I fail to see why John Key states he has a mandate for partial sale of assets. If he had received over 50% of the votes at the general election he would have had a mandate but he only received in the vicinity of 48%. He required assistance from Maori, Act and Dunne to form a government and neither Dunn or Maori campaigned on selling assets so where is the mandate. He has a majority with those other parties but that is not a mandate
The biggest issue with the Crafar sale is the sheer size of it. If a case was made one farm at a time that might be more palatable, but as a job lot it has a much bigger impact. The rules should be changed so it cannot happen again.
I have two problems with the sale of the Crafar farms or any large area of productive land to overseas owners:
1/ Chartered accountants assigned to the Crafar farms before its failure identified that if the farms were sold off separately the receivers would achieve significantly more for them in total than selling the farms as one lot. This is because some are very good farms, and others not. Many Kiwis could afford to buy one of the farms but very few the whole package. A shortage of farms is simply driving prices beyond the reach of most. Why has the government and receivers ignored this option, have the Chinese been twisting their arms?
2/ Landcorp is a government corporation from which the government receives a substantial dividend like the corporates in the electricity sector. Landcorps genisis was from the "Department of lands and Survey" after it was corporatised by government in the 70/80's. The Lands and Survey department mandate was set up to develop farms and disburse them to NZ farmers, nothing more. However, like many government corporations they have mutated into more than their mandate. Landcorp has exceeded its mandate by offering to farm the Crafar farms for the Chinese as it is not strictly acting for NZ farmers and its mandate. Landcorp has a history of empire building and insider trading, and this is just another example of their quest for acquisition. The whole concept of a "corporation" having the mandate to develop and disburse farms in NZ is flawed as corporations are about profit and acquisition, whereas government departments are not. This is called "conflict of interest".
Oh how the poor governmental decisions made in the 70/80's continue to come back to haunt us. When will we see a government that can control its corporations, is competent and honest, and more importantly, acting for the best interests of the NZ public?
Many NZ'ers will vote against the National government at the next election if it permits the sale of the Crafar farms to Chinese to proceed. Is it really worth not listening to public opinion John?
interesting Mr Key makes a point to say the government abides by the law for the crafar farm sales, yet it appears to be ok to change the law for more pokie machines...somewhat hypocritical
At the end of the day, you dont give a toss who owns NZ as long as you got your $50 million worth, and if you dont like your Chinese neighbor you can live overseas.
I totally agree that NZ assets should not be sold to overseas buyers, leaving an ever increasing number of New Zealanders tenants in their own country. (This is from a British borne naturalized kiwi who sees NZ going the same way as Europe).To digress slightly, we have a government supposedly bent on selling these land assets to overseas buyers, this same government is also proposing the release of certain areas of land that is currently under ‘Schedule 4’ (certain marine reserves and areas of high value conservation land) for mining purposes. Add to this the possible resource consent for land and off-shore drilling rights being issued, we have a potentially bleak future facing this country.However, I’m sure the government will miraculously have a change of mind and present New Zealanders with an alternative. This being that instead of land sales, mining rights and drilling operations wreaking havoc in NZ, why don’t we (NZ government) increase our dairy production as an alternative? Probably would require at least doubling or trebling the current dairy stock to receive monetary gains long term. From the Minister :- “How about we use some of this Schedule 4 land for dairying and forget the ugly mining bit. Oh! And don’t worry about that nasty off-shore & land drilling either. While we are at it, how about we spend lots of tax payers’ money on buying some of these farms currently up for sale??”…….. Well when you put it that way Mr. Brownlee, it sounds all very reasonable and sensible to me! Why didn’t you suggest that in the first place?? “Well, had I done so without raising this smoke screen of possible dire consequencies to our land, you would never have agreed to it!” “And, don’t forget about all the animal waste running off into our rivers. We can retain and collect some of it and convert it into bio energy to run our ageing fleet of road vehicles … you’ll never notice the extra pollution” …… “OOOPPs, did I just say that out loud?” ……… Yes, you may do one day Minister, however I feel much, much happier now our future is looking rosier.
The other reason why we should not sell land to overseas interests, I forgot to mention in my earlier comment, is that all profits will then go overseas. Company profits are usually invested locally to the betterment of NZ, once the company is overseas owned the profits are gone. Over the past 10 years over 20 billion of NZ assets (businesses and land) have been sold to overseas owners. We have become the peasants that do the toil. Our society and culture and quality of life is slowly being eroded by these overseas interests. NZ has one of the highest living standards in the world and everyone wants to come and live here but this has seen serious erosion in past years. The National government is failing the NZ public with its policies. It is doing this with its naive behaviour and unhealthy connections to big business and overseas interests. This comment is aimed at Key and Joyce - the two novices. English is still trapped in the 80's where he started, and Brownlee needs to go back to school and learn how to take off his puppet strings. The list goes on.
They (National) are now selling state assets off, an ideal that was a total disaster in the 80's, 90's, and reversed by government in early 2000's. How long do they really think selling off state assets will fund the huge social consequences (problems) of their failed past and current policies? Two or three weeks maybe, then what? Its like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic! Last person off to Australia, please turn the lights off!
Free Kim Dotcom. He is an innocent scapegoat and a nice guy too.
When it comes to the 'almighty dollar' and 'what's right for the country', - the almighty dollar will always win. I'm in opposition to the government selling state assets, it's like selling off your kid's inheritance to gain a quick fix solution to go play the pokies. My question is this...Once these assets are sold, what will the government do with the money these sales will generate? What other resources will the government look at next to sell?
NZ has a lengthy cultural history of extended family ownership of its farms. Farms are handed down within the greater family when the oldies are to old to do the work in a cycle of life. Usually farms are handed down but not considered as bona-fida sales. All extended family members benefit for the "family farm" they have a connection to in some way or other and/or at some time in their life. It is our connection to the land. For example an uncle may leave a farm to a family member who has illustrated a genuine interest in farming. Many old folk come to the realisation that the farm they inherited was never really theirs, instead they were really just the custodian of the extended family farm when they "Owned it" and need to pass it on when they are ready. This family farming concept is implicit in the national NZ culture.
Unfortunately there are a few farmers who do not understand or accept this concept and have dollar signs in their eyes. They break this cycle of life all in the name of short term financial gain. They have also forgotten the chance they were given in life all those years ago when they got their first farm via partial inheritance or via purchase of a farm at a bargain price from an old farmer who was impressed with their genuine interest in farming.
The problem with foreign ownership is that this wonderful cycle is broken and NZ society is poorer as a result. When employment on these farms comes to an end the farmers have nothing and are financially dependent on the state. The extended family also has nothing and has gained nothing throughout the relationship with the land. The "sons" for the return home have nothing to return to.
I say never sell the family farm. Your family will only become poorer if you do so. Many wise old farmer will tell you the same thing. Non-kiwi's will not understand this as they have never experienced the concept themselves to their benefit.
If you sell the family farm, expect your grandchildren to work for a handful of rice as they will not have an ownership interest or any land to share the benefits with in the extended family. The last thing we want is NZ to be like China or the UK, look at the very serious social problems they have as a consequence of policy! They need to assimilate or go home. I do not understand why China is going around the world buying up huge areas of fertile productive land and will not permit others to do so in China. For example China has huge land assets in Africa. Do you want to be a tenant in your own country?