The Crafar dilemma

In my Herald column I look at the court judgement. First the political aspect:

On the political front the decision is as popular with the Government as a colonoscopy. It might turn out to be good for you in the long term, but it is making life very uncomfortable for now.

For the Opposition, it was like an early visit from the Easter Bunny, just as their chocolate supply was running out. The questioning in the first week of Parliament this year on the issue amounted to little as Ministers ran the line that they were merely applying the law, and that there were no lawful reasons to decline the application by Shanghai Pengxin.

And the economic aspect:

Putting aside the practicality aspects, it is hard to argue with the logic of the learned judge, that any benefit should be measured against a domestic buyer, rather than against the status quo. By measuring against the status quo, it is almost inevitable that net benefits will be found as new buyers always will have investment plans greater than the seller.

I conclude the the days of the saying yes to most applications may be in the past.

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