Maori Party 'outraged' at Crafar Farm sale
Fri, 27 Jan 2012 3:24p.m.
By James Murray
A bid for Crafar Farms by the Chinese Shang Hai Pengxin Group Co. Limited has been accepted by the Government and the Maori Party are “outraged”.
The move follows the recommendation of the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) to grant consent.
"It is clear that all criteria under sections 16 and 18 of the Overseas Investment Act 2005 have been met, therefore we accept the recommendation of the OIO to grant consent," Mr Williamson said.
The 16 farms will be bought by Milk New Zealand Holding Limited, a subsidiary of Shanghai Pengxin.
Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples said “our land should stay in our hands”.
“We are totally outraged that the Overseas Investment Office would approve the sale of this massive land holding to foreign investors,” said Dr. Sharples
“The Maori Party is absolutely against the sale of our land to overseas interests. Iwi are natural partners of the Crown, with cultural traditions of intergenerational ownership and protection of land and natural resources. They should have a right of first refusal, in accordance with Treaty principles, as our election policy stated.”
According to the party’s other leader, Tariana Turia, the Maori Party asked the National Government to include a clause in the OIO’s regulations requiring them to check whether the seller “had consulted with, and/or offered land to the appropriate iwi before offering it on the open market”.
“Our view has always been that we must protect and preserve our land to keep it from falling into foreign ownership. We do not believe selling off our land to offshore investors such as Shanghai Pengxin is an act of good faith in iwi as Treaty partners.
“This sale fails the test, because it places a significant chunk of our land, and the economic benefits derived from it, into foreigh ownership and control,” said Ms Turia.
“Today a great wrong has been done to New Zealanders,” said Mr Sharples.
“Our land is not just a commodity, it is a living, breathing part of our history, our culture, and our people. We just sold a piece of ourselves.”
The Maori Party’s relationship with National came under strain during the last Parliament, with ex-member Hone Harawira splitting away to form the Mana Party.
One of Mr Harawira’s criticisms was that the Maori Party had become too close to National and was ignoring the demands of its core support.
The 2011 election was relatively unsuccessful for the Maori Party as they fell from holding five electorate seats to three.
According to the Government, the acquisition will “further support the supply of high quality dairy products into the Chinese market and help set the foundations for further economic and export opportunities with China”.
The decision to grant consent is controversial with a New Zealand-owned bid by a Sir Michael Fay-led consortium currently going through a court process seeking to block the sale.
They were in court yesterday but no orders were given as the two sides had reached agreement on three issues.
Belly Gully lawyer David Cooper, representing the Fay consortium, said the application for approval had been provided to his client and the OIO's recommendation made to the ministers would be made available when the decision was made.
It had been agreed with Pengxin's Milk New Zealand Holdings that it would not take steps to settle the transaction before 5pm on Friday, February 3.
The Fay consortium still intends to seek a judicial review if the Chinese consortium gets approval.
However, The $171.5 million bid from the Fay-led consortium, including Maori trusts, is believed to be some $30 million below Pengxin's bid.
The Fay group had its bid for the farms declined by receiver KordaMentha, who called the price "unacceptable".
Mr Coleman and Mr Williamson pointed out that neither they or the OIO were involved in the decision by KordaMentha to not approve the Michael Fay bid.
They declined to comment on the bid as it is currently a matter before the court.
The New Zealand public have been widely reported as being against the sale of the farm to the Chinese with UMR poll last November showed 82 percent of respondents as being against the sale to Pengxin.
However, the same poll did show support for a sale which entailed combined Chinese and New Zealand interests.
As part of the deal Milk New Zealand has agreed that the farms will be managed by Landcorp Farming Limited.
The Government hope this will guarantee expected benefits to the New Zealand economy from the sale to occur.
If Milk New Zealand renege on the deal to use Landcorp they will be require to sell the farms as part of the consent.
Shanghai Pengxin have been granted consent under the following conditions:
Read the OIO’s recommendation
Read the OIO’s decision summary
OIO background information
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31/01/2012 7:46:41 a.m.
@ johnmillan"they might as well go to a Chinese language school,because that is what Key is doing too them"Really John!, that's what you think John...have you read the FTA NZ has with China?...Labour wanted a FTA and got one, bet you were all happy about it too John!? (as it was Labours doing of course you wanted it, probably be all upset and annoyed if it were National that introduced it eh John?)....well here is the FTA in action John, the Chinese bid was highest, would you have wanted Fey to buy the farms (He's Swiss remember), evenalthough his bid was lower?johnmillan = racist hypocrite
30/01/2012 8:45:34 a.m.
It doesnt matter what nationality the buyer is, the seller is a foreigner too. Thieves murderers and liars, the illegal unconstituted colonial government of NZ has ignored international law since they got here. Rascist NZr you are a coloniser and plunderer of another culture and have some how devorced your true identity and charade as a local, in perhaps the same way as american business interests do in the middle east.
29/01/2012 5:19:53 p.m.
When the Germans and the poms and the dutch arrived in New Zealand,they bought up farms and businesses all over the country,they had Dutch camps in the 1950s for them to come to.The Chinese have been here years before I was born,they had market gardens and fruit shops up and down the length of the country,they started of mushroom farms,A acre of land then would have been 1 pound a acre,full of gorse and Manuka,and rag wort also box thorn.But still selling off land that is just too show that the Government has put the country right into the crap,is an invitation too open the doors too a third world country,as it seems those who are rich,are those who are not saying anything bias too what is happening.NZ born and Bred,and others think they have the right too think that they own the country,god help those young ones growing up, they might as well go to a Chinese language school,because that is what Key is doing too them.
29/01/2012 5:19:52 p.m.
28/01/2012 10:50:37 p.m.
Jimmy G wrote:
A fair chunk of our population has been whipped into an anti-Chinese frenzy by those who have hidden agenda’s for either political or monetary gain. Unfortunately this is not hard to achieve as the comprehension levels in this country leave a lot to be desired.
I can recall some time ago our local rabble-rouser Winston Peters stating that Maori had originated in China, migrating from mainland China to Taiwan, the Philippines, the Pacific islands and eventually New Zealand. This scenario is now backed up by research and genetic profiling.
So, why is Peters so vehemently against his blood brothers buying land when there has been no argument from him when German, Japanese or Italian interests have purchased much, much more and not so long ago were killing his people in the Second World War.
28/01/2012 9:37:02 p.m.
Jake Griffiths wrote:
Good on john Key selling the family silver, This disgusting action is only the beginning. The man will run around in circles defending whatever he says and allows whilst behind doors disparages Kiwis as a people, His comments on the elderly have reinforced his total lack of respect for the backbone of NewZealand, His sneaky meetings with Oil drilling companies, Wake up people The Chinese have the world whipped and Governments like ours just play into their hands and hand them the keys PUN ! Sadly it will be all too late to rectify all John Keys Selling off to put his books right and then he can gloat at some egotistical success, Good on all of you who voted for National, same old same old, What a weak Government they have turned out to be, We had no choice !!!!!! Whatever, its NewZealanders land or was !!!. LAWS LAWS LAWS made all the time to control us without our say but when it counts they say there was nothing we could do. We live in a screwed up world and its going to get worse,
28/01/2012 8:13:11 a.m.
NO "outraged" by the maori kids being beaten to death every other week.
27/01/2012 9:18:07 p.m.
If the Maori party are so upset over the sale?why dont they withdraw their support to the Nats,show some guts.
27/01/2012 8:40:32 p.m.
Sorry Maori Party, but while you are in bed with the National Party is any form, you too will be blamed for their bad decisions. From the GST increase to the Crafar Farms sales, you have played your part. Shame on you.
27/01/2012 7:35:14 p.m.
James J.Read wrote:
The Crafer Farm receivers were supposed to get the best possible price for them. THe Maori Party's oppinion would carry more weight, if one of the Maori tribes or trusts had made a bid for them. I am very happy to see foreign investment helping provide KIwis with jobs.
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