Crafar farms sold to Chinese
Fri, 20 Apr 2012 11:10a.m.
By 3 News online staff / NZN
The Government has approved the controversial sale of Crafar farms to a Chinese-owned company this morning.
Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson and Associate Finance Minister Jonathan Coleman approved the deal after a recommendation from the Overseas Investment Office.
This comes after an earlier approval was overturned when Sir Michael Fay took the issue to court and had the decision overturned.
Sir Michael’s Crafar Farms Purchase Group says the new decision is a bad day for New Zealand.
“This is a one way deal. No Kiwi will ever own a farm in China and that’s a fact,” their statement says.
Milk New Zealand Holding Limited – owned by Chinese company Shanghai Pengxin under the names of duo Zhaobai Jiang and Lei Jiang – won the new approval but it has come with 27 stringent conditions.
“These 27 conditions have been imposed to ensure Milk New Zealand’s investment delivers substantial and identifiable benefits to New Zealand,” says Dr Coleman.
One of the conditions requires Milk New Zealand to invest $16 million into the farms and to protect and enhance heritage sites.
“Those rules recognise the benefits that appropriate overseas investment can bring, while providing a range of safeguards to protect New Zealanders’ interests. They are applied evenly to all applications, regardless of where they are from.
“The combined effect of the benefits being delivered to New Zealand as a result of this transaction is substantial,” he says.
Shanghai Pengxin is reported to have offered $210 million for the 16 North Island dairy farms, totalling 10,000 hectares.
Federated Farmers has backed the approval, with president Bruce Wills saying the investment is needed.
"The reality is we've got $47 billion of farm debt in New Zealand," he told Radio New Zealand.
"There's a lot of concern about a large number of farms being sold off in one large block and I understand that, but people need to look at the debt issue - we're not good savers,” says Mr Willis.
Sir Michael says the decision is not good for the economy.
“It shows the Government has no commitment to the people who live and work in the rural sector.
“Sixteen dairy farms – an area the size of Hamilton - and a minimum $20 million per year of Fonterra milk payouts are lost to the Central North Island economy for good,” he says.
“Sadly the continuing loss of our productive land is going to be an extremely high price for the farming industry and the country to pay.”
Opposition parties – Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First - are against the sale and NZ First leader Winston Peters calls it a “corporate raid from offshore”.
“It's happened before, it doesn't bring new jobs, wealth or exports it just brings a change of ownership and less jobs and less wealth,” says Mr Peters.
NO PENGXIN LINK TO UNDERWORLD CONNECTIONS
New Zealand diplomats working with China's Ministry of Public Security have cleared Jiang Zhaobai, owner of Shanghai Pengxin Group, of a historic underworld connection in validating his good character.
Documents released on Friday with the NZ ministerial approval the sale said a diplomat at the New Zealand embassy in Beijing was tasked with checking out an anonymous submission that claimed Jiang had links with a Shanghai gang boss, Xiao di Zhou.
The diplomat, whose name was blacked out from the public version of the document, made inquiries with China's Ministry of Public Security, which had no record of any convictions in respect of Jiang or Shanghai Pengxin, the Land Information New Zealand report said.
The embassy official did confirm a historic connect between Shanghai Pengxin and Xiao.
"SPGL and Mr Xiao both appear to have acquired land from a corrupt official - the official did not own the land and had no right to sell it," the report said.
"There was no suggestion of wrongdoing on the part of SPGL."
The embassy official said there was evidence Xiao committed offences including hiring someone to assault a business associate.
Xiao is currently serving 14 years jail related to illegal land sales and assault.
Other directors of the companies in the group which includes Shanghai Pengxin were given the all clear in terms of the good character test, the report said.
Jiang, a Shanghai-based property and diversified investor, is listed as China's 284th richest man, according to Forbes.
KEEPING THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT HAPPY
New Zealand's relationship with China would have been seriously affected if Shanghai Pengxin's bid had been rejected when it met all the approval requirements, the Government says.
Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson says the company's bid met all the requirements under new rules that followed a judicial review.
The ministers previously approved the sale to Shanghai Pengxin but a High Court judge overturned it, saying the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) had incorrectly applied the criteria.
Mr Williamson says the ministerial decision was taken entirely on new advice from the OIO.
Foreign Minister Murray McCully's advice was sought about the implications of turning down the company's bid.
"The Foreign Minister said he thought there would be serious implications if we were to decline a bid from a bidder who met all the criteria," he told reporters.
"If we were to say to one bidder 'you meet all the criteria and the Swiss, Germans, English and Canadians get through the gate but you don't' there would obviously have been serious implications."
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
26/04/2012 6:34:03 p.m.
This is the point that NZ stopped being a Western democracy and started to become an Asian kleptocracy. To the 14 year old kid, sorry mate, these baby boomers have taken the loot already; your PM is foreign owned, the government is foreign owned, the media is foreign owned etc. You will spend the rest of your life getting poorer and less free. But, kid, if anyone calls you racist for speaking the truth, they are probably the same ones who are signing the deals and pocketing more cash than you can imagine, and you should hit them with all you can. You're a good kid but you've been sold out like the Maori were at Waitangi - the deal is done.
25/04/2012 10:09:08 p.m.
im 14 years old and have been learning about this at school, i think it is a nightmare that our beautiful country is being sold to overseas investors. Look at the comments, even chinese people are telling us that china will not bring good things to our country. we cant buy in their country, so they should not buy in ours. for what i do know, is that overall this will not help new zealands econcomy. in the shortrun it might pay off a bit or farming debt, but in the long run new zealand is going to be losing money on its on land. stupid.
22/04/2012 7:59:21 p.m.
Julian Wang wrote:
I am a Chinese ,i was really disappointed with Goverment stupid desicion, Pure New Zealand? From now on, will become South Pacific China.
I am Chinese ,i love my Own country and New zealand,but i do not like the way "the rich Chinese Company" Do, they are not present the Common Chinese people,they are SUCKERS,the only purpose for purchase this farm is to make both Chinese people and Newzelanders sicker,especially those Children, all they care about is $$$.
Goverment, pls wake up ,learn from Aus,the local Chinese immigrants love this pure New zealand,we hope this is the last pure land in the world.do not destroy it.
John Key? you have no idea what the horrible things you bring to Newzealand, not only sold a farm, the whole soicety structure will change, this is a Disaster.
the next thing will happen is Housing Market, another disaster.
i really can not imagine what will be happened next?Have a look the Housing Market in China Now.
GOD SAVE NZ.
21/04/2012 11:09:36 p.m.
1/ The -so called- benefits (a scholarship here and there and some upgrades) are a load of BS. That's nothing compared to the land being held in NZ hands.
2/ People are using the word 'xenophobia' a lot. This concern [NOT xenophobia] over the Chinese is PERFECTLY justified... They have a habit of corrupt business practices, bleeding companies and countries dry, and other unethical behaviour... Much better to have German and French investment. The European ethics/business practices and corporate responsibility are much like NZ people.
20/04/2012 8:28:54 p.m.
I think that is Foolish choosing by John Key's Government!!!
20/04/2012 8:27:34 p.m.
It is all about $$$$$$, The Government's books are in red. They will sell to anyone with highest bid.
If you selling a house for 300K, you had 2 offers, one with 280K and promise s/he will look after the house, one with 350K. Which offer will you accept?
In next elections, one Party said they are going to raise the GST, increase the TAX, reduce the benefit/welfare. Another Party said they are going to reduce/remove GST, lower the TAX, increase the benefit/welfare. Which Party will you vote?
Doesn't matter who you are: a person, a family, an organisation, a company, or a government. It is all about $$$$$$.
20/04/2012 8:10:38 p.m.
Well if we cant buy farm in china then china cant buy farm from us. it should be that simple, how hard is that. If china wants to buy land from us then we want to buy some land from them, if they say NO then our answer is NO as well..
Thats what it should be, JOHN KEY, wake up and drink more coffee, selling our assest is not the answer
20/04/2012 6:54:09 p.m.
To all those people who voted National at the election and now hate what Mr Key is doing to this country, selling state-owned assets blah blah blah;
"It's all your fault"
20/04/2012 6:31:29 p.m.
Jim Seaview wrote:
QUOTE: "Opposition parties – Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First - are against the sale and NZ First leader Winston Peters calls it a “corporate raid from offshore”. What hypocrites the opposition are. Last year when a German company purchased Turners & Growers not a sound was heard from any of the opposition parties.Not a sound when around 8 years ago the Chines purchased Wellington Electricity 100% who own the largest office building on the Petone foreshore.A figure has been bandies around that Labour during their 9 years sold around 68,000 hectares of farmland.What is it that the 3 hypocritical opposition parties dont like about the Chinese?
20/04/2012 5:48:33 p.m.
The racism and hysteria from the left has been disgusting to say the least. Lanour sold 8x more land to 'forenigners' then Natioanl ever did
- talk about hypocrisy !
Labour signed a fre trade agreement with China
The country's balance of payments deficit has declined a lit...
A Milan court has convicted the designers Domenico Dolce and...
While Coliseum says it's focused on football, could they cha...
A pilots' group says the fill from a proposed second Mt Vict...
The way we watch televised sport is about to undergo a major...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.