Federated Farmers calls for an audit of overseas investment approvals and a register of foreign ownership of land, supporting Labour's Stuart Nash

Federated Farmers calls for an audit of overseas investment approvals and a register of foreign ownership of land, supporting Labour's Stuart Nash

Federated Farmers has added its support to Labour MP Stuart Nash’s call for an audit of overseas investment in New Zealand.

President William Rolleston says the Federation supports direct overseas investment in New Zealand, but for sensitive assets such as farm land there needs to be demonstrable benefits for New Zealand and ongoing monitoring and enforcement to ensure promised benefits are actually delivered on

“If an investor located overseas can add something that New Zealanders can’t or won’t provide, then there is a benefit.  If instead there is a strategy to simply buy up swathes of farmland and create a vertically integrated enterprise, to take it out of New Zealand control, then we have a concern.

“The trouble is that we don’t have enough information to tell whether conditions are being kept or if a previously undisclosed strategy is being followed.”

“It’s true the Overseas Investment Office requests and considers written information when it’s considering applications and it’s also true that once purchases are approved and completed the OIO requests and considers written information on compliance with approval conditions.

“However, these apparently are only desk-top exercises and OIO officers do not, for example, visit the properties to see for themselves.   Stuart Nash is right to question whether there is a serious monitoring deficiency after the overseas investment approvals process,” Dr Rolleston says.

Federated Farmers has previously requested the Government establish a national register of foreign ownership.  But so far this has only received a lukewarm response.  The Government says it prefers to wait for the outcome of a similar register in  Australia.

“Overseas land ownership is a sensitive issue among many farmers, as much as it is for other New Zealanders, and we deserve to have the evidence so debate can be informed,” Dr Rolleston says.

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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It's not just farmland that is an issue, houses most definitely are and it won't be long before we get a bit edgy about commercial and industrial as well as more and more gets hoovered up by foreigners.
Shanghai Pengxin are apparently going to be transferring ownership of the farmland they own into another company name, I cannot recall off the top of my head what it was, but it sounded a bit familiar. The internet where I am at present is awful and so I can't go looking for it, I haven't got all day, but it starts with "D". How will that figure with the OIO?
If Fed Farmers are getting twitchy about this then the govt surely can't put off doing something for much longer. Me not holdin' me breff

"Hunan Da Kang Pasture Farming co" ?

They got to sell these things to subsidaries, otherwise the parent company might be held legally or financial accountable for the farm problems... or the farms lost due to actions elsewhere in the parent company (either here or abroad).

With a "CCC" (certificate of code of completion) type process that building consents are supposed to go through, such process would be simple enough.   And we in New Zealand _would_ want to keep _closer_ eye on compliance of foreign interests in NZ ...wouldnt we? (ok , no signs of it yet, but "in theory".... our politicians "should" insure this ...right? ,... yeah right...?)

the translators talk of Roland Animal Husbandry... as was posted several months ago re a funding document.
The entities are listed, you just need keep an eye on the relevant exchanges/exchange announcements - they not being the NZX - lol.
more news here: 
http://www.cs.com.cn/ssgs/gsxw/201411/t20141121_4569330.html
casual scholars - don't be afraid to as google to translate.......

Zhongzheng Wang hearing Roland animal husbandry( 7.17 , 0.050 , 0.70% ) (002,505) November 21 afternoon announcement, the company commissioned by the controlling shareholder of Shanghai Pengxin (Group) Co., Ltd. Chairman Jiang Bo photos and Inner Mongolia Mengniu Dairy (Group) Co., Ltd., Miraka Limited on dairy business cooperation signed "UHT milk project agreement." The parties agreed to China as a target market, increase product yield and New Zealand UHT varieties, and to strengthen the capital investment in the New Zealand dairy industry.

  

but of more interest:

 In because "planning major events," nearly three weeks after the suspension, HunanRoland animal husbandry( 7.17 , 0.050 , 0.70% ) , Ltd. (002505.SZ) issued a series of two contrasting huge announcement, so outside of the New Zealand overseas assets into the listed Progress's doubt.
  Roland animal husbandry released November 17 evening announcement, said it would purchase and renovation of New Zealand and Los Cen Crafar ranch pastures, and has received the National Development and Reform Commission filing. After the acquisition of the two pastures, will form a milk self-sufficiency, to get rid of dependence on third-party supply for the company to build a complete industrial chain.
  But in the second day of November 18, Roland animal husbandry has once again announced, said the company and the counterparty to this "major issues" were repeated consultations and communication, but the two sides failed to agree on some key issues comments will be terminated plan "major issues", the company's shares will resume trading opened November 19, 2014.
http://www.cs.com.cn/ssgs/gsxw/201411/t20141119_4567054.html

may need google translate 

 

referring to that earlier funding doc:

June 2014, Roland animal husbandry declared to be not less than the price of 9.69 yuan / share, non-public offering of not more than 239 million shares, raising not more than 2.314 billion yuan of funds. The net proceeds will be used for the acquisition of New Zealand and Los Cen Crafar ranch pasture, rangeland and two technological transformation.
  July 2014, Niu Shilan dairy company became a wholly owned subsidiary of a large health and animal husbandry; the same month, Shanghai Pengxin Group funded the establishment of the Hong Kong Anyuan Dairy Co., which owns Pengxin New Zealand Farm Group100% stake. Thus, Roland animal husbandry official plans to Anyuan Dairy as a bridge for the acquisition plan.
  Specific acquisition program: Roland animal husbandry will acquire the major shareholder equity Pengxin Group, the newly established company to raise funds in Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong company will indirectly owns North Island ranch, and a subsidiary of the Hong Kong company signed a purchase Los Cen Ranch agreement. Through the acquisition of Hong Kong companies, large health and animal husbandry will indirectly acquire ownership of the ranch's North Island, and can be implemented on the Los Cen ranch acquisitions.
 

 

I think we can safely say and have said before that the aim is vertical integration and it is their stated aim as stated in your comment there, Henry, I have seen it myself earlier, and if I recall via a link you posted. I understand that there may be use made of British Virgin Island accounts in order to be able to demonstrate little or no profit here (so no tax) then once its all been through the laundrette profit will be shown in China. We need to be very careful, although there are those who will say that we have rules about vertical integration I am not at all sure how effective they are and how purposefully they will be enforced.

Just googled Roland Animal Husbandry and extracted this little nugget from it "Also, the company said it will be New Zealand's future as a strategic center, through the acquisition of the ranch's transformation and improve the supply of dairy pasture, and meet the needs of domestic and international markets, and under the conditions are ripe premise, increase the intensity of the acquisition of New Zealand pastures, to meet domestic pure, safe dairy products growing demand".
It is a bit grammatically all over the place but assume that it has been translated to explain that.
I am assuming that by domestic they mean China.
Time to take a long hard look at what is in store for us, isn't it?
 

It's a real shame New Zealand is the stupid country.

And seemingly, utterly determined to remain so

Maybe Key and English would understand a bit of financial xenophobia.

I'm a semi regular reader here but this topic hits pretty close to home for my family, so it's time to add to the conversation. Sorry it's a bit long...
We farm mid north island west coast hill country. Since the early 2000s the farms on both sides of us have gradually been bought by foreigners. We now have German/Chinese/Us/Argentinian in a row up our coast. Every one of those now foreign owned farms has been purchased for a substaintial amount above its value to farm it, which has excluded any genuine farmer purchasers. We are not talking lifestyle blocks here. It would be well over 2000ha of land.
As the Argentine owners have not had the place long I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that they will farm it well. At least they have put a good kiwi manager on it.
The German has had his place the longest and basicly probably halved the production that his farm had previously done. No fert. Sacked a string of managers. Just ended up running a very light stocking of cattle. Had to get rid of his sheep as hopeless fences and sheep are a bad mix. At least the German chooses to live here most of the time.
As for the Chinese they are a different ball game all together. They only visit the beautifully sited house above the sea once or twice a year.  Can't speak English, didn't go through OIO aproval though as it's owned in the name of their daughter who has residency here it seems. Doesn't seem to live in NZ much now though. They have owned it for about 3 years and have not farmed it or spent a dollar on it up till now. It has been grazed by myself and another neighbour for some of that time. The 200+ha of grazing next to me is to go into some kind of forestry this winter. Almost half of it is easy rolling land you could drive a tractor over. I could hardly believe my eyes a couple of weeks ago though. A helicopter was spraying a big area of regenerating bush (about 75ha I think) I estimate it wouldn't have been in grass for 40-50 years other than the ridges. Mostly it was Pungas and Manuka but there is a good number of Rimu, Rewarewa and other trees growing above the punga canopy. Can't understand how the regional council allowed it, but it looks like its all dying.
I could go on with some more stories that have not endeared our foreign neighbours to me but my main point is that I have seen very little evidence of benefits to NZs economy from these foreign owners but I have seen some pretty obvious down sides in our community.
 

Clearly policy needs to be adjusted on foreign land sales. It willl be interesting what happens in light of the collapsed dairy market, the banks of distressed sellers willl be the first to knock on foreign buyers doors to maximise their collateral. Labour has the right balance in their policy I think.

Sounds like the neighbours you are talking about are land banking and have no interest in farming.