doing on a very large scale.

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  25. dime (9,682 comments) says:

    elscorcho – do you want the poor chinese to starve??

    denying resources is what leads to war.

    trade with em and there will be peace. everyone wins.

    cepts a few small minded little kiwis who think they always know best

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  26. wiseowl (835 comments) says:

    I get really peed off with all the townies who think they have all the answers when it comes to land issues.

    The fact is only 7% of New Zealand is class 1&2 soils and 50% or more is mountainous.

    What is happening is the systematic sell off of our best producing land and hence source of so much of our countries income.
    grapes ,fruit , dairying.

    The question is how much ‘productive ‘ land do we sell off before we become tenants in our own country?
    Who said that?

    Landcorp themselves are preventing our aspiring dairy farmers buying farms as they have too much clout and financial backing to compete against.
    Maybe they should be selling off land?

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  27. wiseowl (835 comments) says:

    I get really peed off with all the townies who think they have all the answers when it comes to land issues.

    The fact is only 7% of New Zealand is class 1&2 soils and 50% or more is mountainous.

    What is happening is the systematic sell off of our best producing land and hence source of so much of our countries income.
    grapes ,fruit , dairying.

    Landcorp themselves are preventing our aspiring dairy farmers buying farms as they have too much clout and financial backing to compete against.
    Maybe they should be selling off land?

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  28. MikeG (416 comments) says:

    “So the land was already lost to New Zealand by the time the company went into receivership.”
    What? Crafar is a NZer, who happened to have a mortgage with Westpac. If he had repaid the mortgage he would have owned the farms – Westpac never had a contrilling interest in the Crafar business.

    Shame on Farrar for repeating such a blatant untruth.

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  29. wiseowl (835 comments) says:

    woops,don’t know how I did that!

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  30. toad (3,673 comments) says:

    @dime 6:21 pm

    trade with em and there will be peace. everyone wins.

    FFS dime, you are missing the point. This is not about trade, it is about other countries buying up bits of New Zealand.

    It is about economic sovereignty. I am all for New Zealand increasing its exports to China, Australia, Germany, USA, wherever.

    But I am not for any of them owning bits of our country, because then it becomes about what we may gain from trade being offset by what we lose through corporate profits derived from a finite resource (i.e New Zealand land) being repatriated overseas.

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  31. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Anyone who is not worried by foreigners buying up the land need only consider the Maori experience since 1840.

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  32. bc (1,356 comments) says:

    MT_Timan @ 4.14pm
    Speak for yourself!!

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  33. Steve (4,524 comments) says:

    Magpie at 12.29pm
    “we should just lease land to foreigners…like many other countries do…”

    First of all Whore who is we? You are a bludging parisite maggot and you say ‘we’ fuck off
    You should be all for more imigrants to come to NZ/invest in NZ to take care of lazy counts like you.
    Soon the imigrants will read the blogs and wonder why they pay TAX and you sit on your arse and pull the race card.
    You fucking icehole, you will get your fucking ‘karma’ one day

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  34. MT_Tinman (3,055 comments) says:

    bc, I did. Unlike yourself though, I thought first.

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  35. toad (3,673 comments) says:

    @Steve 8:17 pm

    Got an anger problem, Steve? Suggest you see someone about dealing with it.

    That was a very nasty comment.

    Or is it just too much alcohol involved? If you can’t handle your piss, best stay off the blogs.

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  36. Paw Prick (41 comments) says:

    I can’t understand why some new zealanders think they have the right to interfere with the sale of a private busines. Who’s business is it? The receivers have a responsibility to get the best price they can, as long as it complies with the OIO regulations.
    Farmers compete in a international market to sell there products, what right do some new zealanders have to say you can’t sell your business in that same market. If they want a say……put up or move on!
    Socialism gone mad!
    They can’t take it with them

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  37. hj (6,754 comments) says:

    Jack5 (2,542) Says:
    April 8th, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    The best sense in this Q&A discussion came from the Greens’ Norman. I

    =====================================
    I thought he’s on the money too.
    And this::::

    http://vimeo.com/38500767

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  38. Nichlemn (63 comments) says:

    But I am not for any of them owning bits of our country, because then it becomes about what we may gain from trade being offset by what we lose through corporate profits derived from a finite resource (i.e New Zealand land) being repatriated overseas.

    Focusing on repatriation of profits as a problem is like concluding that supermarkets are getting ripped off by consumers because of all the goods that flow out of the supermarket to strangers. It ignores the key point that this is compensated for by a large lump sum (the sale price) coming into the country. If you think it is inherently folly to give up a stream of payments in exchange for a lump sum, then I guess everyone who ever sells their own real estate, shares or bonds must be an idiot.

    Hey, wanna buy my house for a million dollars and then I’ll rent if off you? Surely you’re coming ahead on the deal, since money will be steadily repatriated from my household to yours.

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  39. dime (9,682 comments) says:

    “FFS dime, you are missing the point.” – lol from a greens supporter??

    “This is not about trade, it is about other countries buying up bits of New Zealand.”

    dude, who cares?? we buy land in other countries too.

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  40. Gman88 (12 comments) says:

    Celebrating Easter in a religous kind of way are you ???

    In China they put you in jail for that.

    THATS the difference – its a fucking dictatorship.

    And spare me all this economically correct nonsense about it just being another
    private deal, or that its the same as selling your own house.

    If they want the land they can lease it , and pay dearly for it.

    Look at th Aussies – why sell the Chinese the coal mine, when they will happily continue paying for the coal
    at the price WE set ? … and if they don’t, we just sell it to any one of the other customers lining up.

    They must be laughing their heads off in Beijing.

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  41. davidp (3,559 comments) says:

    dime>dude, who cares??

    Exactly. I have no idea where these farms are even located. But apparently if they’re owned by Michael Fay then I should be happy. But if they’re owned by Asian people then I’ve become a tenant in my own country. That logic doesn’t make sense in any universe.

    I probably walk past 100 office buildings on my way to work. I have no idea who owns any of them. Except that these days Terry Sereposis owns none of them ;-) But according to the Greens and NZ First, I’m supposed to find out who owns them all and then feel oppressed when I walk past the foreign owned ones.

    And if I’m walking around the suburbs and make eye contact with an Asian person working in their front yard, then I’m not supposed to feel pleased that they smiled back at me. But instead I’m supposed to feel resentful that by some inexplicable logic they’ve made me a tenant, and why don’t we force these foreigners to lease land like a 2012 version of the poll tax.

    I’m not surprised that NZ First are running this sort of Asian bating campaign. It’s pretty much standard for them. I’m not surprised that Labour have turned their backs on their China FTA triumph. It’s normal for Labour to pretend that their past policies were nothing to do with them. Like, Helen Clark and Phil Goff had nothing to do with asset sales… they were just cabinet ministers at the time and therefore had no influence on anything. I AM surprised that the Greens are running an Asian Peril campaign. Aren’t they supposed to be principled, rather than pandering to the lowest denominator?

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  42. Liberal Minded Kiwi (1,569 comments) says:

    Said it all along, Kiwis have anti Asian sentiment buried deep within it’s rotten core. Whenever I fly back to NZ I hear Asian jokes all the time like it’s supposed to be hilarious. That’s what kept Winston in Parliament for so long.

    Ignore the rising superpower of China at your peril, they will remember their friendly partners when they are at the top of the food chain, surpassing the US. Of course by then most of you will be dead and have passed on some pathetic protectionist policy to the next generation.

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  43. Keeping Stock (10,184 comments) says:

    Phillip Ure said

    we should just lease land to foreigners…like many other countries do…

    There’s one big fault in your argument Phil; the Crafar farms are/were PRIVATELY owned. They are not a state asset. And after all, it’s not like the land is going anywhere…

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  44. Michael (899 comments) says:

    @Toad – So you would be happy with corporate profits going into the back pocket of Michael Fay. Fuck me, times have changed in the Green Party!

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  45. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..There’s one big fault in your argument Phil; the Crafar farms are/were PRIVATELY owned..”

    that was addressed by barnett..private owners would be able to sell to the state..

    ..and the state then runs the lease..

    (hope that clears that up for you..)

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  46. big bruv (13,571 comments) says:

    We all know that the Greens are duplicitous bastards but I never thought they would stoop to blatant racism in an attempt to gain more votes.

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  47. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..Whenever I fly back to NZ I hear Asian jokes all the time like it’s supposed to be hilarious..”

    can i suggest you stop hanging out with racists..?

    ..and i presume you are in provincial/small-town/sth island new zealand..?

    ..’cos i hafta say..living in auckland..i haven’t heard a racist joke in years..

    ..and i don’t really think/see race…just people..

    ..they are after all just the mark of utter ignorance..the mark of a primitive..

    ..and if you want easy/off-the-cuff-racism…

    ..you need to go to australia..

    ..(or those afor-mentioned locations in new zealand..

    ..and just why do white-power racists flock to christchurch..?

    ..it’s a mystery rivaling the arrival/departure of the godwits..

    ..do they have some sort of inner-compass…?

    ..those white-power racists..?

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  48. Nookin (3,191 comments) says:

    Philu

    “private owners would be able to sell to the state..

    ..and the state then runs the lease..”

    Don’t you think the state (ie the taxpayer) has enough on on its plate without having to pick up the tab for the odd farm every month or so?

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  49. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    nookin..it is a system that works elsewhere…

    ..and it becomes an asset..so..w.t.f..!

    ..the alternative is to sell it all..forever..

    ..and that demand for our good-food-source/safe-land is only going to escalate…

    ..and as (rightwinger) barnett pointed out…decisions made now will have a huge impact on our futures..

    ..’;cos we will just become peasants/worker-clones…

    ..in our own country..

    ..and that isn’t good..

    ..no matter what yr political-ideology..

    ..phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  50. hj (6,754 comments) says:

    Liberal Minded Kiwi (1,351) Says:
    April 9th, 2012 at 5:21 am

    Said it all along, Kiwis have anti Asian sentiment buried deep within it’s rotten core. Whenever I fly back to NZ I hear Asian jokes all the time like it’s supposed to be hilarious. That’s what kept Winston in Parliament for so long.
    ……………….
    You’re so observant!:

    Psychologists have long known that many people are prejudiced towards others based on group affiliations, be they racial, ethnic, religious, or even political. However, we know far less about why people are prone to prejudice in the first place. New research, using monkeys, suggests that the roots lie deep in our evolutionary past.
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=evolution-of-prejudice

    The fact we allow foreign sales to Europeans and kick up when it is Chinese just evades the issue which is about nationalism, populations and relative resources. Liberals on the right see resources as never running out (or not until they have cashed the ccommision check) and liberals on the left see a world where the hordes should be allowed to flow in and embrace their Kiwi brothers (while they are elevated on the grateful shoulders of the hordes). Neither group recognises biological phenomena such as over population and/ or resource depletion.

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  51. hj (6,754 comments) says:

    John Stuart Mill:

    “The land of Ireland, the land of every country, belongs to the people of that country.”
    ………………………..
    Of course The Good Old Boys of The Property Council would disagree.

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  52. orewa1 (428 comments) says:

    Track records of NZ-friendliness in the ownership of NZ assets speak for themselves. Remember Kiwirail? Better an unknown Chinese corporation, than a known Michael Fay.

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  53. Jack5 (4,917 comments) says:

    Liberal Minded Kiwi posted at 5.21:

    Said it all along, Kiwis have anti Asian sentiment buried deep within it’s rotten core. Whenever I fly back to NZ I hear Asian jokes all the time like it’s supposed to be hilarious. That’s what kept Winston in Parliament for so long.

    What Asian jokes? The racist jokes I hear in NZ are mainly about Australians, and there are plenty of racist Aussie jokes about NZers. Who cares?

    When the pro-China lobby on the Crafar farms is out of arguments it tries to label opposition as racist.

    Any racism in NZ is not remotely near the scale that causes Tibetans to burn themselves alive in protest, or Uighurs to fight Han Chinese police, or ethnic Mongolians to protest about the overwhelming Chinese cultural dominance in Inner Mongolia.

    And China’s shutting foreigners out of any significant stake in its huge steel industry – is that racist, then?

    Should we who oppose sales of our arable and potentially arable land to foreigners specifically exempt Asian buyers from our opposition? Of course not.

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  54. hj (6,754 comments) says:

    Jenny Shipley has said the same thing.
    …….
    Looks after CERA for ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS a day (but her hearts in the right pla$e).

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  55. hj (6,754 comments) says:

    “”The object of warfare is to take over a country’s land, raw materials and assets, and grab them,” Hudson says. “In the past, that used to be done militarily by invading them. But today you can do it financially simply by creating credit,”
    Professor Michael Hudson

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  56. hj (6,754 comments) says:

    Frank DeJong (Ontario Green Party) here:

    http://michael-hudson.com/2012/03/film-real-estate-4-ransom/

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  57. hj (6,754 comments) says:

    “Most recently, Chinese media focus has been on the controversy surrounding developers making astronomical profits out of property sales. A Chinese netizen who goes by the name Wonderbue pointed out that the numbers issued by the Shanghai Statistics Bureau show that the average development cost per square meter of residential property increased 41 percent from 2000 to 2005, while the average residential sales price per square meter jumped 101 percent in the same period. Based on the same set of numbers, the average rule-of-thumb profit margin for developers was 54 percent in 2000 and 119 percent in 2005.

    “How can the developers still deny that the profits they make are prodigious?” Wonderbue protested.

    Another mainland netizen, Zou Tao, made news ripples worldwide in April and May 2006 after a highly publicized call to potential Shenzhen homebuyers to boycott the property market.

    http://www.asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=293&Itemid=32

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  58. hj (6,754 comments) says:

    “Another mainland netizen, Zou Tao, made news ripples worldwide in April and May 2006 after a highly publicized call to potential Shenzhen homebuyers to boycott the property market.

    Zou’s “Not Buy House” movement urged people in Shenzhen to suspend any property purchases for three years. “So we don’t become ‘house slaves,’ and so we don’t have to carry the burden of heavy debts throughout our lives,” Zou wrote in one of his online proclamations.

    The average housing price per square meter in Shenzhen reached 8,752.94 yuan (US$1,094) in the first quarter of the year, up 20.62 percent from a year ago. Zou suggested that people rent houses instead because rental prices have remained at a relatively stable level.

    While Zou’s movement drew a wave of support on mainland chat and message boards, its ultimate impact was hard to discern. His current fate – he has since been variously reported as under arrest or in hiding – is unknown and he hasn’t been heard from online since August. In the wake of his boycott call, however, the Shenzhen Municipal Government announced plans to build 114,000 tiny (30 to 50 square meters) apartments for low-income residents within the next five years. Initial public enthusiasm for the project was dampened, however, when it was reported that the lion’s share of the units would be going to employees of the Shenzhen Public Security Bureau.

    Beneath the surface of excessive profiteering lies a host of contributing structural and non-structural factors against which mainland homebuyers have little defense. These include an absence of firm laws and basic freedoms, the population’s desperate housing needs as income increases, an immature and rigged land system, corruption at every level of government, the unavailability of reliable market information and statistics to consumers, and developers’ and foreign investors’ frenzied speculation. Against such a backdrop, consumers’ interests and basic rights would be the last thing on political leaders’ agendas.

    “It is very common in the whole country for developers to spread falsified information that supply falls far behind demand and jack up prices accordingly,” said Chinese economist Wang Xiao Guang.

    “Some developers purposely misinform potential buyers that all units are sold out when in actual fact 60 percent remains unsold,” he added. ”

    http://www.asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=293&Itemid=32

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