See the release from Labour:
Labour says the latest application by foreigners to buy the Crafar dairy farms at mortgagee sale should not proceed.
Economic Development and Associate Finance spokesperson David Parker says Labour would make changes that would prevent such sales proceeding.
“New Zealand’s farmland is of strategic importance to our economy and must be protected,” David Parker said.
“Federated Farmers says the sale will be the ‘acid test’ for the Government’s ‘revised’ rules on overseas investment in New Zealand farmland, but calling it an ‘acid test’ is an irony as National seems determined to allow New Zealand’s productive assets to be sold off piece by piece. Farms and the State-Owned electricity companies are on the block.
“What happens when all the family silver is sold? It seems National is happy for New Zealand to be milked. It lacks a credible economic plan to grow the New Zealand economy to create new jobs and incomes New Zealanders need.
“The sale of the Crafar farms, if it proceeds, will further show to New Zealanders that the future under National looks bleak,” David Parker said. “Sadly, it is already clear the Government is likely to agree to the sale.
“The Government already had the right to turn down farm sales under pre-existing rules, but the problem is that they generally don’t.
“The latest rule change was accompanied by a letter from Bill English to the Overseas Investment Office saying the National Government is happy to allow farmland up to 10 times the size of the average farm to be sold to the same buyer. Ten times! It shows the Government is happy to see New Zealand land sold off in big chunks to foreign buyers.
“We are amongst the world’s best farmers,” David Parker said. “Selling off our dairy farms to an overseas buyer who can pay more than a New Zealand farmer will not make New Zealand wealthier.
“Losing control of our productive base makes us poorer, not richer.”