Former ACT leader and MP John Banks convicted of filing false electoral returns; Labour reject National's claim NZ$16.25/hr wage would cost over 6,000 jobs

Former ACT leader and MP John Banks convicted of filing false electoral returns; Labour reject National's claim NZ$16.25/hr wage would cost over 6,000 jobs

By Bernard Hickey

With just over seven weeks left until the September 20 election, here's my daily round-up of political news from in and around Wellington on Friday August 1, including comments from Conservative Leader Colin Craig and New Zealand First Leader Winston that they opposed the sale of the 13,800 ha Lochinver Station near Taupo to Shanghai Pengxin, which also bought the near-by Crafar Farms.

The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) confirmed an application had been lodged to buy approval the purchase of Lochinver, but it would not disclose the bidder's name. Shanghai Pengxin confirmed later on Friday afternoon it had agreed to buy Lochiver and had applied to the OIO for approval.

Shanghai Pengxin bought the near-by Crafar farms, triggering an intense debate around foreign ownership of land. Lochinver has been valued at NZ$70 million and has been owned for more than 50 years by the Stevenson family.

Craig made the comments in a speech to Grey Power in Hastings today, various media reported, saying his Conservative Party opposed sale of land to foreign interests.

"We can do business without selling our soul," Craig was reported as saying by Stuff and TVNZ.

National "waved through the Crafar farms deal against our national interests and doubtless will do the same with Lochinver Station," Craig said.

"We will be changing the criteria of the Overseas Investment Office so that our country is not sold up. It's time to take down the 'For Sale' sign on New Zealand," he said.

"The PM needs to realise that New Zealanders can't buy land in China because the Chinese aren't naive enough to sell it. It's time to get commercially smart; land is a truly scarce resource, and the future prosperity and wellbeing of New Zealanders should not be for sale."

Pengxin International CEO Gary Romano told Pengxin planned to further invest in Lochinver environmental sustainability and health and safety. It planned to further convert to dairy only a "modest" part of the station that were next to neighbouring former Crafar farms. Shanghai Pengxin, which is ultimately owned by billionaire Jiang Zhaobai, was also the 74% owner of a company that bought Synlait Farms in Canterbury earlier this year.

Romano said the combined interests of Shanhai Pengxin owned about 10 million kgs per year of dairy production, which was sold to Fonterra, Miraka and Synlait. Romano said Pengxin had no plans to change the 20 management and staff of the station.

Winston chimes in

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters said the sale "puts the spotlight again on National’s agenda of ‘going, going, gone’."

“They just don’t care – they’re letting anyone and everyone buy our houses, land and businesses. New Zealand First warned just a week ago that under National almost a million hectares had passed through the Overseas Investment Office in less than six years. They hide the sales for as long as they can - that’s why there is no register of foreign ownerships of New Zealand land. New Zealand First has legislation ready to go but the government is not supporting it," Peters said.

“They are hiding the details from the New Zealand public. If the true facts were revealed Kiwis would be outraged at the extent they have been dispossessed in their own country."

NSA bugging Southern Cross Cable?

The New Zealand Herald reported from a US travel expenses disclosure that a US National Security Administration official visited a GCSB base in Blenheim last year to talk about setting up a "Special Source Operations" site in New Zealand, which are bugging operations to collect information from cables. The GCSB would not say if the SSO had been set up on any cables.

The document which reveals the spying was a General Accounting Office travel disclosure, in which NSA staff declare any travel costs not funded by the US taxpayer.

In declaring a $271 payment for "transportation, lodging and meals", the NSA revealed it had sent an engineer to Blenheim for two nights to "participate in technical discussions regarding GCSB future SSO site".

The papers give no indication as to whether the tools are being offered to NZ's GCSB or whether they would be operated by NSA staff working in NZ.

Green Co Leader Russel Norman called on Prime Minister John Key to say what type of data collection operation had been set up by the NSA and whether all emails, internet communications and phone calls on the Southern Cross Cable.

“Key’s integrity is in question. He has given New Zealanders’ multiple assurances that their data is safe. Now it looks like he may have approved total interception through this SSO site," Norman said.

“Setting up a site capable of collecting data from New Zealand’s fibre-optic cable is a major policy decision. John Key, as the Minister responsible, must have authorised this," he said.

A spokeswoman for Key denied in a statement that the cable was being bugged.

"We can categorically state that there is no such programme operating in New Zealand, and any claims that there is are utterly wrong," she said, adding there was no intention to introduce such a programme.

She said there was no mass surveillance of New Zealanders “and we do not use our partners to circumvent the law.”

Banks avoids jail

Meanwhile, former ACT Party Leader and MP John Banks has been formally convicted in the Auckland High Court of filing false electoral returns.

He was sentenced to two months of home detention for four nights a week and 100 hours of community work.

He had previously been found guilty, but it had been expected his lawyers would ask for a discharge without conviction, but his lawyers told the court this morning they would not request a discharge.

Banks told reporters outside the court he would appeal the conviction using "watertight" evidence not presented in his trial.

Job losses?

Elsewhere, Labour's Labour Spokesman Andrew Little rejected Employment Minister Simon Bridges' argument that Labour's plan to lift the minimum wage by 14% to NZ$16.25/hour by April next year would cost more than 6,000 jobs.

Little said the claim about job losses was not supported by the New Zealand experience under Labour from 1999 to 2008, when unemployment was hit fresh lows despite a 70% rise in the minimum wage. It was also not supported by US research, he said.

"Recent research by the US Department of Labour found that a review of 64 studies on minimum wage increases found no discernible effect on employment, and a UK Low Pay Commission study confirmed minimum wages boosts workers’ pay and doesn’t harm employment," Little said.

“We have a problem with a growing number of working poor and it is imperative we lift incomes," he said.

Adjournment debate

The parties have yet to formally launch their campaigns, but the adjournment of Parliament on Thursday cleared the decks for the electioneering to start in earnest. The hoardings are up in most towns and cities (and are already being defaced in many imaginative ways) and the election is now just over seven weeks away.

Apart from John Key (who instead visited a school in Pukerua Bay), the party leaders gave their final adjournment debate addresses in a generally jovial 'end-of-term' mood after a frantic couple of days of law-making reminiscent of last-minute shopping on Christmas Eve.

Labour MPs visibly lifted early in the debate when word filtered through of a surprisingly strong Roy Morgan Poll result for Labour.

The poll found support for National slumping 5% to 46%, its lowest level since May. The landline and mobile phone poll of 818 voters from July 14-27 found support for Labour rose 6.5% to 30%, while support for the GreenParty fell 3% to 12%.

New Zealand First support fell 1% to 5%, while Internet-Mana rose 1% to 2.5%. Conservative support was unchanged at 1%. The poll found 6.5% would not name a party.

If this poll result was replicated on September 20, Winston Peters would decide the colour of the Government. It reinforces what both major party leaders are saying -- that the result will be closer than many think and that National's support is a percent or two lower than it was going into the 2011 election, which it only just won with the support of Maori, United Future and ACT.

Quips galore

Bill English started the adjournment debate with a vote of thanks for National MPs in provincial seats that he said used to be marginal or Labour seats and would win again in the election.

"The reason they are going to win is pretty simple: there are more new jobs, their economies are growing, crime is going down, educational achievement is going up, and the communities are getting better as the economy gets stronger," English said in summing up the Government's pitch for re-election.

"I want to thank our Prime Minister," he said of the absent John Key. "I know it is a luxury in this House, but we have a leader we support."

David Cunliffe agreed with Bill English in giving credit to New Zealanders for the economy's recovery after the Global Financial Crisis and the Canterbury Earthquakes, but with a twist, in his own pitch for election.

"It is to New Zealanders that we owe the credit for surviving the Canterbury earthquakes and the global financial crisis," Cunliffe said.

"We all know that milk and disaster is not an economic strategy. What New Zealanders are waking up to is the sad realisation that actually there is nothing there; there is no plan," he said.

"This is a Government that goes from day to day, muddling through in the name of political pragmatism, which is actually just reinforcing privilege. If New Zealanders want a fairer, better, more decent society, that is going to require change."

Labour formally launches its campaign on Sunday August 10, while National's launch is in Auckland on Sunday August 24.

(Updated with John Banks' conviction, details of sentence and plan to appeal, Colin Craig and Winston Peters opposing Shanghai Pengxin's purchase of Lochinver, reports of NSA looking at bugging the Souther Cross Cable, Key's denial, comments from Pengxin's Gary Romano)

See all my previous election diaries here.

See the index for's special election policy comparison pages here.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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FYI updated with Banks' sentencing.

FYI updated with news Banks plans to appeal

More socialist nonsense from Labour. France (the home of socialism) and the EU are experts on these kinds of policies (higher minimum wages, higher taxes, more regulation), and look at where they are....on the brink of economic collapse. They go on about soaking the so-called rich, when all the while they destroy the middle and working classes. Everything these crazed politicians touch turns to mud, which has been the case for millenia. When will these clowns understand that socialism (via socialists like Stalin, Hitler, etc), have ruined and destroyed more lives than most other scourges combined. If govt is so wise and able (regulating and taxing us all into oblivion), then why don't they just take over everything (businesses, parenting, etc), and we'll see how that work's out. Sadly, this is what they really want and their excuse when it fails will invariably be "we weren't given enough power". The unelected bureaucrats in Brussels are hard at work trying to federalise Europe and instigate more centralised power that is beyond the reach of democracy as they believe they know best. If only the TAB accepted bets on the sure-fire impending failure of these systems....

Do you have any idea what has been happening to the middle and lower class in the 'capitalist bastion' of the USA? Too much socialism there right!?

Stalin was a communist. Hitler a fascist. Neither were socialists.
If you looked back at recent history and there has been plenty to read about. You'll find the growing nature of capitalism has been more detrimental to the worlds population particularly with regard to income inequality and access to resources. 
We've almost turned full circle to medieval times when there were Lords who owned the land and contolled the lives of the peasants who worked the land to pay their taxes. 
The common theme is power and greed of a few at the expense of many.

If you want to split hairs, stalin wasnt a communist, he was totalitarian through and through, he just wore a red flag.

Really? Perhaps he was the real face of communism. Which if these weren't 'real' communists either? Lenin?, Malenkov? Khrushchev? Brezhnev? Andropov? Mao Zedong? Kim Il-sung? Kim Jong-il? Castro? Lukashenko?
Why is Stalin different from any on that list? By the kill rate?

If each and every one of them received the same income as the man in the street, then yes, they would be communists. Seeing as they didn't they were porbably more like totalitarian state capitalists

Hi DC,
Mao, Have you read Mao the forgottn story by Jung Chang?  Well worth the read, you will need a strong stomach.  The early years of him coming to power is the fasinating bit and hence my comment. It shows really he didnt care whether he was "communist", "nationalist" or anything else, he just wanted power and bounced around factions until he found one he thought would win and control.
You are right on kill rate, Stalin is no different from Mao at the very least, monsters.
Is he the real face of communism?   I suspect you maybe right there.  The theory of communism is I suspect like any extremism.  Such Ideals only exist in ppls heads, out in the real world they are both trend to awful very quickly.
"Khrushchev? Brezhnev? Andropov"  not in the same laegue as mao and Stalin. Clean hands? somehow I doubt it.
Look at the mess in many other parts of the world that "suffered" US influence does it strike you that the USA has clean hands? somehow I doubt it myself.

Yes, I have read the Chang/Halliday book.

Updated with the latest from Colin Craig claiming that Shanghai Pengxin is buying Lochinver station near Taupo. The identity of the buyer is not yet confirmed.

Doesn't bl......y matter who it is, except it has apparently gone to the OORSO (Overseas Ownersip Rubber Stamping Office) so it has to be foreigners.
Hey John Key - Tenants in our own land!!!!

....selling Lochinver overseas makes me feel ill.  Seeing it smiled and waved about by you know who makes it even worse.  Serfs in our own country is where this is heading....

FYI updated with Shanghai Pengxin confirming it is buying Lochinver
Here's the full statement:
"Pure 100 Farm Limited, a local subsidiary of Shanghai Pengxin Group has signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement for Lochinver Station in the Central North Island.
The Central Plateau farm acquisition is now before the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) and will then go through the Chinese regulatory approval process prior to settlement.
The Group currently owns 16 farms in the North Island and has significantly enhanced these assets. According to a Land Information New Zealand report[1], PNZFGL (another local subsidiary) has been instrumental in the re-development and improvement of the North Island farm properties it owns. 
The Group plans to secure operational synergies over time with this planned farm acquisition and some of its neighbouring North Island farms.
In March this year, the Group secured a 74 per cent stake in 13 farms in the South Island and has committed to capital improvements and implementing innovative industry concepts.
The Shanghai Pengxin philosophy is to work co-operatively through its local subsidiaries within the New Zealand farming industry and support new investment and innovative opportunities, as well as productivity enhancement, sustainable farming practices, and building supply chain capability.

Load of codswallop and does not alter the fact that we are to be tenants in our own land!!! 

BH, you might like to run this through the translator as it seems to be the fund raising document introducing Dakang as the raiser of the funds for the transaction and some how indirect/beneficial owner
page 19 has a corporate structure tree that includes BVI entities and Synlait.
seems like the statement giver above may have been a little modest...

Its a big mistake of the present government to think that New Zealanders will live in a land owned by someone else. 
  Eventually, it all leads to the same place and its never pretty.  
 Why have we swapped cheap Wharehouse plastic crap for Land?

Latter day muskets and blankets

However we just nationalise long as we have a democratic Govn at all that is.
Of course thn the chinese will send gunboats, funny that thought.

yeah, selling the country for a few backhanders.

We seem to have forgotten Pengxin and Synlait here, these guys are gaining one hell of a footprint in this country and I think we need to rein them in.
You have enough of NZ, go away!!

Dobrydan...Hitlers party were the national socialists, but when the agenda doesn't fit the name then warming doesn't fit the facts so then call it climate change. As for capitalism, where is it? US/NZ/AUST etc are more socialistic than the Soviet Union ever used to be. I could make more on a benefit here via DPB etc than as a blue collar worker working 7 days - fact! Of course, we are not taxing enough, so if we lifted min wage to $20/he and top tax rate over 70% all would be well! 

Words, words, words and communism is sometimes also referred to as state capitalism, so where does that take you. 
In terms of economy Hitler's Germany was neither right wing nor left wing, fairly centrist in fact, but in terms of authoritarianism it was off the scale. 
The problem is far too many people cannot see that authoritarianism can figure on both the right and left of the economic spectrum, and economics is ALL that right and left refer to, right being individualistic and left being of the collective.

Thanks for the Mises rant....
Facts? somehow I suspect you are not interested in any.
If you look at the top tax rates in the 50s and 60s I think from memry they were quite high, 60%? it didnt seem to due much if any damage to the economies of the day.
$20 an hour, again there is little proof a higher minimum wage, in this case $18.50 an hour would damage our economy and some suggestion it might improve it.
Ignoring things like Peak oil of course which has and will stuff the never ending growth many and I suspect yourself are locked in to.
DBP, wll if you raised the min wage to $18.50 an hour there would be a considerable differential to get off it.  BTW ever tried living on it? extremely hard.

Craig had said investigators acting for his party had learned of the sale, but the deal was being kept secret so that it would not become an election issue.

Does anyone here know how many Dairy Heifers NZ has exported this year? My truck driver tells me its an unbvelievable amount. I've asked around and heard figures form 50k to 100k.

FYI Updated with NZ Herald report that NSA may have bugged the Southern Cross Cable.

may? I'd suggest its guaranteed.
"there is no such programme operating in New Zealand,"
No, its all done where it comes ashore in the  USA.
This suggests there as a path from "A" to "B" routed through NZ that the NSA doesnt cover to well.
Hmm time to look at the deep sea cables paths.

Shanghai Pengxin are planning to purchase even MORE farmland

Updated with Key's denial of bugging and comments from Pengxin's Gary Romano on the Lochinver buy.

I understand that Shanghai Pengxin and or a subsidary is also applying to OIO to buy Bald Hills winery

Given that about 40% of our wineries and vineyards are now foreign owned there is a good chance they will be buying something that is already foreign owned.
Going by tha,t upwards of 40% is a reasonable guess as to how much foreign owned NZ land Key would be comfortable with and is it not unreasonable to expect all farmland to go that way

No raegun, it is a 100% NZ family owned vineyard.  Is owned by the folks who originally set it up.

This is bad, we have been told we need to corporatise farming, increase production, for what? So we can sell to the Chinese? We'll see profits going overseas, a further decline of rural communities. I've voted for National  all my life but i don't like this at all.

I asked a friend about the Heifer exports, Lochinver is where a lot are held before export.
 Its sad as Lochinver was developed under the old Rural land development grants paid for by the taxpayer.
 Email from my friend;
The TB guy said that 65,000 heifers are off to China. Lochinver has been grazing about 2500 of them.
Some dairy farmers have been using sexed semen to get higher proportion of heifers.
Not sure how long this will last.
Numbers of bull calves being reared this spring is apparently low so far as there is no confidence they will recoup rearing costs at sale.

I just searched the Web and found out that Lochinver has 2500 on at a time, has up to 16000 moving through every year.

Not all our export heifers go to China but the huge majority do. I wonder if the TB guy meant 65000 are being exported to China, or just exported.  With a drop in payout farmers may look to this market due to supplement income.  

Theres been another Melamine scare in China, that may help us through this year.
  I agree more heifers good be exported, less bull calves. I wonder what the  end result will be?

The rest of the world can borrow money cheaper than us. So having policies that foreigners can buy nz land and houses is surely madness? We' ll be tenants in our country. And why are we doing this? To prop up property values for Austrailian banks? To bring in bigger companies that our bureaucrats can live off?

That is why the ex-World Bank, current RBNZ incumbent has been given the responsibility to keep NZ interest rates relatively very high to ensure more foreign ownership of NZ assets as NZers cannot afford to borrow for farms and businesses. 
This strategy expands globalisation, and NZers are ver 'relaxed' about this.   And the 

maybe I should try to get overseas residency , to make it easier to buy land in New Zealand.

What is it saying about some people on this site that they pretty much only ever seem to comment on land sold to foreigners when the media is making a beat up about some Asian sale - considering that the Europeans have been consistently buying far larger amounts of land for many years, and still are (it's My Farm's bread and butter), is it ignorance of the subject or some racial motivator that driving these comments, I really wonder. I repeat, people may state that they don't care what foreigner it is, but by and large, unless it's Asian based, very few choose to coment. I'll be kind and put it down to ignorance, mainly because if they think that a 3% or so better rate (especially since they incur huge foreign exchange risk) is the main driver, it certainly suggests ignorance.

Show me the articles about the other foreign purchases then will you. We comment on what we can, and this is the sort of thing we get to comment on. I am fed up with these racist straw man arguments

Sorry reagun, are you seriously thinking that Asians own more NZ land than the US, Canadians or Europeans that I need to do the research for you.?  It isn't even debatable but please, if you're saying so, show me the numbers. I was commenting upon what it takes to get some people here commenting upon it

What I am saying is that there are truckloads more ARTICLES about Chinese buying land than anything else. For the most part we only get to hear of sales to foreigners after it is a fait accompli and there is very little opportunity for comment such as this!
I have been speaking out against sales to foreigners ever since Walter Peak sold to American and Israeli interests back when.
We had no internet and these sorts of forums then, just the leaner at the pub
Admittedly there is a bit more disquiet about Chinese interests but that comes from concern about their govt's part in all of this and the inability for us to do be able to do the same there.l

raegun re Walter Peak: You might be interested in this

I'm opposed to any large buy ups of nz land by any foreign owned companies. Would the Chinese let our companies buy up their big farms??

Or any land for that matter

As I said, they say exactly that but only ever seem comment about it when it's an Asian beat up by the media, either through ignorance of what actually happening and therefore reliant upon the media, or straight racism - I'll assume the former.

Im more concerned by what looks like an oligarchy  forming, with no sign of  a Solon in sight
But in the time of Solon these intestine quarrels were aggravated by something much more difficult to deal with - a general mutiny of the poorer population against the rich, resulting from misery combined with oppression. The Thetes, whose condition we have already contemplated in the poems of Homer and Hesiod, are now presented to us as forming the bulk of the population of Attica - the cultivating tenants, metayers, and small proprietors of the country.  They are exhibited as weighed down by debts and dependence, and driven in large numbers out of a state of freedom into slavery - the whole mass of them (we are told) being in debt to the rich, who were proprietors of the greater part of the soil.  They had either borrowed money for their own necessities, or they tilled the lands of the rich as dependent tenants, paying a stipulated portion of the produce, and in this capacity they were largely in arrear.

Do you agree with these sales Grant A? What benefit is this for NZ?

That wasn't the point of my post Tim so please try not to direct it into other areas.

Pengxin paying
(a) $200 million for Crafar Farms of 8,000 hectares, at $25,000 per ha
(b) $70 million for Lochinver of 13,000 hectares, at $5,500 per ha
The properties are said to be in the same neck-of-the-woods
Why the HUGE difference?
Crafar Farms were run down, Lochinver is in immaculate condition
and, where is Michael Fay this time round at 20% of the ha price

The Crafar farms, as I said at the time, were a foot in the door, hence the willingness to pay OTT money for them and that they were only the beginning of what Shanghai Pengxin had in mind.
It has turned out to be exactly as I said 

Given the sale has the option of buying it as one or two blocks - Lochinvar and Otamatea, has it being confirmed that they are buying both Lochinvar and Otamatea or just Lochinvar?
The $70m figure is it's rateable value - I haven't seen anything confirming that that is also the sale price.  If it is for the whole 13800ha then a $70m sale price would be similar to that acheived by near by Poronui Station on a $/ha basis.
The Crafar farms were spread over a wide area, though there were some that are in the vicinity of Lochinvar.  It hasn't been all plain sailing for them in their first year of operation.

The job for OIO is/will be a Whose on first...... we hope their agents are up for it
Seems like a deal was inked and sold down in Hong Kong 6 weeks ago... with farm purchase costs at around US $76 million, so its not clear yet who the ultimate shareholders are proposed...
The plan seeems to be to convert/develop 6,000 ha of the land into dairy with initially 12,000 cows aiming for 4.5 million kgMS at a cost estimated to be say US $58 million.
do your own translation...
we got stuck on 洛岑牧场 says Los Cen ranch pasture, we think it means Central Plateau or similar
but here goes....
Dakang Pasture Farming to be raised 2.5 billion acquisition of New Zealand's two ranch
Published: 2014-06-18

Dakang pastoral on evening of June 17 announced that the company intends to not less than the price of 9.69 yuan / share non-public offering of not more than 259 million shares, raising not more than 2.51 billion yuan of funds. The net proceeds will be used for the acquisition of New Zealand's North Island and Los Cen ranch pasture, and the two ranch for technological transformation.

Specific acquisition program: Dakang Pasture Farming will acquire the stake Pengxin Group major shareholder of the new company to raise funds in Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong company will indirectly owns North Island pasture, and the Hong Kong subsidiary signed a purchase Los Cen ranch agreement. Through the acquisition of a Hong Kong company, Dakang will indirectly take ownership of livestock pasture North Island, and can be implemented for Los Cen ranch acquisitions.

Plans show a large stake in a Hong Kong company for health and animal husbandry (including North Island Ranch) of the purchase price of 890 million yuan, the transformation of the North Island pasture amounting to 360 million yuan; Los Cen acquisition price of 470 million yuan ranch, renovation amounted to 7.9 billion.

It is reported that North Island ranch pasture composed by 16. 2010 to 2014, annual pasture milk solids were 3,708,900, 4,144,400, 4,606,600, 4,090,300, 4,460,700 kg. Los Cen ranch in central North Island of New Zealand, by 10 land sizes of components. Los Cen mainly used for grazing pasture sheep, beef cattle, Dakang Pasture Farming plan for the future will be Los Cen ranch 6000 hectares of land converted into cow pastures, is expected to need to buy 12,000 cows. After the transformation is complete, expected annual production of milk solids to about 4.5 million kilograms.

Dakang Pasture Farming said that through this acquisition, the company will form a milk self-sufficiency, to get rid of dependence on third-party supply for the company to build a line from "pasture to table" a complete industrial chain closed loop.

Meanwhile, the acquisition of New Zealand pasture total of about 22,000 ha, with 4000 ha ranch entrusted with the management of the South Island, New Zealand allows the company to become the third largest ranch owners and operators. The next three pasture milk solids is expected to reach annual production of 15 million kg.
- brings it all together.... so there could be some amending of existing OIO approvals on the cards..
As an aside we had thought that Dakang Pasture Farming was a pig farm outfit
Jiang’s Pengxin Group, together with three of its wholly-owned subsidiaries, plans to buy 483.7 million new shares of Shenzhen-listed Hunan Dakang Pasture Farming for 7.96 yuan each, or 3.8 billion yuan, or $628 million, giving Pengxin a 55% stake, Dakang Pasture Farming said in a statement yesterday.
but this may refer to some other property...

There it is, in black-and-white, for all to see - the big picture
Dakang Pasture Farming said that through this acquisition, the company will form a milk self-sufficiency, to get rid of dependence on third-party supply for the company to build a line from "pasture to table" a complete industrial chain closed loop
Pure land acquisition is merely the foundation of the "business model"
The big-picture is the vertically integrated business-chain, owning and controlling the means of production, the means of processing, the means of distribution, from pasture-to-plate
That is exactly what raegun was saying last week when he got an uppercut from David Chaston
Raegun's example claimed the only benefit to new zealand would be the crumbs obtained from the GST on domestic consumables
In this vertically integrated model there will be no GST as any GST incurred at the local production level will be offset at the export level. The net GST obligation will be zero
The next issue to consider is taxation - where will the profits be made? - will there be any profits to tax? - or would cost shifting be the norm?

Thanks for that, but I must pull you up on one thing, I am a she.
I also think you don't have to be educated to billyo to be able to see what is going on, you just need to have a reasonable handle on human nature and how it operates, numbers mean nothing.
I really think we have get over this whole thing about being accused of xenophobia, we are allowing ourselves to be bullied out of our sovereignty.

David Chaston's response was too quick on the draw
To shut you down by going off and pontificating about nz history and what the Japanese did, clearly indicated he didn't understand your post.

I think Comapq did that a while back and got burned, but yes sell to chinese wholesaler at cost and then make the profit there.
If it doesnt exists i think at some point we'll see "assumed profit' ie IRD will assume a similar NZ owned farm making 15% profit and will tax such "vertical" businesses as if they were making 15%.
I would that is for sure.

So where does this leave Synlait long term? get rid of dependence on third-party supply
Which Regional Council territory is it in - Waikato, Hawkes Bay or Bay of Plenty?  They all appear to have boundaries not far from it.

Casual Observer
Bit late
SFL Holdings is majority-owned by a subsidiary of Shanghai Pengxin.
October 2013 - Pengxin after Canterbury Synlait Farms Ltd (SFL)
March 2014 - Pengxin controls 74% of Synlait Farms
As steven says elsewhere, they are buying "new zealand clean and green" image for nothing, without paying for goodwill. There is no control-premium the prices Pengxin are paying
See web-site
Banner - Our Place - Our home is in the heart of Canterbury, in New Zealand's clean green South Island. Renowned for farming excellence the milk produced here has a consistent taste profile and quality that comes from healthy livestock that benefit from the region's pure water supply and lush green pastures.

Sorry if I wasn't clear iconoclast.  I was aware of the connection.  Shanghai Penqxin (SP) is talking about 'paddock to plate' with their north island operation.  So is that what they are hoping to achieve in the south too?  It gets kinda messy, or interesting, depending on your point of view.  SP have a number of farms that could be rather important to Synlait - especially if they pull out to supply their own factory.  Or alternatively are they looking to take a controlling interest in Synlait? But then Friesland Campina have bought in to it and Bright have shares in it.  
Where does their stated intention of 'paddock to plate' leave Miraka Dairies?  The relationship signed today signifies the intent by Shanghai Pengxin to secure supply of milk from their New Zealand farms for processing at Miraka’s planned UHT plant once it has been completed.
Or is this just another 'May Wang' purchase?

Don't they already own 75% of Synlait, a fairly controlling number, I would have thought. Of course this is not the end of it, not by a long stretch, as they have already mooted that they would be looking at even further purchases of land around Lochinver.
This is deadly serious, now

Chinese, Bright Dairy has the biggest shareholding in Synlait Milk (the processor). They do own around 73% of Synlait farms  via SFL Holdings.

Cold chills ran up my spine reading that HT

... probably just post-micturition syncope ...

Would Labour legislate to stop or slowdown these types of sales? 
Seems the Conservatives are the only Party campaigning against them. Is this why the Media pushes the 'wacky' angle? Too many vested interests at stake perhaps.  

Because he looks wacky....really wacky....
He also comes across as trying to hide his true colours. Knowing full well I suspect that Fundie Christians are un-electable by themselves.

Conservatives got 2.7% of the party vote in last election.   If they stole another 2% from Winnie to get 4.5%, this could prove a party vote problem for national even if Conservatives don't get a seat.    2.7% from nothing is not too bad.   
The problem for them is that National is their only potential partner, & National no longer resemble anything close to 'conservative' values.   
How about a National & Labour  coalition? There is no difference between them.  Where is the voters alternative? 

Seperating out some issues here.  In terms of that 5% I think it is wrong myself.  If enough NZers vote for a party say 1.2%+ then I think they should be represented.  Now there is probably a lower limit that is "sensible" maybe 2% or something but having say 4.7% of the population un-represented when we have 120 MPs is probably wrong/unfair.
Im not sure how you define conservative values, Id suggest today that its nothing like say the Republican party was under President Ike.  Take Maggie Thatcher, not a religious nut job and considered part of the conservative value was to protect the planet for future generations.  These days some ppl seem to think conservative values are  "drill baby drill"    Conservative values seem to be 2.7%, Act 1%?  not sure what you are attempting to define here.
In terms of Labour and National actually their core values are way apart. IMHO they only appear fairly centralist because as Tony Blair taught them, centre is where the swing votes are and that wins elections. I also think this has been Cunliffe's undoing, he's lerched to the left to stop the bleed to the Green's and ended up losing votes both ends.
Voters alternative? yes I despair on that.  I like Green policies as in the Green parts and much of their social agenda is caring. Can it be funded? I worry on that.   The hard yards, do they make comment on population control? no no hard Qs being addressed.   Some of their other agenda items like gun control bear no relationship to Green policies at all and hence I wont vote for them.  Just where is a Green/Blue alternative?
What is left? Winston Peters? oh bugger. Yet NZF would appear to be pretty centralist, where the swing vote is, yet its not picking it up.

Yes, Conservatism can be split socially and economically for politics. 
Maggie Thatcher did cite C.S. Lewis and other Christian thinkers/writers as her guiding philosophy
jim Bolger, National PM, was a church going Catholic. 
all NZ political parties have inherited philosophies from NZs Judeo-Christian heritage. - Labour     , to care for the poor & humanitarian values & had Christian thinkers in their history.  Nnational used to stand for SMEs & farmers & individual responsibility, core Christian values of personal freedom/responsibility. 
Our current PM has clear Jewish lineage with relatives & history of Jewish religious participation.  
Greens promote a conservation & 'good custodian' of the natural environment which are all strong biblical values of custodianship.  
Peters is probably more aligned with the left philosophically.  So he is conservative socially, but left economically.  Conservatives are almost like an older version of National, perhaps the Muldoon era?! 
The last NZ census shows that although NZ is now a seculat post Christian country, over 50% identify with a Christian denomination  or Christian description.  
Yes, Greens also harbour some bizarre global political ideologies - watch their dominant participation in the anti-Semitic March against Israel, flag burning etc.  
the problem with economic conservatives is that they now have bought into globalism and allowing large corporates to dominate citizens lives economically & socially so we lose traditional freedom.  

However there is mainstream christianity  and fundimentalism, huge difference in outlook and "negoitiability" ie compromise v um, no.  Also acceptance of science v, um no.
Not christian values, I have these but Im no christian. Also fundimentalists dont care about the environment as a rule btw, god put it there for them to use.
Morally corrupt IMHO, and certainly not what I call personally responsible.

Given Winston's uncategorical comments on The Nation this morning (he will withdraw on confidence and supply if any coalition he is part of tries to allow this particular deal to go through) I suspect that Labour will subsequently come out and state that they WILL block it. Ministers have the descretion to do so under the new (2009 amendments) regulations and Ministerial Directive - particularly if what Henry has posted above turns out to be true.
Once Labour do that, I suspect Key will come out with a more ambiguous stand on it than Steven Joyce has shown so far - giving National the wiggle room to accommodate Peters.
Winston to the rescue - again. Such a shame we've never had a chance to see the direction he might have taken this country if holding all the power, rather than the balance of it.

You trying to frighten us?

They will have to MB, they will have to

... on an annualised basis , two and a half times as much rural land ( in hectares ) was sold to offshore interests under the watch of the Helen Clark government , than under Little Johnny and the Gnats ...
That Cunliffe character really needs to get some facts at his fingertips before he makes a fool of himself , once again ...
... with Labour at the helm , it would've only required 298 years to own NZ 100 % ... under the Gnats , that process will occur in 687 years ...

Most of the sales under Labour were huge forestry blocks, these could never be the domain of the average kiwi.
National is doing a lot more damage.

Whatever happened to CNIFP (Central North Island Forestry Partnership) between Fletchers and Chinese .. didn't go too well did it? Who threw a lifebuoy to the drowning ship? Canada?

... never been to a Canadian restaurant in NZ .... in fact , havn't ever even seen one ... unlike the Chinese , who are happy to share their outstanding cuisine with the world ...
Sneaky old kanuks ... keeping themselves out of the limelight ... don't trust 'em , no sirrreeeee ... and they smell of stale moose ....

How long before these companies bring in their own low wage workers. I know of a Chinese company operating here that''s paying it 's own workers $6 per hour.

Pretty sure the Dept of Labour would be interested in such a claim.

Have you reported this to the MBIE ?
If not, why not ?

Joyce sees Farm sale as a tiny bit of land. Shrugs it off as a trivial issue. National is 'relaxed' about selling NZ to foreigners. 

I guess National will find out at the election what NZ really thinks of this.

I agree Tim. Judging by Joyce's dismissive and incredibly arrogant performance on TV3 this morning I just dont think the Nats get what an emotive issue this is especially in their rural heartland.

Surely Joyce and the National party are the real racists! They have created policies that favour foreigners over New Zealanders. Traitors!!

No, they are favouring freedom over equality, the freedom of the rich and powerful to keep getting richer and more power.  
 Its the freedom of Stevensons to sell their farm to who ever they want to, even though over the years they developed much of the farm with rural grants and stock subsidies, the taxpayer should at least get that money back.
 National is the party of the elite oligarchs. If you  are not a supporter, you are a crazed, xenophopic and unbalanced, just ask GrantA.

Well said.

I have nothing against the Stevensons, they have done an amazing job on what is a very difficult farm. Pumice country is very hard and expensive to get the most out of. They have tried new ideas and been in the front of a lot of new thinking. I suspect the returns have been awful for a long time, they must have hung onto it for sentimental reasons.

Which suggests that turning it into dairy land would most likely be the absolute worst thing to do with it.
When this came onto the market it was pretty clear that it would end up in foreign hands. I would not have thought Shanghai Pengxin as I would have thought it would not be a dairying prospect.
We really need to look at some of the land that is getting converted and is the environmental cost just too high

What are your reasons to support your statement 'turning it into dairy land would most likely be the absolute worst thing to do with it.'  There is a lot of land within the Central Plateau that is similar to that of Lochinvar, that is in dairy, and has been since the 1940s/50s.

But that far hasn't been. Pumice land is not good in terms of run off, it requires a hell of a lot more attention to be given to it to keep it growing, because whatever you put into it, including cow dung, leeches out pretty quickly
Penqxin will be looking to intensify this land and the central plateau land that has been dairied since the 40s and 50s was most definitely not intense.
It has pretty much remained in meat production for very good reasons. 
That, however is just one of my concerns, my principle one here is that we have got to put the skids under all this foreign ownership. Selling to foreigners is just about the default setting now and I cannot for the life of me figure out why any NZer would not be concerned about what is happening

Yes, there are big problems in the catchment that still need to be dealt with. I doubt the new zone changes would allow any more dairy farming, in fact whats already there could be restricted.

I farmed on pumice for 20 years raegun, how long have you?  Raw pumice has some challenges but like peat, the longer it is farmed the more stable it becomes. I disagree with your comment it needs to be given a lot more attention to keep it growing.  Depends on how raw it is, and the season.  Following your argument the Hauraki Plains shouldn't be farmed either. 
If they are initially going to milk 12,000 cows on 6000ha that is a very low stocking rate - 2cows/ha. Hardly intensive.  Hopefully OIO require a nutrient budget from them.
Have they already raised, or are they are relying on raising the money on the HK stock exchange - shades of May Wang?  
It's one thing to get OIO approval but another to get consent for dairy  - just ask Ngai Tahu how the latter can't be guaranteed.

That's all quite secondary, my main concern is selling land to foreigners, especially after reading Henry Tull's post, if you haven't I suggest you do.

If the Stevenson's had to pay back the rural grants and tax payer subsidies they have received then so should every company that sells out.  There are many companies that receive funding from the government to help them get established, and some over the years (especially tech companies) have been sold to off shore buyers. Just where do you stop with this sort of 'Indian giving'?

I was just having a cynical moment.

The troule is AJ that a large proportion of people view equality as some kind of handout via the taxation system and so lose the freedoms granted to them through the various documents that make up our basic Individual Rights. Protecting the poor and the wealthy is always going to lead to ruination of the middle classes.........
People often look at what happens in extreme events:
"Historically the most terrble things, war, genocide and slavery have resulted not from disobedience but from obedience"......Howard Zinn....
So are we going to be enslaved in our own country or are these foreigners going to be paying for the rising Social costs diguised as equality??

Eventually we end up with more people disadvantaged by capitalism than feel advantaged, in a democracy they can vote for change, thats when the elite will want to make their move.
 Its not that far away.
In California like NZ the Wine industry is an easy target for the corporates.

a) I think the elite dont believe it....
b) what can they do? suspent democracy?
oh wait...USA.
Civil war....
Here in NZ?

The present Executive already suspended democracy in Canterbury in order to accomodate dairy conversions ... absolutely no reason why they wouldn't do the same in the Central Plateau - or anywhere, for all that matters. 

Yes, but the appointed commisioners have made a bit of a mess in Canterbury and it could be a big expensive deal cleaning it up.
  This area is very poor pumice country, very free draining.

Indeed they have.

probably just try and tweek MMP  for a start.

I agree that more people feel disadvantaged AJ but it is not Capitalism that is at is education and if people don't awaken from their slumber then they have no-one to blame but themselves!!!
Capitalism should not mean different things to different people......people need to acknowledge the differences between Crony Capitalism, fascism, communism, Socialism etc. History repeats for the same reasons......when a couple or so generations doesn't have the adequate knowledge/education/understanding of what previous generations fought for.
People turned their backs on constitutional arrangements yet these were the documents that were designed to protect them from Oligarchs and other corrupt forces like elite dictators, totalitarian regimes, fascists and other elite masters etc.

Even Fran O'Sullivan was disgusted with that performance. Joyce made a critical botch up.
Good on him.

"The men who can manage men manage the men who can manage only things, and the men who can manage money manage all"
Insecurity is the driver  of  greed, men of wealth seek freedom so they can make more riches, and the poor seek equality.
Capitalism needs to be in check with socialism or we are lost.
The land owning middle classes are the strength in our democracy, the rich will move towards a dictatorship and the poor towards communism, both are not in the interests of the middle classes, the middle class creates a balance in a democracy. 
 This is why I hate corporatisation of family farms, its a step too far. Those born to greed need to be kept in check, their insecurities will drive us into the devils arms.


You are so right - it is a step too far.  

tim 12
"I know of a Chinese company operating here that''s paying it 's own workers $6 per hour."
Have you reported this to MBIE ?
If not, why not ?

They do it by paying a salary based on a 40 hour week and  then get them to work 60 hours a week.
 I think the rules have just been changed to stop it.

Same with NZ for 40  expect 45, 50, 60 if they can get it etc etc.

I believe they know about it.

$6 per hour is usually a sign of cash under-the-table "off-the-books" where IRD should be having a close look at this too

What is the future for nz farming? We are widely recognized as some the best farmers in the world. And we are selling farms to companies from foreign countries who don't have such a great record with food safety, countries that themselves have foot and mouth disease not to mention human rights issues. I don't believe I'm being racist, one of my best friends is Chinese. But be honest would you buy a can of food from the supermarket with made in China on it?

They are buying not our farms, but our reputation, which they will ruin.
Chinese, food, no never ever.....then of course that's the advice of my wife.  I wouldnt buy USA because of GE either mind.

... our reputation ? .... you must be joking !!!
They can't do any worse than our 100 % Kiwi firm Fonterrible already has ....

What is it that is positive about foreign ownership and cutting out the middle man (NZ that is) in all this?

Like christian fundies, libertarians like GBH only care about the purity of the transaction. It  is market forces ruling, whatever the consquences..."rather dead than red" comes to mind, as long as its you are the one dying not him, of course.

That is neo-lib

How does this affect our NZ pure brand. "NZ pure lamb produced by the Shanghai Pengxin Corporation"

Fonterra have already destroyed our " NZ Pure " brand internationally ....
...  don't go blaming the Chinese , we did it to ourselves ....

Actually it's 100% Pure NZ ;-)  Ah GBH, and here's me thinking Mike Joy and Fish and Game destroyed that branding image by going on like a stuck record about our water quality! ;-)

see, the brand was already destroyed, maybe i was thinking of steinlager pure.

I agree, we have sold out. We have to think about what kind of country we are leaving our kids. Not only environmentally, but the  growing gap between rich and poor.

NZ will be left with only poor as there will be almost zero opportunity for people to get rich bar a very few. It will be those few an the rest will be left to pick over the bones of what work there might be left by the foreign masters.There will be no middle class.  And I do not think I am exaggerating by a whole lot.
It is not going to effect me personally at all much, but while I draw breath and have it in me, I will fight tooth an nail for the future of my grandchildren and their families in the future

Very few who have called me that have live to tell the tale (blows on end of pistol barrel)

Personally i think a woman's tongue is the worst weapon ever invented....

Oh I have such a great reply for that but I don't think it would pass this site's decency test. LOL LOL