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Crafar vs Cameron

Written By: - Date published: 8:49 am, February 2nd, 2012 - 118 comments
Categories: im/migration, overseas investment - Tags:

Spot the difference:

Mega-corporation with close ties to foreign dictatorship that has a policy of securing strategic resources buys swathes of New Zealand farmland after a bid by a company directly owned by the dictatorship was rejected. New Zealand public company to become the foreign company’s tenant.

vs

New resident in New Zealand buys farm.

Now, I’m pretty unhappy that the big studios and directors like James Cameron (and his new Wairapapa neighbour, Peter Jackson) extort 15% plus of their production costs from the government in return for making their films here but that’s a separate issue. He is going to become a New Zealand resident; he’s going to be working here and contributing to our economy. That’s nothing like a corporate linked to a foreign government snapping up our land and making us tenants on it – one’s immigration, the others loss of economic sovereignty.

A pity the Right doesn’t understand the difference.

118 comments on “Crafar vs Cameron”

  1. higherstandard 1

    Spot the difference:

    Your prose ?

    • Eddie 1.1

      yeah, because Cameron and Penxgin are actually identical, it’s just spin.

      Btw, the term you’re looking for is rhetoric, not prose.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Cameron’s got good PR advisors. His team are aware of the hubub around the Crafar deal and have said all the right things to negate key issues.

    Kudos for competent messaging, Mr Cameron. Hope you and your family actually do intend to reside in NZ (and not say, treat your Wairarapa property as a holiday home or refuge now and then).

  3. james 111 3

    I believe you should disect all of the 650000 hectares that Labour sold off in their 9 years. Wasnt Shania Twain part of that as well?
    People in glass houses shouldnt throw stones

    • KJT 3.1

      What makes you think we all supported National light.

      Some of us have been opposing land and asset sales, offshore, since the 80′s.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        A new rule would be nice. You can only buy land in NZ if you (or the company’s directors) have been resident in the country as a citizen or PR for 3 or more years. Otherwise you must lease it.

        • KJT 3.1.1.1

          Agree if you add. All shareholders.

          Not that I am a fan of shareholder capitalism either. Just another way of transferring wealth to a few.

        • jbc 3.1.1.2

          Not a bad idea at all, and there’s a similar set of ownership rules in Singapore for an obvious reason (it’s tiny):

          - Foreigners can only buy apartments. (and many/most of those are leasehold)
          - PRs can buy a ‘landed’ home – but this property must be their primary residence (i.e.: can’t buy two properties, or live overseas). When you stop living in it you are not allowed to own it.
          - Citizens don’t have those restrictions (there has to be something in it for them I guess)

    • Eddie 3.2

      I’m not in Labour’s glasshouse. And I was throwing stones at them too.

      But guess who is government now. You clearly believe that land sales are wrong or you wouldn’t have used the ‘they did it too’ defence. So how about admitting that and opposing what’s happening now, rather than trying to talk about the unchangeable past.

      Incidentally, Labour’s current policy is to prima facie reject all foreign land purchases over 5ha. Do you support such a policy, or do you support foreign governments being able to by up our strategic assets and make us tenants in our own land?

      • Gosman 3.2.1

        What’s the definition of strategic asset Eddie?

        • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.1

          What’s your definition of a strategic asset, Gossie?

          Or don’t you have one because you view all assets as similar in nature from a strictly narrow and unrealistic financialised viewpoint?

          • Gosman 3.2.1.1.1

            I can think of at least one that might be applicable but as I asked Eddie first I think I’ll wait for a reply before giving this.

  4. shorts 4

    Cameron should have failed the Of Good Character test – he’s tried busting union workers on movie sets for a very long time using a very familiar tactic we have seen at work – one engaged by his hollywood focused neighbours

    do a google and see him threatening to take his productions out of the US over workers rights (unions)

    meanwhile offshore interests buying up NZ land furthers the gravy train of escalating property prices and the capital gains to be made when sold

    would be nice to think an average kiwi could afford some dirt in the future – or is the new rule that we all must live offshore for 20 years to earn our deposits?

  5. CnrJoe 5

    oh great, our ‘backlot of hollywood’ status just got rejigged
    might as well stick up that sign at their airport – Welcome to Hollywood South 

  6. Enough is Enough 6

    Eddie ,don’t buy into Cameron’s PR bullshit. He is a movie director, not a farmer and never will be. Farming isn’t something you just decide you want to be one day and suddenly become one.

    I am sure his family wants to give up their american lives to move to the Wairarapa. That is a realistic scenario isn’t it.

    Just like the Chinese it is an investment for him. He has cash and is investing in the white gold boom,

    Sure he might build a big house on the land to spend some time in while he is over here visting his mate Sir Pete and showing off the local vineyards to his Hollywood mates. but this guy isn’t becoming a kiwi.

    Stop selling our farms to foreigners.

    • queenstfarmer 6.1

      Stop selling our farms to foreigners

      Who is “our”? Has one or more of your farms been sold to foreigners?

      • Gosman 6.1.1

        The trouble is QSF many on the left think everything in the country ultimately belongs to “The people” (i.e. them). They attempt to couch this in terms of they only care about “Strategic” assets but what is determined to be strategic is anything they deem important enough to kick up a stink about. One day it is a Farm then next it could be your house and finally it could be anything that you own that you might wish to sell to a foreigner.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          The trouble is QSF many on the left think everything in the country ultimately belongs to “The people” (i.e. them).

          Whereas the 0.1% believes that everything in the country ultimately belongs to them, i.e. the born to rule moneyed elite.

          • Gosman 6.1.1.1.1

            They may want everything to belong to them, (not really true though), but they don’t act as if it already does.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1.1

              They may want everything to belong to them, (not really true though), but they don’t act as if it already does.

              Sure they do. Hence the sell off of our state assets while ignoring Treaty stipulations, the rorting of big Christchurch City Council salaries and the gifting of bail out funds to rich finance company investors.

        • Frank Macskasy 6.1.1.2

          Who do you think the country belongs to, then, Gosman?

          Do you even accept the concept of nations?

          If you do, what constitutes nations, and opposed to geograpgic areas?

          • Gosman 6.1.1.2.1

            I have a slightly different view of Sovereignty of a nation and individual property rights Frank.

            I am aware many on the left don’t tend to distinguish between the two thinking the rights of the many outweigh the rights of the few. I obviously don’t share this philisophical viewpoint.

            It is something I do find interesting in that I can accept you can have a different view of the role of society yet people like you are unable to accept that other people can have any other view than their own or if they do they are either stupid or evil. That is really infantile logic in my opinion.

            • Frank Macskasy 6.1.1.2.1.1

              I have a slightly different view of Sovereignty of a nation and individual property rights Frank.

              I didn’t ask you if you had ” a slightly different view of Sovereignty of a nation and individual property rights”. That’s probably a ‘given’. I asked you,

              “Who do you think the country belongs to, then, Gosman?

              Do you even accept the concept of nations?

              If you do, what constitutes nations, and opposed to geograpgic areas?”

              …I can accept you can have a different view of the role of society yet people like you are unable to accept that other people can have any other view than their own or if they do they are either stupid or evil. That is really infantile logic in my opinion.

              Are you aware that you accused “people like me” as accusing others who disagree with us as “stupid or evil” – and then you accused me of “infantile logic”?

              You demand answer from others, yet rarely offer your own counter-arguments.

              And when answers are provided to you, you deflect, deride, or dismiss .

              How about answering the questions I posed above?

              • Gosman

                I didn’t state you were stupid just that thinking that people who disagree with your particular view of the world were either stupid or evil is infantile logic. Even the most intelligent people in the world resort to infantile logic at times. Obviously I don’t put you in this particular bracket but you are not stupid, just ignorant of some basic economic concepts.

                See the difference between me and you Frank is I can understand the rationale behind your view point. I just disagree with it. Bits of it makes sense but on balance I prefer a different way of structuring society. You can’t even comprehend how someone can have a different viewpoint to yours on the right. Therefore you act as if anyone who dares point out the flaws in your viewpoint, (and all political views have flaws Frank), must be duped by some right wing conspiracy to take over the world and impoverish people. That is infantile logic.

                • See, there you go again, Gosman; deflecting.

                  Answer the question, please. It’s fairly simple.

                • Jum

                  Gosman,
                  ‘right wing conspiracy to take over the world and impoverish people.’

                  Ireland, Argentina, Greece,

                • “I didn’t state you were stupid…”

                  So you didn’t write, ” That is really infantile logic ?

                  • Gosman

                    Do you disagree that it is infantile logic?

                    If so perhaps you would care to elucidate.

                    • Deflection. Again.

                      Do you deny that you wrote “I didn’t state you were stupid…”

                      And that you then wrote, ” That is really infantile logic ?

                      Either stand by what you said, or withdraw it and apologise.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The “basic economic concepts” you adhere to are delusional and thus your entire world view is also delusional.

                  • Gosman

                    States the person who believes you can print money to fund the productive sector without causing inflation to spike. I think my world view is far more atuned to reality than yours is DTB. Mine is certainly supported by more people around the world, including most of the left leaning parties in the Western world. While true that this is not necessearily an indication that it is right it does serve to illustrate that your view hasn’t been very convincing to many people.

                    • Yeah, Gosman, but at least Draco answers a question staight-up, without your childish game-playing.

                    • KJT

                      States the person who cannot see that private banks doing the same thing,
                      and additionally, expanding the money supply by adding an extra charge, interest, should be causing even more inflation, if his hypothesis is half way correct.

                      Why did runaway inflation in Germany stop. When the Government there took money creation out of private hands, after the war, and re-issued the currency?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      States the person who believes you can print money to fund the productive sector without causing inflation to spike.

                      Banks print money daily and inflation doesn’t spike. Hell, the governments of the world over the last few years have been printing it hand over fist trying to get inflation to rise and yet it’s stayed flat. The only real difference that I promote is that the money printed have no interest and be offset through taxes rather than loans as it is at present.

                      Mine is certainly supported by more people around the world,

                      Reminds me of the stupid adverts of 40 years ago when they used to ask can a million people be wrong? which, of course, they can be. It’s an appeal to populism that tries to bypass the facts.

                      …an indication that it is right it does serve to illustrate that your view hasn’t been very convincing to many people.

                      That just means that many people haven’t really thought about it. Actually, they probably don’t know the reality.

        • Pascal's bookie 6.1.1.3

          So just to be clear about your position Goss: Are you saying that anyone who thinks we should have an OIO, or a public works act, or anything similar, is a lefty?

          Pretty small club in the rightie house in that case.

          • Gosman 6.1.1.3.1

            Ultimately they are the products of leftist economic thinking. Therefore people on the left should be very pleased with the fact that purchases of assests by foreigners go through this process. It is also why John Key and most of National is a centerist rather than extreme right bogeyman some make him out to be. I personally think he was idiotic for making that “Tenants in our own land” comment. Certainly it flies in the face of free market economic thinking.

            • Pascal's bookie 6.1.1.3.1.1

              I think I see what you mean.

              If you put the left right divide there though, you end up with just about everyone in the world on the left, with a few cranks out on the fringe, unrepresented anywhere really being the right.

              I’m not sure how that results in a useful distinction.

              It would be like saying that if you are not an absolute monarchist, you are a libertarian. Though that has the advantage that historically speaking there have been a large number of absolute monarchists that have held sway for long periods of time.

              We are nearly all libertarian leftists now, thank goodness.

              Edit: I’ll have to take issue with this by the way “Ultimately they are the products of leftist economic thinking.”

              It’s not “ultimately” at all. It’s a direct and blatant application of the principle in question.

            • Jum 6.1.1.3.1.2

              gosman,

              ‘free market economic thinking’

              double oxymoron

              nothing is free in a free market and rightwing economists don’t actually think; they fit flawed freemarket philosophies to suit their extreme rightwing views.

              oxy = using oxygen. Stop doing it gosman.

            • aerobubble 6.1.1.3.1.3

              Taxes have in the past been very high on the wealth. And there is no reason to suppose that given population projections that NZ won’t introduce taxes to force the new landed genty to pull up lawns and grow food. the question I have, is not whether Key is an extremist (i believe he is) but whether any of that food will hit the NZ table or will it all be untaxed until it reaches its foreign owned hands overseas. I suggest its good practice to control, through taxation and regulation, the nation. Too much is bad, too little is bad. its about getting the right balance, and this is why Key is an extremist because he hold far too closely to the no government is less government ethos. No government is only possible after you recognize the need for government, then have had big government, and move consistently towards small government by handing over power to communties and moving toward an anarchic society. Key does not hand over power to communities, he hands power and control to the biggest government on the planet, the private corporate government called globalisation.

              • Gosman

                There is no such thing as the ‘right’ balance. There may be a balance that you are personally happy with in that you are happy to live with the negatives that inevitably come with all policy decisions.

    • Populuxe1 6.2

      So? There’s altogether far too much farming in this country. Our undiversified, primary product-dependent economy is one of the reasons we’re going down the toilet. Not to mention the unreasonable demands on our water supplies and river systems, pollution runoff, methane production etc. Fuck the farms.
      And in any case, how many Kiwis have some form of dual citizenship? Or live overseas while retaining NZ citizenship? Or own property in other countries as residents?

  7. queenstfarmer 7

    A pity the Right doesn’t understand the difference.

    Not sure who on “the Right” you are talking about, but one person who doesn’t appear to see much difference is David Shearer:

    However party leader David Shearer told 3News New Zealanders “do not want to be sharemilkers on foreign owned land”.

    “It doesn’t matter whether [buyers] are James Cameron or Chinese,” Mr Shearer said.

    Do you find that a pity?

    [just above your quote: "Labour said it approved of Cameron's purchase as long as he intended to stand by his statement to live here indefinitely.". Take the rest of the week off for trying to mislead your fellow commentators. Eddie]

    • What ‘David Shearer told’, in contrast to what ‘Labour said’, is quite significant as written in the article, so that seems like a harsh ban, but it may not be so bad if it sets a new precedence clamping down on misleading.

      I thought that Shearer made his statement before he knew Cameron said he would move here to live, and after that Labour released the quoted position. If that’s the case it’s The Herald who should get reprimanded for misleading.

      Regardless, Shearer’s initial judgement is interesting.

    • queenstfarmer 7.2

      My comment was not misleading in the slightest, unless you consider it misleading to quote anthing less than every entire article (which I am sure the NZ Herald would not aprreciate).

      However (in case this comment gets through) I will “abide by the umpire’s decision” and take a week off.

      • tsmithfield 7.2.1

        I agree. In my opinion you weren’t misleading.

        The Labour Party is not one in the same as David Shearer. Shearer could give his personal opinion on the matter which may or may not align exactly with the Labour Party position. If anything, it was the Herald article that was misleading for not clarifying this point.

  8. randal 8

    I never went to see any of his movies but one was a remake and one was fantasy bullshit for infantilised pinheads so I guess he is just what New Zealand needs.

    • Gosman 8.1

      So you have never seen any of James Cameron’s movies?

      I find that hard to believe. Even if you didn’t want to see Avatar or Titantic this means you have not seen Aliens or Terminator 1 and 2 and these are the movies he was director of. He has written or produced a number of other major movies.

  9. Gosman 9

    My understanding is the US citizens have to pay tax on their world wide income. Will this not be the case in this instance?

    • dv 9.1

      I suspect that the tax is paid to the US not NZ

      • Gosman 9.1.1

        That stated he might not be a naturalised US citizen as he was born in Canada. I suspect he now is though but could be wrong. It does raise the issue if US citizens should be able to invest here if they have to pay tax in the US.

        • Chris 9.1.1.1

          According to Wikipedia he isn’t a US citizen only a Canadian one – he applied to become a US citizen but withdrew the application when George Bush (the 2nd one) became president.

    • Ed 9.2

      Provided he pays tax on New Zealand income do we care? I would imagine he gets a deduction from US tax for tax paid in New Zealand.

      • Indeed, Ed.

        I think they call it a tax credit or somesuch. In fact there are problems surrounding some corporations supposedly receiving credits from tax-havens.

        So if Cameron invests here; makes profits here; and pays tax here, I doubt if he’d be required to make another tax payment in the US. That would make no sense.

        • Ianupnorth 9.2.1.1

          Like most of the uber rich he’ll have a team of accountants and attourneys who will ensure he keeps as much as possible of his earnings by whatever means possible, a la Bono and U2 offshoring all their accounts.

        • Eduardo Kawak 9.2.1.2

          James Cameron is Canadian.

          • Populuxe1 9.2.1.2.1

            Yup, and getting all hung up on individual national citizenship is sooooo twentieth century.

    • Lanthanide 9.3

      I’m not 100% on all the details, but my ex was American.

      US citizens must file tax returns every year, even if they reside outside the country. Your foreign income is converted to US $ and there’s a threshold over which you must begin paying tax (something like $80k US per year). I believe however that a large portion of the tax can be offset by whatever you pay to the foreign government; so if the foreign government’s tax rates are higher than the US ones (usually the case), then you will end up paying no or only a little extra tax to the US government.

      This “must pay taxes for life” is something that a lot of Americans (rightly) object to, but it also makes renouncing citizenship rather difficult, because it is easily seen as “tax evasion”. So you have to have other ‘genuine’ reasons to want to renounce your citizenship.

      • Gosman 9.3.2

        Thanks for this. I only recently found out about this via reading an article in The Economist. Seems like a strange system still.

        • Chris 9.3.2.1

          It’s not strange – pretty much the same as every other Western country (including NZ) aside from the part about having to file a tax return every year. But if we did and you earned income from an overseas country and paid tax there then you would get the same credits.

          Unless you were saying something else was a strange system?

        • Draco T Bastard 9.3.2.2

          What’s strange about it? You remain a part of the nation you were born to and thus have responsibilities (such as paying taxes) to that nation.

          • Lanthanide 9.3.2.2.1

            Normally the idea of taxes is that it goes to the upkeep of the society in which you live.

            If you don’t live in the US and don’t intend to ever return, why are you paying taxes to it?

            Similarly I don’t expect long-term or permanent residents of Aus to pay NZ taxes if they aren’t living here and don’t have any commercial business here.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.3.2.2.1.1

              While outside of the country they still have access to services. A NZer in trouble can go to the embassy for help, they can vote etc etc. Those services are maintained through taxes.

          • Jimmy 9.3.2.2.2

            Why? When did you become the property of an abstraction? That’s an evil and immoral mindset…

    • happynz 9.4

      Yes, but only if the income is over US$84,000 or something close to that. Anything under that isn’t taxable by the IRS.

  10. Gosman 10

    So would you be happy with the sale of the Crafer farms if a Chinese management team came to live here?

  11. randal 11

    just because you believe something does not make it true.
    I believe that most of the stuff you believe is not true.
    so there you go.
    and the only alien around here is you.
    what planet you from?

    • Gosman 11.1

      I’m not saying it isn’t true bit it is a little strange that you don’t seem to watch much in the way of blockbuster Hollywood movies, (which is the ultimate conclusion to be taken from not seeing ANY of James Cameron’s films).

      • Lanthanide 11.1.1

        Um, James Cameron isn’t exactly a prolific director.

        Terminator, Aliens, Terminator 2, Titanic and Avatar. That’s his best known ones. Interesting that they’re T’s and A’s.

        • Chris 11.1.1.1

          You can’t leave out True Lies – great movie admittedly haven’t seen it in a while and it probably hasn’t aged well but it was awesome.

        • lprent 11.1.1.2

          The Abyss ?

        • Gosman 11.1.1.3

          Not prolific but certainly his movies are classics of each of the genres they are in.

          Avatar, Terminator, and Aliens are probably in the top 10 Sci-fi/Horror movies. Two of them were groundbreaking in terms of special effects.

          If you have an interest in Movies generally rather than just as an occasionally distraction from day to day reality then you should have seen these.

      • Puddleglum 11.1.2

        Hi Gosman,

        It might be ‘strange’ probabilistically (amongst middle class New Zealanders who frequent the internet) but I hope you don’t think it is strange behaviourally (as in ‘suspect’, ‘an indication of some social pathology’, or some such)?

        I haven’t seen any of those movies. I’ve heard about them, of course, and have seen excerpts occasionally – a bit unavoidable in today’s world. But I haven’t chosen to go and see them or hire them on DVD. I’ve seen other Hollywood films.

        I guess it seems strange to me that you should think it strange not to have seen them – In fact, I’d hazard a guess that most people in the world haven’t seen them. 

        • Populuxe1 11.1.2.1

          I guess it seems strange to me that you should think it strange not to have seen them – In fact, I’d hazard a guess that most people in the world haven’t seen them.

          Oh Puddleglum, you obviously totally underestimate the penetration power of Hollywood – like that funny bit in Romancing the Stone where in the middle of the jungle they find a guy with a xerox machine. Even some of the most pitiful shacks in Asia and Africa have satellite tv, or at the very least a DVD player.

  12. ropata 12

    I don’t like the fact that Cameron will probably just be a local landlord but it’s better than an absentee landlord. He seems to be genuinely interested in contributing something to NZ. Cameron’s blockbusters are formulaic, but his residence in NZ will only enhance Wellington’s growth in the movie industry. Not much to complain about really.

  13. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 13

    Curious fact:

    The plots of Avatar and Dances with Wolves were identical.

    • Gosman 13.1

      I’d suggest very similar rather than identical. However that is to be expected in story telling. People have made the claim that Star Wars was a rip off of Seven Samurai..

      • felix 13.1.1

        It’s not so much a matter of being “ripped off”, it just happens to be part of a very long tradition of storytelling.

        This particular story is usually referred to as “The Hero’s Journey” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monomyth ) and it’s been told all over the earth for thousands of years. You can find it in ancient myths and legends, religious texts, fairy tales, and hollywood blockbusters alike.

        The setting obviously changes but the archetypal characters, their interactions, and many other essential elements of the story have remained very similar through the ages.

        This page has a simple side by side comparison of the essential elements of The Matrix and Star Wars as seen through the “Hero’s Journey” lens: http://moongadget.com/origins/myth.html

    • Draco T Bastard 13.2

      Every story has been told, re-told, forgotten and then told again. The formats shifts slightly but that’s about it.

    • Lanthanide 13.3

      Here’s a fun website for you:
      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/Avatar

      Warning: this site can suck more of your time than Wikipedia does.

  14. randal 14

    your fantasy world is amazing.
    maybe cameron will give YOU a job?

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 14.1

      Hey, randal. Learn how to use the reply function or, in additions to your comments being completely incoherent, we will not know at whom they are directed.

  15. There seems to be a presumption that Cameron will be granted residency and will be able to work here. Has he already been through our normal immigration procedures? Or is his fame and fortune an automatic guarantee?

  16. Personally speaking, if Cameron is moving to New Zealand and becomes a citizen, then, like other immigrants and immigrants before him, and like my parents, he is welcome (in my view) to take up whatever business activity is available to him.

    Just as, I’d welcome the owners of Shanghai Pengxin as New New Zealanders and farmers if they actually came to NZ and took up citizenship, and became a part of our community.

    It’s the absentee landlordism; carving up of NZ for offshore investors; and loss of profits (which impacts on our BoP) that I, and others, have a problem with.

    • Wayne 16.1

      But Frank. That is not the case yet.

      As far as we know Cameron has not even applied for residency yet, let alone being granted it.

      So the sale of land is to a foreigner, albeit a foreigner who has simply made the right noises about coming here to live.

      You saying that we should treat this application differently because of Cameron simply promising to do something?

      Would that not set a rather unholy precedent?

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.1

        Personally speaking, if Cameron is moving to New Zealand and becomes a citizen

        Wayne. I just quoted Frank’s line above with added emphasis since you seem to have trouble reading and comprehending the meaning of the word “IF”.

      • As ‘Viper pointed out, Wayne, there are several “ifs” associated with Cameron’s situation.

        If he follows procedures set out for other prospective immigrants, I’ve no problem with folks migrating to NZ, if they meet criteria, etc, etc. Regardless of ethnicity.

        Personally, I’d love the owners of Shanghai Pengxin to migrate to NZ, and bring their families and assets with them. Hell, I’d probably shout them a beer if I ever met any of them at a local pub…

        As I said before, it’s absentee landlords I have a problem with. I think by the year 2050, if landsales keep progressing unchecked, I think all New Zealanders will realise the consequences of selling our means of farm production.

  17. Jum 17

    The media spins:

    Letter – Asset sales in Waikato times http://www.waikatotimes.co.nz

    26/01/2012 Letter – Water, water everywhere

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/opinion/columnists/michael-cox/6298438/Best-to-first-pay-off-that-debt

    Michael Cox’s column (Opinion, Jan 23) compares the Government plans to sell off half its ownership of energy utilities to reduce debt, with the situation of an individual cashing in a term deposit to reduce a mortgage.
    Surely a more appropriate comparison would be with an individual selling a prosperous small business that yields profits that help the person to pay off his or her mortgage?
    The former course of action seems to make good sense, especially given current deposit and mortgage interest rates, but can the same be said of the latter?
    DH FOREMAN
    Hamilton

  18. randal 18

    its the kissass dicky lickers I cant stand.
    at least all the wingnuts on their hardly davisons will be going down that way to show off instead of drowning the rest of the Wairarapa in their hinky noise.

  19. Pascal's bookie 19

    Bah, I edited a comment, and now it’s gone into moderation. natch.

    [lprent: The daemons of Akismet are always watching. But I wasn't aware that it did it on edits, but it is logical. ]

  20. Nick C 20

    So lets be clear: If instead of intending to farm the land (creating jobs, tax revenue, connections to chinese markets etc) a Chinese billonare had just decided to buy the 16 Crafar farms, build nice houses on them and turn them into a series of mansions for his retirement plans to move here indefinitly, that would be fine?

    Seems like a totally bizzare test.

    [Cameron is going to be farming his land. Eddie]

  21. burt 21

    Selling land to foreigners if different when Labour are in Govt. It’s good when Labour are in govt and bad when National are in govt. It’s that simple for simple people who follow a failed ideology.

    How hum… partisan hacks have shit for brains – what’s new ?

    [who said it was good under Labour? Do you think it's bad under either National or Labour, or good under either? Eddie]

    • Hardly, Burt.

      In fact, there was considerable opposition to land sales, as these two articles clearly show,

      “Protesters march for landmark”
      http://tvnz.co.nz/view/news_national_story_skin/117876

      “Kiwi anger over Twain land sale”
      http://articles.cnn.com/2004-09-16/world/newzealand.property_1_public-access-south-island-land-prices?_s=PM:WORLD

      The fact that Labour stuffed up simply means that rank & file members need to ensure that the leadership are listening.

      Otherwise, they will bleed yet more support to Mana, Greens, and NZ First.

      • Draco T Bastard 21.1.1

        Labour will continue to bleed more. They’re a right wing party and the rank and file are starting to wake up to that. Pity it’s taken them so long.

    • Draco T Bastard 21.2

      No burt, as has been said many times by many people over the last few years on here, selling the land to foreign owners is bad and yes, it was rather stupid of the last Labour led government to leave that law in place but then, Labour still believe the delusional economists – the economists who wouldn’t know what an economy was if they tripped over one (Just like the ones in Treasury). Selling the land and the businesses to foreigners is selling the economy.

      • aerobubble 21.2.1

        The problem I though was capital independance, that we will sell off our capacity to furnish our debts. Key has been trying to push debt onto the taxpayer, and been rather successful at it, and now he is targetting the other side of the equation and removing the ability of government to pay down debt – which Labour achieved.

  22. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 22

    A pity the Right doesn’t understand the difference.

    Righties, and Winston and Enough is Enough and shorts.

  23. Ross 23

    ["Labour said it approved of Cameron's purchase as long as he intended to stand by his statement to live here indefinitely"]

    Hmmm that’s a curious one. What if he doesn’t live here indefinitely? And what if he lives here indefinitely but not for another 20 years? There seem to be a few potential loopholes in what Shearer has said. Does Labour have a policy on this issue? I saw its policy from the last election, but I can’t recall the policy allowing foreigners to buy farms as long as they lived here.

    • Gosman 23.1

      What is the view of a NZ citizen who owns a farm and decides to emigrate to Australia but decides to keep ownership of the farm? Should they be forced to sell?

  24. randal 24

    depends if they watch blockbuster movies all the time and have completely lost touch with reality.

  25. Carol 25

    James Cameron has written and directed films and TV programmes with some very good action women (breaking some gender and sexual stereotypes): e.g. Aliens, Terminator films and TV series, short-lived Dark Angel TV series.

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000116/

    But Titanic was stereotypical Hollywood romance, and Avatar repeated the cultural imperialism of Pocahontas (hero from the colonising culture saves the day), while thinking he was doing endangered indigenous cultures a favour.

    • Wayne 25.1

      Yes….Avatar, while seemingly having an anti-imperialist message, had at the same time a racist subtext —-the white hero saving the day and marrying the princess of the oppressed tribe.

      Obviously a rip-off of the Pocahontas story.

      Cameron has just made a few noises about coming to stay and liver here indefinitely. He is at present a non-resident. So his application can only be treated as that of a non-resident.

      Eddie is being ridiculous here. So the OIO should just take into consideration a verbal promise that the new owner will live in the country? For fucks sake Cameron has not even submitted a residency application yet, let alone had it approved. Is it not rather sinister that he can say he will live here with such confidence, as though it is a given?

      So there is NO difference, from a legal standpoint of Cameron’s offer and the Chinese offer. The two applications had to be considered using the same rules.

      Promising to settle here counts for nothing, under the rules. Or is Eddie saying that we should simply take Cameron for his word? Would he say the same if it was not Cameron, but rather some Chinese billionaire?

      If the head of Pengxin suddenly made a statement that he intended to spend most of his time in NZ…would that suddenly be OK?

      Also of course Cameron is helping to price locals out of the market—–or is that OK because he is white?

  26. Eduardo Kawak 26

    I remember when Serj Tankian was trying to buy some property at Bethell’s Beach and was rejected by the OIO in 2005 because it wasn’t “in the nation’s interest” that he be allowed to go through with the purchase. The guy subsequently became a New Zealand resident and eventually was allowed to buy some land.

    This should be the rule for all individuals. I don’t know what James Cameron’s residency status is, but he must have done all the necessary in order to buy his piece of New Zealand.

    As for Pengxin, it also must have done the necessary in order to buy its piece of New Zealand. The sad irony is that OIO in this case must have agreed it was “in the nation’s interest” fully knowing that subsequently a government company (Landcorp) would then be leasing the newly acquired land off the approved foreign company owners.

    And “the nation’s best interests” will always be open to debate.

  27. randal 27

    who really knows what is the best interests of the nation?
    but what I do know is that titanic is always open to re-makes because it is about stupid rich people.
    the boat was made for stupid rich people and they would have had help much sooner if the proprietary wireless system set up for stupid rich people had been allowed to be use to broadcast a SOS but no and the stupid rich people paid the price.
    now a rich film director who makes escapist fantasy films for people who cant or dont want to face reality has been allowed to purchase a fantasy here and if anyone watched the teevee news tonight they are all drooling over him already. (stupid poor people)
    perhaps he is really an alien in idsguise and he wants to terminate new zealand?

  28. randal 28

    and wait there is more.
    he gets a lake chock full of trout and perch chucked in!
    and he is right up against the rimutaka forest park so his henchmen can drive deer onto the property to be terminated.
    gee!
    pretty cool huh?

  29. Yes….Avatar, while seemingly having an anti-imperialist message, had at the same time a racist subtext —-the white hero saving the day and marrying the princess of the oppressed tribe.

    Yep, noticed that as well. That was one of the few things that let the movie down. It’s a shame the story wasn’t as revolutionary/original (or at least more challenging) as the animation techniques.

    • Reality Bytes 29.1

      I dunno, who cares about the color of their skin. I think the motivational rationale of the characters should be the important factor when judging the message behind it.

      Why can’t a hero have white skin? Such unimportant details should be immaterial and irrelavent. In the era the movie Avatar was portrayed, we would have moved on as a species.

      It’s a movie, it’s not Bible vers 2.0

      Cameron has no obligation to make every movie like it is some sort of sacred instruction for us. And on the whole, as someone who has enjoyed his movies, I find his movies to be quite a lot more thoughtful than most, conflicting racial issues never really crossed my mind when watching his stuff.

      He just doesn’t work on that agenda, tbh his stories are human stories which could easily be recast with different nationalties in the leads, be it the love story on Titanic, or Ripley’s human story in Aliens.

      Watch his stuff, you’ll see what I mean, the guy would be a fantastic honourary citizen of NZ we should welcome imo.

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  • Work numbers not all they’re cracked up to be
    The Government's figures on the numbers of beneficiaries don't add up, Labour's Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says."Paula Bennett keeps saying 1500 people are going off the benefit into work every week, yet today she announced just 16,000 fewer people...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Flood relief for National voters first
    “The flooding in Tai Tokerau has hammered the north and impacted hundreds of families right across the region,” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “It’s bitterly disappointing to see that the first response from this National government...
    Mana | 18-07
  • Don’t contract out your loyal cleaners SkyCity3
    SkyCity should put aside its proposal to contract out its cleaning staff and not be lured by the prospect of washing their hands of these essential jobs and leaving them to the world of third party contracting, Labour’s Associate Labour...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Green Party statement on tragedy of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17
    The Green Party conveys its condolences to the families of the victims of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.The Ukrainian Government has accused pro-Russia rebels in the east of the Ukraine of shooting down the Malaysia Airlines jet with a ground-to-air missile,...
    Greens | 18-07
  • Gaza ground offensive can only result in more deaths
    Israel’s decision to continue with a ground offensive into Gaza can only result in more civilian deaths and push a ceasefire further beyond reach, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “There is no such thing as a surgical strike...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Tackling childhood obesity is not rocket science Minister, but it is scienc...
    The Government's latest snub of scientific evidence - this time about its failure to address childhood obesity - is another example of National's reliance on 'tobacco science' to justify its denial agenda, the Green Party said today. An Auckland University...
    Greens | 18-07
  • Paying patients to go away not a solution
    A voucher system being used by emergency departments in Southern DHB - which pays patients to see a GP – is designed to skew figures to meet Government targets, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson and Dunedin North MP David Clark says....
    Labour | 18-07
  • Common sense a better response
    The actions of two police officers who walked into a marae's wharenui in the early hours of the morning to search and photograph a group of children in their pyjamas are deeply concerning, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says....
    Labour | 18-07