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Govt case for Crafar sale seriously flawed

Written By: - Date published: 6:32 am, April 23rd, 2012 - 203 comments
Categories: farming, overseas investment - Tags:

Fran ‘sell it all’ O’Sullivan says the government’s case for selling Crafar farms “appears robust“. Well, she would say that. But, if you read it, you’ll see they’ve just done a half-arsed, perfunctory attempt to appear to abide by the law as defined by the Court while coming to the same decision on the same offer. It’ll be shot to pieces in Court.

The government didn’t even bother to work out if Pengxin would create more jobs than already exist or a new owner would create, but that Pengxin is likely to employ fewer people than a New Zealand buyer:

The Applicant and Landcorp estimate having 88 FTE positions on the farms (including casual labour). The receivers have not advised, and the Applicant understands that the receivers are not aware of, the number of persons currently engaged by the farm operators but it is not expected to exceed 88 FTEs. In any event, the Applicant acknowledges that the number of FTE positions is likely to be less than the industry average.

And, the OIO report that the minister accepted even admits that Pengxin’s purchase won’t generate more exports:

The Overseas Investment Office does not know whether or not the Investment will result in, or is likely to result in, increased export receipts for New Zealand exporters.

The Overseas Investment Office considers that without the Investment, an Alternative New Zealand Purchaser would likely increase production on the farms, due to the current run down state of the farms. Therefore, without the Investment, increased export receipts will likely still result.

Where the OIO does see real gains from Pengxin’s ownership it’s only because they’re employing Landcorp to run the farms and Landcorp has higher than average standards.

the Overseas Investment Office is satisfied that the efficiencies will likely be greater with the Investment than without. This is due to the efficiencies arising from managing the farms together with Landcorp’s existing farms and likely reduced farm input costs.
….
The Overseas Investment Office considers that the claimed increased productivity is largely a function of the MilkHub technology, capital investment, and the greater efficiencies identified above. The Overseas Investment Office considers that an Alternative New Zealand Purchaser will likely not use the MilkHub technology, as Landcorp claims it is used by less than 1% of the dairy industry.
….
the farms will be managed to Landcorp’s “Farmpride” standard, which the Overseas Investment Office
accepts an Alternative New Zealand Purchaser is unlikely to do

That shouldn’t be a ground for Pengxin to be allowed to buy the farms, of course. Landcorp’s expertise doesn’t arise from Pengxin’s investment and Landcorp has been a prospective domestic buyer for the farms.

There’s a claim that Pengxin will invest more than a fictive ‘Alternative New Zealand Buyer’ would but this a model designed by the OIO to meet its purposes – ie allowing it to approve Pengxin’s applications – so, of course they find that Pengxin compares favourably to their model. At any rate, Pengxin’s investment totals just $2m more than it did in the application that was rejected earlier this year. Margin of error stuff.

Then, the OIO bizarrely argues that Pengxin would be more likely to give rights to the farms for Maori and for trampers. This despite the fact that the New Zealand consortium trying to buy the farms includes the local iwi.

This actually points to the problem with the OIO using a fictive ‘Alternative New Zealand Buyer’ as comparator against the Pengxin offer. Sure, I can understand that you wouldn’t always be able to assess what a New Zealand buyer might do instead of a foreign buyer so you would invent a model New Zealand buyer but, in this particular case, there is just one real alternative New Zealand buyer. The OIO could have chosen to weigh the benefits of the Fay consortium against Pengxin. It should have, but it didn’t. Instead, it used a strawman designed to be worse than Pengxin’s offer.

Also, the OIO’s comparison of benefits between its strawman and Pengxin is limited to the benefits that Pengxin claims it will bring. But what about benefits that any NZ buyer would bring? What about a reduced current account deficit, strategic control over resources? These are real and identifiable benefits of local ownership that Pengxin’s offer should have been assessed against. But the Government failed to do so.

The Overseas Investment Act requires that foreign purchases bring with them “substantial and indentifiable benefits” that a New Zealand buyer would not bring. Pengxin either doesn’t provide as good benefits, may provide about the same benefits, or possibly provides more benefits but only thanks to Landcorp.

Fay’s consortium will shoot this to pieces if they take it to court. It is clear that the OIO set out to approve Pengxin’s application despite it being manifestly the same as the one that was rejected by the Court just two months ago. The OIO was determined to carry out the Nats’ agenda and approve the sale, so it created a process to deliver that outcome. It even made explicit reference to how this sale would meet the Nats’ ‘China Strategy’.

Can anyone tell me why the Nats have a China Strategy but no strategy to insure that the basic resources of our economy stay in New Zealand hands?

And, can anyone tell me why this is a good deal for New Zealand?

203 comments on “Govt case for Crafar sale seriously flawed”

  1. tc 1

    I hope fay does take this on and shoot it to pieces, fran is such a sellout shill with zero credibility as an intelligent objective granny content provider.

    Shonkeys mob are so hell bent on rewarding the backers and sucking up to the Chinese they’ve forgotten a few basics like keeping the boys club happy.

    Give Fay and the justice system a chance to eviscerate this sham for what it is, whilst sky city burns away alongside…..shoulda stuck to that cycle way led roar out of recession shysters.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.1

      “I hope Fay does take this on…”

      Seconded. I often wonder how many ministerial decisions would pass through the high court unscathed. Who’d like to see Slippery in front of a panel of judges explaining how he advised himself?

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Who’d like to see Slippery in front of a panel of judges explaining how he advised himself?

        I don’t think Key would be worried – after all, every judge has a different opinion and its just a matter of finding one whose opinion suits you.

      • insider 1.1.2

        Wow, leftists cheerleading for Michael Fay….Have you no shame at all?

        • McFlock 1.1.2.1

          “cheering”? Nope.
               
          But for me, it’s like watching two bullies fighting. I’m happy one of them is going to get a bloody nose, and I hope it’s the current top dog who’s going to reap what he sows. 

  2. You_Fool 2

    Listening to J. Key on Campbell Live on Friday night it appears that Key’s desire to back this is to not piss the Chinese off. He seemed to imply that if we don’t approve this sale then the big bad Chinese government will get upset with poor little NZ and stop being nice to us, won’t buy our stuff and get all grumpy and stuff.

    This does make some much more interesting questions on how independent this decision is,and also if any other government would make any different decision, given that if there is pressure from China to get into our dairy industry (something they would actually be interested in.)

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1

      The Chinese are highly offended if anybody ‘interferes in their internal affairs’. Or comments about about the way things are done in China. None of your business is the milder form of their reply

      Another case of a double standard.

      • You_Fool 2.1.1

        Ahh but that is their country,so their business. This is our country so they can put their nose in and if we don’t say fuck off then they will keep doing it… if we do then well they will point to their big army and ask again nicely… cause that is their internal policy… perfectly sane and positive….

  3. vto 3

    I’m going to repeat this again because it stands ………

    1. A few more New Zealanders just became tenants to foreign landlords.

    2. New Zealand’s capital base just shrunk again.

    Well done the Nats in power and Labour with essentially the same policies. Dumbarses.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      And thanks to the small minority of NZers who seem to be noticing that this is all going on right under our otherwise short term, consumerist, Playstation and SkyTV addled noses.

    • Two problems:

      1. The land was already foreign owned so to say ‘ few more New Zealanders just became tenants to foreign landlords” is incorrect, not to mention that all NZers were tenants to Allan Crafar and whom ever else owned the land. This is PRIVATE land, not public

      2. “New Zealand’s capital base just shrunk again.” Not really. When Allan Crafar owned the land all his money was going to the banks that loaned him the money so one could argue the cpaital baser remains the same.

      • vto 3.2.1

        The land was not already foreign owned. It was foreign-funded for its debt. Entirely different.

        Capital is not money, capital is assets and resources. The assets and resources of these farms are now owned by foreigners.

        • insider 3.2.1.1

          Westpac may not own it but they certainly control it – not sure there is a huge difference in impact. THis shows that that benefits of local ownership you champion may not be there if people are able to leverage so highly. The debt crisis in Europe is another demonstration that the people with the mortgage hold the real power.

          • Rob 3.2.1.1.1

            You are incorrect VTO. The net change in Govt ownership of NZ’s assets is zero. In reality there is a Govt upside in earnings in that Land Corp become’s the farmer and draws a revenue for its activities, which under the previous owenrship structure was all private, albeit mostly to pay for highly leveraged debt.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1.2

            THis shows that that benefits of local ownership you champion may not be there if people are able to leverage so highly.

            Correct which is why the government should be printing money at 0% interest and loaning it out to NZers rather than forcing NZers to borrow from foreign lenders.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 3.2.2

        The Westpac Bank name isnt on the title, and anyway they would have had to go through the OIO to put it there.

        Own goal !

        • insider 3.2.2.1

          I wonder what would have happened if Westpac had decided to retain them to sell in a more ‘orderly’ fashion? How long could they hold them or would anyone have noticed in the OIO?

          • McFlock 3.2.2.1.1

            They’d have noticed, but they wouldn’t have cared. I’m not entirely sure that they remember the contents of their job description.

  4. KJT 4

    We did not worry about pissing off, the even more inclined to do the dirty on others to protect their economic interests, US Government in the past. Why be scared of the Chinese.

    However with our OI law as it is at present, there was never going to be a legal means of stopping the sale.

    I have my doubts if the Chinese will be worse than Fay in this case. In fact, they seem to be keen on being seen around the world as honest and fair dealers.

    The problem is that overseas buyers have bucketloads of free money which they are trying to spend before it becomes worthless.

    Unless overseas investment laws are changed foreign buyers are always going to be able to outbid Kiwis.

    Unless something changes we really will be tenants in their own country.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 4.1

      So, if the government were to change the law so that Fay’s group had an advantage over foreigners, would that be “law for sale”?

      • felix 4.1.1

        Yeah it would.

        Parliament shouldn’t. as a rule, make law for any specific person or organisation. I’m sure there are extraordinary circumstances in which it could be arguably necessary for the good of the country as a whole, but as a general principle, no. And definitely not as a starting point to solving any problem.

        What they should be doing is passing law to advantage any NZ bidder over any foreign bidder.

        [edit: Sorry I got a bit off track. There's nothing about your proposition that suggests law "for sale" but it would still be the wrong thing to do IMHO]

    • I am fairly sure that if a NZ interest can pay the same as an overseas interest then the OIO have to defer to the NZ buyer (but then again it is up to the private owners to accept the deal). The Fay bid was a terrible one and Fay stoked NZ’s jingoism for his own benefit. The man is a crook.

    • vto 4.3

      KJT, this racist Chinese dog-whistle of yours and Maurice Williamsons and John Keys is disgraceful and racist.

      It is nothing to do with the nationality of the foreign investor it is to do with people who domicile outside NZ being able to own the land inside NZ. Point to a piece of evidence that shows there has been opposition to this on the basis of race. You will need to makes sure you disentangle it from the high profile this sale has had from since way before it went on the market.

      Fuck John Key the other night on Campbell Live interrupting the show, with no reason, to insert his racist spin that it is due to the buyers being Chinese. He is racist for doing so.

      Foreign landlords are bad for anyone. It is better for all to own the land they live work and play on. The Chinese do it themselves ffs. Wake up

      • You_Fool 4.3.1

        ahh but if we decline the application because they are Chinese that isn’t the sort of message we want to be sending nor is the NAct the sort of government that will do that sort of thing.

        • vto 4.3.1.1

          You Fool, where has anyone said the application should have been declined because the applicant is the Chinese government? Nowhere. It is because they do not live in NZ, nothing more nothing less. Racist.

          • You_Fool 4.3.1.1.1

            Not wanting to be nasty, but did you listen to John Key on the Campbell Live interview that you refereed to in your comment? Maybe then you might see the true point of my comment… Because apparently that is all the opposition to the deal is about, all of us who say no to the deal are just racist small-minded folk who can’t see the big picture like Uncle John and we should just listen to him and let him make things better for us…

            • vto 4.3.1.1.1.1

              I did listen to John Key and I was disgusted. He is trying to make it about race when that has not been raised by any people or groups in opposition to the sales (someone please prove me wrong). He lies and is racist.

              Pitooeey in his general direction.

              • Anne

                … I was disgusted. He is trying to make it about race when that has not been raised by any people or groups in opposition to the sales (someone please prove me wrong). He lies and is racist.

                It’s not only Key of course. Joyce, McCully and co. are doing it too. The Nat. govt line… and the MSM wimps are not pulling them up on it. Nor for that matter is Labour. The Greens are a bit more vociferous but could do better. Both party’s leaders should hit straight back each time Key (in particular) makes the ‘racist’ claim. It’s so insulting to the many, many thousands of non-racist Kiwis who are opposed to the deal.

                Get off your chuffs Labour. Nice sounding words don’t work. A little bit of mongrel is required. That’s all the voters (bless their cotton socks) seem to understand.

                • Rob

                  Well VTO , Anne et al, the truth hurts. Your arguments do come across as very anti Chinese.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Rob: player of the racism distraction card.

                    Thanks for supporting the sell out of NZ assets to foreigners, worsening our balance of payments even more.

                    • Gosman

                      So in your mind is all foreign ownership bad as it all has a similar potential impact on the BOP?

                  • felix

                    “Your arguments do come across as very anti Chinese.”

                    Yes Rob, as long as you ignore the words.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Your arguments do come across as very anti Chinese.

                    Where?

                • Fortran

                  As Helen Clark would say “Get over it – Move on”.

                  • Anne

                    Yep Fortran, quite right. Key, Joyce, McCully, Williamson and their acolytes need to get over this ‘racist’ connotation.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.4

      Ask the Australians about the Chinese being fair and honest regarding bidding for iron ore supply .

      There was a story last week about an Indonesian owned farm here were they were developing sheeps milk for export.
      This is exactly the sort of foreign ownership we need. Doing something we dont do allready

  5. ‘The Chinese do it themselves ffs.” Yeah, no they don’t.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1

      Tried buying land in China ?
      Try setting up a substantial wholly overseas owned business?

      • You can invest large sums of money into Chinese concerns and land but no one in China can “own” land which is why the comment “It is better for all to own the land they live work and play on. The Chinese do it themselves ffs.” is wrong because no can buy and the government can come along and cancel the lease on your land at anytime and use it for their own purpose. So using China as an example of where we should be is not a good thing.

        • vto 5.1.1.1

          Contrarian, the context was foreign ownership of land, not domestic ownership structures. You sound contrary to everything, including yourself.

          But nonetheless, how is having a foreign landlord an improvement? (note, this concerns land ownership, not the business side).

          And, how is having a smaller capital base better?

          • TheContrarian 5.1.1.1.1

            “Contrarian, the context was foreign ownership of land, not domestic ownership structures.” Excuse me but you were talking about what the Chinese do so I was responding that what the Chinese do is not necessarily a good thing.

            Secondly whether or not foreign land ownership is better is irrelevant. That fact remains this is a private land sale between private individuals/companies and there is no public element to it.

            • vto 5.1.1.1.1.1

              “Secondly whether or not foreign land ownership is better is irrelevant. That fact remains this is a private land sale between private individuals/companies and there is no public element to it.”

              The fact that you claim there is “no public element” in the ownership of land in NZ indicates a paucity of understanding that makes your points rather worthless. Got no time for schooling.

              • There is no public element. It is private land owned by private concerns. Please explain how you figure this is public land in any way, shape or form.

                • vto

                  Ok, one quick lesson… The ability for a private landowner in NZ to sell their property to a foreigner is governed solely by Parliamentary legislation. That is the ultimate public body put in place by the public to cater for the public’s needs and desires. The public controls the sale of land to foreigners.

                  • OK but you still haven’t shown how you figure this is public land in any way, shape or form. All you have done is explained how the law works and how the sale of the Crafar Farms is lawful using the rules as laid out by parliamentary legislation.

                    • Gosman

                      It is because the leftists in NZ share a similar, (wrong headed), idea about farmland that the leftists in Zimbabwe do – ‘The land is the economy, and the economy is the land’.

                      http://africaecon.org/index.php/exclusives/read_exclusive/1/2

                      In fact many leftists on here would probably be quite happy if all land was nationalised by the state as private property itself is inherently ‘evil’ in their warped view of the world.

                    • felix

                      “private property itself is inherently ‘evil’ in their warped view of the world.”

                      Crikey. Gotta link for that?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Gos, it’s you with the warped view of the world. Having it so that all the wealth accumulates into the hands of the psychopathic few while everyone else exists in poverty is most definitely warped.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Because land cannot be removed from the commons.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1.1.2

          Wrong ! Most of the land ‘sold’ under labour was very large forestry blocks that were all ready in foreign ownership. Any changes in foreign owners still requires OIO approval. Even one large block was coming back into NZ hands with a smaller foreign ownership. Still required OIO approval

        • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1.1.3

          That is out of date , now you can fully own land.
          And what about owning a major business ?.
          Lion NZ had to have a Chinese partner for their local brewery, they eventually sold up as it wasnt a level playing field for business. And they were an existing brewery operator, Shanghai Pengxin is construction based.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.4

          Sounds like a damn good thing to me. Private ownership of the land is bad for the nation.

          • TheContrarian 5.1.1.4.1

            So you’ll be opening up your house and property for everyone then?

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.4.1.1

              Why not, if everyone is required to do so equally.

              • So abolish private property?

                • Colonial Viper

                  De-emphasise the importance of private property by having plenty of public alternatives. Eg housing stock, businesses, banks.

                • freedom

                  MaryMary quite contrary, why not? You don’t own the planet, no-one does. It is all an arbitrary construction based on nothing more substantial than;
                  : I have a big rock. This rock can hurt you. You can choose to hurt me back or just stay here and give me some of your food. Has anything really changed?

            • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.4.1.2

              Where’d you get that from? I specifically said the land.

      • Rob 5.1.2

        Yes and Yes Ghost, have you?

  6. (A different) Nick K 6

    This Article is interesting:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/6787292/People-are-getting-angry-John

    Is the analysis of the OIA true?

    “The report is careful to note that saying no to China would not cut across our obligations under the free trade agreement. Sensitive land is exempt from the FTA. Every case is decided on its merits and cannot be compared with any other. Above all, the law says it is a “privilege” to be allowed to buy it. In other words, the Chinese had no right to assume the Crafar farms were in the bag. ”

    If the Chinese want to inject some money into New Zealand’s farming and make a bit of coin from it I don’t mind in the current economic climate but I think that its important productive land remains in NZ hands, we don’t have to sell it just because there are overseas interests, not even the free trade agreement would force us to do that. As Hubbard points out China would get over it.

    Perhaps there was some racism or xenophobia behind this particular sale getting more attention than other sales to Russians, Swiss or Germans but in all cases its still against New Zealand’s interest. I’m horrified to find out how much productive farmland is in foreign ownership and I think there aren’t many countries in the world that would be stupid enough to sell off future food security in this way.

    • vto 6.1

      ” I’m horrified to find out how much productive farmland is in foreign ownership”

      Yes, about 7% of farm and other land.

      John Key and his Ministers are liars again for claiming that it is 1-2%. They include, for example, Fiordland National Park, in that figure. Deceptive, lying pricks. They should be prosecuted under the Fair Trading in Politics Act whereby misleading and deceptive conduct in politics is a crime punishable by time in the stocks. I spit on them.

      • “They should be prosecuted under the Fair Trading in Politics Act whereby misleading and deceptive conduct in politics is a crime punishable by time in the stocks.” That would mean every politician would be guilty. They ALL make misleading and deceptive statements.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1

          And?

          All that would mean is that we would get a better class of politician out of it.

      • DJ 6.1.2

        Your anger is slightly misdirected. It wasn’t the National govt that sold the balance of that land. It was the previous labour govt. Your anger should be at the govt in general.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1.2.1

          Wrong ! Most of the land ‘sold’ under labour was very large forestry blocks that were all ready in foreign ownership. Any changes in foreign owners still requires OIO approval. Even one large block was coming back into NZ hands with a smaller foreign ownership. Still required OIO approval

          • DJ 6.1.2.1.1

            2 points.

            How and why are large (extremely in some case) forestry blocks less important to us than farm land?

            And secondly, as said on here regularly, where is the link to back up those facts of yours? Not the rules regarding the sales, but the link to exactly what was sold when.

            • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1.2.1.1.1

              You missed my point , they were all ready overseas owned and it was just a swap of new overseas owners.
              These were in the 100,000s Ha per block.
              AS for asking for facts , where is the evidence for your claim. Apart from re spouting nonsense from Farragoblog

      • Gosman 6.1.3

        That figure seems to be quite stabile considering it was around this figure back in 2004.

        http://articles.cnn.com/2004-09-16/world/newzealand.property_1_public-access-south-island-land-prices?_s=PM:WORLD

        So in almost eight years nothing much has changed in terms of the foreing ownership of NZ farmland.

      • insider 6.1.4

        AUstralia has about 8 to 11% of their land foreign owned. How’s their economy and sovereignty going?

        • Gosman 6.1.4.1

          Well quite obviously it has screwed their economy up and thousands of Australian’s are coming over here now according to the logic of the left.

        • (A different) Nick K 6.1.4.2

          The difference between 8% and 11% of Australia being foreign owned is 228,538km². New Zealand is 268,021 km² in total. Its a pretty vague claim to make.

          There are some differences that I can see, Australia’s population density is 2.8/km² New Zealand’s is 16.5/km² meaning, in simple terms, that land is a scarcer resource here and therefore more valuable.

          Food security is a key concern for me, in the future being able to feed ourselves and export food will be increasingly valuable. While I don’t know for sure I would assume that New Zealand’s foreign owned commercially viable land would be a higher percentage of food producing land that the foreign owned land in Australia.

          Australia is also having a debate on foreign land ownership so they are also concerned at about that 8% level.

          • insider 6.1.4.2.1

            The 8 to 11% was depending on the definition of foreign owned – majority ownership or just a stake. Note that level been stable for about 30 years so any debate is likely to be cyclical politics rather than concerns with that level of ownership.

            • Nick 6.1.4.2.1.1

              Where are these numbers from? I’d be interested to dig into them a bit further so I know what I’m talking about :)

  7. Hami Shearlie 7

    The thing that many people hadn’t realised is that the Chinese company will be entitled to Fonterra shares. Why aren’t our farmers up in arms about that? They’ll have to be very careful or they’ll lose control of Fonterra! There is a company who are very keen to “de-regulate” the milk industry. I have heard that Wyatt Creech and John Key are connected to this company. I think it’s called “Dairy Investment Fund”. Makes you wonder what’s coming next?

    • ianmac 7.1

      Fonterra Shares? Good point Hami.

    • Andrew Scobie 7.2

      Pretty sure they will only be able to own shares based on their milk solid production.

      Farmers were only able to buy 1 share per Kg of milk solids produced. This has been changed somewhat over the last few years so i’m not 100% sure what the regulations are currently. But i am sure that no-one can just buy up all the shares they want to.

    • Gosman 7.3

      When foreign ownership of land approaches 40 % then I think we can start to worry about that. Considering it has hardly moved in almost eight years this could take a fair number of years.

  8. wyndham 8

    ” I’m horrified to find out how much productive farmland is in foreign ownership”

    Then try this site for further shock / horror !

    http://canterbury.cyberplace.org.nz/community/CAFCA/

    • Gosman 8.1

      Wow!

      I notice that there is no indication of how much of the foreign owned productive farmland as a percentage of the total has changed over the past few years. They did do this for the NZ sharemarket though.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        http://canterbury.cyberplace.org.nz/community/CAFCA/keyfacts.html

        In 2005, the OIC approved the sale of 149,473 hectares of rural land to foreigners, of which about 100,000 hectares was from one foreign investor to another. Foreign owned land covers more than one million hectares or about 7% of our commercially productive land area.

        Obviously Gos is one of the illiterates that left school early as it’s obvious that he can’t bloody read.

        • Gosman 8.1.1.1

          Obviously you have problems with comprehension as I stated there was no indication about how the percentage has changed over time. That was just a snap shot as at 2005. Interestingly it is the same figure being bandied about now even though it is around seven years out of date. Epic fail there.

  9. Janice 9

    I heard someone from Federated Farmers the other day say that the total farming debt is 47 billion – foreign ownship by loans anybody? How much of this will go into receivership next year with Fonterra announcing a lower payout? A lot of farmers’ budgets are working on at least $6.20kgs of milk solids and will go broke with a payout of $6.00.

  10. Gosman 10

    That’s right. As the majority of banks in NZ are foreign owned any farm who has a mortgage with a bank controlled by an offshore parent that is worth more than 50% of the land value already is foreign owned. Come on people, step up that ‘Nationalise the banking industry!’ political meme. I enjoyed the good old days when Labour was Socialist and National was less Socialist.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      We were better off but capitalism always fails. Now, of course, we have parties that are More capitalist (NACT/UF/Labour/NZ1st) and others that are Less Capitalist (Mana/Greens) but none that support real economics.

  11. Ross 11

    Strange that Fay didn’t even bother to make an offer for the Crafar farms. It’s difficult to buy property when you don’t make an offer. No doubt that’s everyone’s fault but Fay’s.

  12. vto 12

    Still nobody has explained how having a foreign landlord is better.

    Nor has anybody explained how having a shrinking capital base is better.

    i wonder y

    • It isn’t a case of “a foreign landlord is better”. There were only 2 real offers: the chinese and Michael Fay. The Chinese met the asking price and offered a deal which was considered as lawful and beneficial. It hasn’t got anything to do with “a foreign landlord [being] better” because there were other credible NZ offers.

    • It isn’t a case of “a foreign landlord is better”. There were only 2 real offers: the chinese and Michael Fay. The Chinese met the asking price and offered a deal which was considered as lawful and beneficial. It hasn’t got anything to do with “a foreign landlord [being] better” because there were other credible NZ offers.

      • Ross 12.2.1

        Fay didn’t make an offer. You might like to ask him how he could expect to buy the farms without making an offer.

        • TheContrarian 12.2.1.1

          Michael Fay didn’t make an offer?

          “The receiver of the Crafar farms has turned down a $171.5 million offer to buy the 16 farms from a Michael Fay-led consortium, saying the price was “unacceptable.”

          http://tvnz.co.nz/business-news/michael-fay-led-offer-crafar-farms-rejected-4420824

          • Ross 12.2.1.1.1

            Try reading paragraph 6 of the judgement of Justice Miller, who conducted a judicial review of the OIO decision. You will see that Fay has not made a formal offer.

            http://media.nzherald.co.nz/webcontent/document/pdf/20127/crafar_decision.pdf

            • TheContrarian 12.2.1.1.1.1

              You quibble over the pedantry details but the fact is Fay offered an amount that was unacceptable to the receivers and was conditional. Whether it was formal or not is in fact irrelevant when he had already been told his offer would be too little.

              Not only that it also makes Michael Fay’s case even weaker if in fact he had never even put in the final offer

              • Colonial Viper

                The Chinese Government gets what the Chinese Government wants. And despite Fay’s resources, they don’t match what the Chinese can put together in cash.

                Of course, if we wish to run this country according to the wishes of the highest foreign bidder and the financial interests of the foreign banks, we’re fucked.

            • Carol 12.2.1.1.1.2

              Matthew Hooton said again on Nine-to-Noon today, that he has done some work for Fay’s bid, and expects the Fay consortium might challenge the latest decision.

              http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/20120423

              I’m not for either of the two bids/teams but I’m glad it’s drawing attention to NZ’s need to retain access to the country’s food supply and other significant resources.

              • Ross

                It doesn’t matter how much work Matthew Hooten does with Fay – it’s not going to happen unless a formal offer is made. And given that a rival offer has been made and accepted, that seems a longshot.

                I disagree with the rest of your comment. James Cameron bought farm land and there was little attention given to that. If he’d bought the Crafar farms, I suspect the same lack of attention.

                [lprent: It has been pointed out many times that there is a legal difference between a company buying strategic land, and that of a family buying it to become resident. This has evidently become a trolling line and it is boring me that people use the line without bothering to find out why it is invalid or even bothering to explain their argument.

                One week ban for dumbarse trolling. Read the policy. ]

                • Draco T Bastard

                  James Cameron bought farm land and there was little attention given to that.

                  Yes there was, specifically, the bit where he said he was moving to NZ permanently. Of course, I would have preferred it if he’d done that before being allowed to buy the land.

      • vto 12.2.2

        Sharpen up Contrarian, regarding ownership of land, how is having a foreign landlord better? This is exactly the question that New Zealand needs to consider.

        All you lot do is keep running for cover or attempting to distort the rather simple question.

        You know, you can admit to an answer that hadn’t occured to you before – it’s not the end of the world …

        • TheContrarian 12.2.2.1

          The foreign owners were the ONLY ones to meet the offer. The offer wasn’t accepted because foreign ownership is better, it was accepted because their offer was the best. Your question is a red herring in that I have never once said, nor do I remember anyone else saying, that foreign owners are better.

          Not only is a red herring it is also a strawman because the farms weren’t sold to China “because they are better than NZ owners” they were sold because the met the asking price.

          I think that answers your simple question

          • vto 12.2.2.1.1

            Sheesh contrarian you’ve done it again – does every tiny piece of minutae need spelling out? I am clearly not talking about solely the Crafar deal I am atlking about all land ownership in NZ, of which the Crafar sale is but one small high profile example.

            So, in that context, how is having a foreign landlord better?

            • TheContrarian 12.2.2.1.1.1

              What is the point of your question? No one is saying, least of all me, that foreign ownership is better. Maybe a few people have but that is their opinion and not mine.

              So what is the point of your question?

              • vto

                What is the point of my question? Evaluation of the foreign ownership of our land ffs, what else?

                But glad to see that you seem unable, like me and others, to recognise a beneficial position in having foreign landlords.

                And of course the follow-on question has to be – are foreign landlords in fact detrimental, given they are not beneficial? The answer to which would surely be, yes, they are detrimental (it aint gonna be equal).

                And if it transpires that foreign landlords are detrimental to NZ then why the fuck don’t we change the law so that it is beneficial? Eh?

                • So you introduce a topic that I hadn’t been mentioned (that people think foreign ownership is better), question why I hold that position, when I tell you “I never said I held that position” you jump to assuming I can’t answer something I had never proposed in the first place. That’s a pretty strange argument style.

                  And what would your proposed law change be? No one can sell any land to foreigners?

                  • vto

                    Contrarian, you have missed the point on each and every post – go back and check.

                    “So you introduce a topic that I hadn’t been mentioned (that people think foreign ownership is better), question why I hold that position, when I tell you “I never said I held that position” you jump to assuming I can’t answer something I had never proposed in the first place. That’s a pretty strange argument style.”

                    I raised the issue and you responded, not the other way around. Egg.

                    “And what would your proposed law change be? No one can sell any land to foreigners?”

                    Yes

                    • I didn’t miss the point, I never held that position so beholden upon me to answer it.

                      So your solution is no-one can sell land to foreigners? So, say this law had been passed before Allan Crafar went bust leaving the banks 200 Million in debt but they are unable to sell to China…what happens next?

                    • vto

                      Clearly land values would drop and there would some minor upheaval for a short period as those with debt adjust to lender’s new requirements. Similarly farms and other property around NZ would actually become far more affordable for all New Zealanders.

                      More New Zealanders could own their farms and homes. They would have less debt to pay back, should they need it. Far far far less of our daily toil would go to paying usury to foreign owned banks.

                      I like that. Banks would not.

                      Do you?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      So, say this law had been passed before Allan Crafar went bust leaving the banks 200 Million in debt but they are unable to sell to China…what happens next?

                      The banks lose the money that they loaned out and that is all. After all, they did take the risk, when they loaned the money out, that they weren’t going to get it back.

                    • insider

                      “Clearly land values would drop and there would some minor upheaval for a short period as those with debt adjust to lender’s new requirements.”

                      So you are suggesting that a whole lot of NZ farmers potentially go out of business to protect NZ farms from overseas ownership….?

                      “Similarly farms and other property around NZ would actually become far more affordable for all New Zealanders.”

                      Given that the Crafars are NZers and appear to have paid way too much for their properties so setting the market price, how does that work? Are you saying the value of properties has no relationship to the market price of their produce?

                    • vto

                      There would be upheaval, at times along the lines you suggest, yes. A law change could be phased in over a long period to allow a slower adjustment. Similar mechanisms could soften the blow. Bottom line though is that less of our daily toil would need to go into paying the land on which we produce goods or for the roof over our heads.

                      And regarding the price of produce and its relationship to the value of the land on which it is produced, yes there is little link, all esle being equal. Do you think that the buyer of a pound of butter in the UK cares about the value of a dairy farm in Southland when making that buy decision at Tescos?

                    • insider

                      The buyer of butter doesn’t care but the seller of land in NZ does. There is a direct correlation between price of produce and price of land. Land earning $100,000 a hectare is invariably worth more than land earning $50,000. And that is driven by the price of what they sell – compare the cost of vineyard land v sheep land

                      YOu are in lala land if you think limiting foreign ownership will make farms ‘more affordable’ when the price is primarily driven by earning power. OR are you planning on controlling how much they can earn too?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Given that the Crafars are NZers and appear to have paid way too much for their properties so setting the market price, how does that work?

                      Excessive ease in international lending.

                    • vto

                      insider, it is you in lala land. Of course land that produces more income will be valued more highly – duh. That is a relative measure – relative to each and every piece of land within the contained land available for purchase i.e. within New Zealand. So you have 4 million people able to buy NZ’s land and those 4 million people will bid the ones that make more income higher. That is right. (and your previous point did not concern that matter).

                      But follow this – at the moment NZ’s land has about 6 billion potential buyers. If the number of buyers reduces to 4 million and the amount of land available stays static, what do you think will happen? You see, it’s called supply and demand. Supply of land static but demand dropping from 6 billion to 4 million, or about 0.001% of the previous number of buyers.

                      You may want to apply that supply and demand rule to the Crafar farms. You could also apply it to the fancy pants pads around Queenstown and ask yourself what will happen when all the foreign buyers dry up.

                      If foreign ownership of NZ land is banned then the value of land in New Zealand will drop. We will all have less to pay, less to borrow, and less toil to pay the interest. Leaving more for the whanau and luncheon sausage (might be able to afford salami for a change)

                    • insider

                      It’s a nonsense verging on paranoia to say there are 6 billion potential buyers. They aren’t all turning up for the open homes nor interested in buying everything on the market. The reality is that most nz farmland is not being bought by foreigners. In fact it is being bought by fewer and fewer nzers as farms merge and farmer numbers reduce, yet the prices continue to go up confounding your theory.

                      I’d sugges t highly motivating 4m knowledgeable locals by restricting the market is far more likely to push up prices than having 6b disinterested ones.

                      Price will mainly rest on the production based value. It’s not relative to other land – land only suited to sheep will not change just because dairy prices have gone up, but it will change if sheep meat goes up or it can be converted to other uses. Yes you will get fashions like queenstown or deer farming, but you get that in most markets. And I suspect southland and canty wealth has far more long term influence on qtown prices than LA does.

                      Only if you restrict the price of produce and restrict the abilty to leverage will you restrict the value of the land. As long as people can borrow against future potential income they will continue to bid up productive land, no matter whether they are local or foreign. Crafar family actions is one piece of evidence of that.

                    • vto

                      Well insider, you and I have very differnet views on that. I stand by supply and demand as the base rule for determining prices, all else being equal.

                    • insider

                      In general I’d agree with you but we are using different measures of supply. It’s not number of buyers but availability of cash in my view that is the key supply issue that you should be concerned about if you want to control land prices. And in an international financial market that is not going to be affected by geographical limits on buyers.

            • insider 12.2.2.1.1.2

              How good were the Crafar’s as landlords and how well did they contribute to the economy and NZ’s reputation as farmers? I suspect not an awful lot.

              • Crafar was actively looking to sell all 16 farms himself to the Chinese before he went under.

                [lprent: Please read the policy because you obviously have some bad habits acquired from somewhere.

                a. I can't see the point of this comment within the context of the post. It would have still required OIO approval just as the liquidators have.

                b. Stating something as a fact generally requires that you link to it to substantiate it unless it is widely known. In this case I've never seen anything that said that the Crafars were trying to sell the 16 farms. Everything I have seen indicates that he wants to have them back out of the hands of the liquidators.

                Please don't dribble just because you can. Even babies can do that. ]

                • @Iprent –
                  A) I can’t see the point of this comment within the context of the post…

                  Question was: How good were the Crafar’s as landlords and how well did they contribute to the economy and NZ’s reputation as farmers?
                  They got fined over and over for environmental lapses and animal mistreatment and then tried to sell the farm off (relevant and in context).

                  B)Stating something as a fact generally requires that you link to it to substantiate it unless it is widely known. In this case I’ve never seen anything that said that the Crafars were trying to sell the 16 farms. Everything I have seen indicates that he wants to have them back out of the hands of the liquidators.

                  Allan Crafar on NZ investors:
                  “You’ll get vultures around wanting to buy up one or two of the good ones,” But he’s holding out for a bulk buyer, and is reportedly in talks with interested Chinese and Australian companies.
                  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10596935

                  Apology?

                  [lprent: Reread your link, and factor in the word "hearsay" when looking at the word "reportedly". By whom? The journo interviewing their keyboard?. You will note that just about everything else about Crafar's actions and views were quotes.

                  The phrase "gullible fool" seems to apply to you. Don't you know how to read articles? ]

                  • Excuse me, but do not talk to me like I am stupid. Gullible fool? Excuse me Iprent but:

                    “The website interest.co.nz says Allan Crafar has confirmed they are in talks to sell out to a Chinese company for more than $200 million.”
                    http://tvnz.co.nz/business-news/major-dairy-operation-bows-2980144

                    “Allan Crafar told interest.co.nz the family-owned Crafar Farms group had been in discussions with a Chinese firm, which he declined to identify.”
                    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10596189

                    “The joint-owner of New Zealand’s largest privately owned dairy farming operation has confirmed it is in talks to sell out to a Chinese company for over NZ$200 million.”
                    http://www.interest.co.nz/news/44156/chinese-firm-talks-buy-nzs-largest-dairy-farming-group-update-3

                    I think an apology is very much deserved here.

                    [lprent: You have now managed to do what you should have done the first time. Provided a valid link. Congratulations. It only required kicking your lazy arse twice to get you to do what you should have done in the first place.

                    If you want to quote something as fact - then link to a credible source. Otherwise you are likely to be challenged. If a moderator sees too much avoidance of substantion then you will start getting bans rather than warnings. It is a trait that starts flamewars, and we prefer to eliminate the idiots earlier rather than later.

                    I notice that you ignored the first point - that a sale offshore would have still required OIO approval. You didn't connect that with either the post or with the comments you were replying to. that is the characteristic of either a diversion troll or a egotist trying to display how big their dick is. Neither contribute much to the debate.

                    We don't have to warn. We do it as a voluntary activity to educate those unfamiliar with digital debate how to act online.

                    So yes. I do think that you show strong indications of being stupid. Raising dumb arguments with a moderator who can reduce their workload with a simple flip of a button is a pretty good indicator. Anyway you have been warned. Stop wasting my time. ]

                    • I provided a valid link the first time. You questioned it so I provided more.
                      I have never avoided substantiation and find it ironic that here you are berating me for not proving links yet lower down in the page you are berating me for asking others for links.

                      I didn’t respond to you comment about Crafar having to go to the OIO because I never suggested he wouldn’t have to. All I am trying to impress is that these farms were on the chopping block long before the public reaction started.

                      I am extremely familiar with online debate and am a moderator at other websites and wikis.

                      I never raised a dumb argument with you, you challenged me and I have substantiated. You have driven this, not I, and if you want to ban me then go right ahead but it just reflects poorly on you for I haven’t been rude, I haven’t used ad hom’s, I have remained consistent calm and factual.

                    • lprent []

                      All I am trying to impress is that these farms were on the chopping block long before the public reaction started.

                      I don’t think that anyone didn’t know that. But that was also not what you said.

                      As for the rest… Whatever boosts your ego will be amusing to some of the people here. Just don’t be surprised if you find that it gets deflated rather frequently around here. But you look better on the hypothetical than reality and that includes your skills on forum media.

                    • vto

                      Hey contrarian, in your opinion which is better for our islands here in the Pacific?

                      Being tenants to foreign landlords, or owning the land ourselves?

                      There is no trick to this …….

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      All I am trying to impress is that these farms were on the chopping block long before the public reaction started.

                      It wasn’t long before though, was it? It was the same bloody year that Crafarms went into receivership. It was probably that reporting that made people aware that NZ was being sold out to the highest bidder. The thing is is that, IMO, most people have always been against selling NZ to foreigners – it’s just taken this long for it to make headlines.

              • mike e

                outsider Well if Westpac had done due diligence on crafar those farms would have been kept as smaller lots of more productive dairy farms .
                These farms wouldn’t have ended up in Westpacs forced bankruptcy.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.2.3

        It isn’t a case of “a foreign landlord is better”.

        Yes it is. The decision made by the government should be about what is best for NZ and selling off the land is bad for NZ no matter what.

        • TheContrarian 12.2.3.1

          So the government now dictates private land sales? And what happens when no NZer’s can pony up with 200 Million? Wespac et al. still own the land.

          And where has anyone suggested foreign ownership is better?

          • vto 12.2.3.1.1

            “So the government now dictates private land sales?”.

            Yes it does, in many many ways, especially when it comes to foreign sales. You clearly don’t realise this and school’s out for the day.

            “And what happens when no NZer’s can pony up with 200 Million?”

            The lender dips out on a mortgagee or other sale.

            “Wespac et al. still own the land.”

            No they dont and never have.

            “And where has anyone suggested foreign ownership is better?”

            Try this government and the National, Act and Labour parties.

            • TheContrarian 12.2.3.1.1.1

              So, Crafar borrows 200 million, signs all the contracts, then defaults but the bank isn’t allowed to get its money back? That seems fair to you?

              • vto

                It is the law and it has been this way for a very very very long time. Go learn it.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The banks get whatever they can get from the sale price along with all the other creditors. That’s what receivership is supposed to sort out.

              • mike e

                The banks were corrupted by large sales bonuses to lend to a farmer who did his business on one calender and bits of paper the bank officer responsible should be in front of a judge for defrauding the bank like wise the bank should be their if their systems were lax,
                But because Westpac are so large they dictate our economic policy to suit themselves [Lobbying i,e. Gerry brownlee and other cabinet ministers]

          • Draco T Bastard 12.2.3.1.2

            And where has anyone suggested foreign ownership is better?

            You have by saying that the higher price paid by foreigners is all that’s required.

            • TheContrarian 12.2.3.1.2.1

              “You have by saying that the higher price paid by foreigners is all that’s required.”

              Jesus, what the hell? The receivers dictate who’s offer they’ll put forward to the OIO. THEY chose the Chinese offer because it meets the asking price. It has nothing to do with foreign owners being better – they were the ONLY ones who put forward a proper offer. NO ONE ELSE DID. So it was Chinese or nothing. There was no “they are better” because the only other offer was 30 mill below asking price. Are you saying if you sold your house would you consider dropping the $200,000 asking price by $30,000.

              “It is the law and it has been this way for a very very very long time. Go learn it.”

              The law says the receivers can sell it to whomever they like as long as the OIO is satisfied.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The point that you seem to miss is that selling our economy to foreigners, which is what selling the land is, is bad for NZ. It, quite literally, makes us poorer. You saying that they met the higher price is saying that that price was enough to make it better. You made a judgement call based upon the price whether you accept that or not.

                Are you saying if you sold your house would you consider dropping the $200,000 asking price by $30,000.

                If you have to sell then you take what’s offered. Crafar had to sell and the banks would have taken the loss. Is that not the free-market way?

                And, yes, I did note that you’ve jumped on the but no one else made an offer BS.

        • TheContrarian 12.2.3.2

          Good to see you advocating what amounts to theft:

          “The banks lose the money that they loaned out and that is all. After all, they did take the risk, when they loaned the money out, that they weren’t going to get it back.”

          So Crafar can take 200 million, squander the lot and get away with it. Then the NZ government acquires itself 200 million of prime real estate without paying a cent and basically says “fuck you, I’m taking this”.

          “After all, they did take the risk” yes they did take a risk but Crafar put up his land for security and you want the government to say “fuck you and your legal contract”.

          I don’t think that’ll work.

          • Draco T Bastard 12.2.3.2.1

            Then the NZ government acquires itself 200 million of prime real estate without paying a cent and basically says “fuck you, I’m taking this”.

            Didn’t say that did I? In fact, I said nothing about the government purchasing the land. Although the government did, through Landcorp, off quite a large sum.

            “After all, they did take the risk” yes they did take a risk but Crafar put up his land for security and you want the government to say “fuck you and your legal contract”.

            Nope, didn’t say that either. I just pointed out that the banks would take the loss that they signed up for when they took the risk of loaning out money. If the risk works they get all the money plus interest, if it doesn’t then they lose out – They don’t have guarantee to all the money back.

            • TheContrarian 12.2.3.2.1.1

              No they don’t have a guarantee to all the money back but they are legally entitled to seek it, which is what they have done. No one else made an offer that was higher than the one they took. All legal and above aboard.

              You haven’t offered any alternative. What do YOU think should have happened here?

              • Draco T Bastard

                The highest local bid should have been accepted which means that the banks would have lost some money. The foreign bid should have been thrown out as detrimental to the country.

                • Then what of the fallout? Banks would stop leading (or at least start lending with egregiously strict conditions) because there would no longer be security for a start.

                  And, like I have stated several times, that is like the government saying “Fuck you and your contract – you have to lose. Sorry”. Which means any contract and/or financial agreement between the bank and any other land owner becomes virtually worthless because the government is now deciding that some will no longer be honoured at its own whim.

                  • vto

                    Then what of the fallout? “Banks would stop leading (or at least start lending with egregiously strict conditions) because there would no longer be security for a start.”

                    What absolute twaddle. If foreigners were banned from owning land the land would not have nil value, idiot (sorry, rude I know, but …). It may slice up to 5% off the value or it may slice 50% opff the value. Maybe even more. Either way there is still value there and that ios what the banks would lend against. It is not nil.

                    “And, like I have stated several times, that is like the government saying “Fuck you and your contract – you have to lose. Sorry”. Which means any contract and/or financial agreement between the bank and any other land owner becomes virtually worthless because the government is now deciding that some will no longer be honoured at its own whim.”

                    Look contrarian, there are countless examples where rules and laws and regulations have been changed and that has affected the value of property and hence a lenders security. Lenders are well aware of this and have policies in place to foresee these and to deal with them. It would not be an overnight change – I think any reasonable person would understand that. Local government planning rules are one such example, and in fact it is so well anticipated that the Income Tax Act has provisions to cover this rule-changing.

                    Seriously, your understanding is lacking.

                    • Wow, condescending, rude and arrogant.
                      Again you have skipped right ahead and read over everything I have written in order to make your point which I can only assume caused a massive rush of blood to the head with an accompanying feeling of omnipotence and god like power.

                      If laws were changed pre/post this deal then your points may have a little more merit but if you read a little more careful it should be clear that I was discussing the changing of this while a legal contract is currently on the table and being discussed. To change the rule in the middle of the game is problematic in this case.

                    • vto

                      ” but if you read a little more careful it should be clear that I was discussing the changing of this while a legal contract is currently on the table and being discussed. To change the rule in the middle of the game is problematic in this case.”

                      Has it not occured to you that no matter when such law change takes place there will be deals like this affected mid-stream? Such a law change is always in the “middle of the game” for someone.

                      Or did that not occur to you?

                      edit: nobody has claimed the law should be changed just for this particular deal. That would be a nonsense. Perhaps the reason it was missed is because such a discussion is so far off the planet. It is about the policy and the law.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Then what of the fallout? Banks would stop leading (or at least start lending with egregiously strict conditions) because there would no longer be security for a start.

                    Oh noes, the banks will stop lending forcing people to be more conservative in their bids on land. Woe is meeeee

                    You really are a fuckwit. At no point have I said that the law should be changed in regards to the Crafar sale. The government can prevent the sale going through and should do because it brings nothing of worth to the country (Which is what the post highlights) and is, as a matter of fact, detrimental to NZ. That law’s been in place ever since we opened up the country to being sold off – it just hasn’t been used much if at all.

                    And, like I have stated several times, that is like the government saying “Fuck you and your contract – you have to lose. Sorry”. Which means any contract and/or financial agreement between the bank and any other land owner becomes virtually worthless because the government is now deciding that some will no longer be honoured at its own whim.

                    No it’s not. The government hasn’t changed the contract nor prevented the bank trying to recoup its loss. What you’re actually arguing for here is that the government ensure that the banks don’t lose even though they’re the ones that took the risk.

                    • If you have to resort calling people fuckwits your views are no longer worthy of consideration.

                      [lprent: It is a common but expressive description of one person's opinion of another's ideas. As I pointed out yesterday there are few rules here and those are enforced in by moderators (often in a vitriolic way). Provided there is a point attached to it, then the moderators will tend to ignore most in-context personal abuse provided there is a point attached and it doesn't degenerate in generalities outside the political sphere.

                      As an observation, using such tactical evasions as faux outrage on blunt language to avoid answering others points will usually result in you getting more blunt language rather than less. You could wind up with very few people to talk/discuss anything with.

                      Have you read the policy yet? Consider that the meaning of a "robust debate" does not mean being polite.

                      And if you really really want genteel, then your best bet is over at Public Address. But it is somewhat more boring IMHO ]

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Calling you a fuckwit seems reasonable as you keep trying to tell me what I’ve said and purposefully misinterpreting what’s been asked of you. If you don’t like being called for your misrepresentation and distraction then you’ve got 2 options:

                      1.) Stop being a fuckwit
                      2.) Fuck off

                      I don’t care which.

  13. Fortran 13

    Len Brown is on talking about how he has been discussing the funding of his “expectations” in a “Public Private Partnership” way with the Chinese during his just returned visit.

    Am sure they would be happy to fund the NZ Conference Centre, which he was very happy with a year ago, and his underground Rail line. An a harbour tunnel ?

    • mike e 13.1

      These are green fields developments not existing businesses and as National are not interested in developing infrastructure other than gas guzzling motorways to his holiday home[berlusconi mussolini style]

  14. Replying to vto above (because I don’t see a reply button).
    You haven’t answered my question – when Crafar went bust leaving the banks with a 200 million debt what are they supposed to do if not sell the land to foreigners when no one in NZ can afford the price? II know what will happen, the banks will hang on to it and all the money will go to them to service the debt and they are under no obligation under the OIO rulings to make any concessions to NZ, unlike a foreign buyer does.

    I don’t think you have thought this through.

    [lprent: The reply button disappears when the depth of the replies reaches 10. That is to prevent the conversation reaching an unreadable one word per line as it keeps indenting. Either start a new thread or jump up to the level 9 comment and reply to that. ]

    • vto 14.1

      I have completely thought it through. Westpac does not own the land – it is a lender to the owner and holds a mortgage over the land as security. Westpac would see that land values have dropped and take whatever it could get under mortgagee or receiver sale. It would dip out. Tough biccies. They would not hold onto it as they don’t hold it now. They are not farmers and would not keep on keeping on in any sense. Experience with banks over many decades would show you this is the case.

      • TheContrarian 14.1.1

        So who held the title then? Crafar went belly-up, you say the banks never held the title. Who did?

        • vto 14.1.1.1

          How can you even start to argue this issue if you have no idea of even the basics of land tenure, ownership, banking mechanisms or law?

          You go answer your question. The answer can be found in pre-Laws101.

          • TheContrarian 14.1.1.1.1

            The face remains then, outside your elephant hurling, that you want the government to forcibly create a situation where Wesptpac has to lose money. Crafar can borrow but if he defaults, sorry Westpac you are shit out of luck because you ain’t getting it back. Have you thought about what the would do to the economy?

            Oh right, of course. you have thought it all out….sure you have

            • vto 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes I have thought about it and have been raising it with people for about the last 15 years. Have you?

              Westpac, as a grown up, understands the risks about lending into a foreign country where the rules can be changed. Happens all the time all over the world.

              One other thing for your young mind seeing as you are so very concerned about Westpac – where do you think Westpac got that 200million in the first place? Did they get it from somebody else or did they just conjure it up?

              • “understands the risks about lending into a foreign country where the rules can be changed.”

                Yeah, but changing the rules post-hoc leaving Westpac holding a bag with $200 million hole is generally not the done thing nor the expected thing.

                And where Westpac got it’s $200 mill is a completely different conversation. We can talk about fractional reserve banking another day.

                I’ll ignore your condescending remarks about what age I might be but safe to say I am old enough and educated enough to hold my own and your rude and belittling tone displays a lack of restraint on your part.

                Good luck with that.

                • vto

                  Yep I can be a bit rude at times – doesn’t always happen. But you haven’t held your own. You think a typical lender takes ownership of a property for just one very pertinent example of a lack of knowledge. For another, you think there is no public element to the sale of NZ land to foreigners. Major failures in base understanding required in this issue. So, yep, a bit rude. No apology. Out.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Yeah, but changing the rules post-hoc leaving Westpac holding a bag with $200 million hole is generally not the done thing nor the expected thing.

                  Wouldn’t have been a $200m hole but a $30m loss.

                  • So you are talking about selling it to Michael Fays consortium?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Forget Fay, Landcorp should own it on behalf of NZers.

                    • The problem here, “Contrarian”, is that you’re viewing the Crafar (and other land sales to offshore investors) through a very narrow perspective.

                      Of course it’s childishly easy to “score points” if you focus on just one factor to the exclusion of all else. But try assessing ALL the inter-related factors – that’s a much harder argument to maintain.

                      You’re missing several inter-related issues which will affect this country for decades to come, to wit,

                      * losing income from exports, especially as Earth’s population nears 9 billion, and demand for protein increases

                      * pushing up land prices out of reach of NZ citizens

                      * Chinese access to cheap funds which NZ purchasers do not have

                      * impact on Fonterra shares, and risk losing them into overseas ownership

                      * impact on our balance of payments

                      * risk to our branding as other nations’ practices affect us, especially in a negative way

                      Just a few more points to consider if you’re going to assess the whole issue of land sales to overseas investors and not just cherry-pick.

            • Rob 14.1.1.1.1.2

              Well, if VTO’s changes were to be put in place than the security value of the land to a lender would be nothing and therefore the lending risk would be huge, so they either rack up the return expected or they just dont lend at all leaving the sale open to people with 100% equity.

              Hmmmmm wonder how many NZ’ers have that sort of cash to through around on some dairy enterprises.

              • vto

                How on earth do you arrive at the conclusion that the value of the security would be nil?

            • mike e 14.1.1.1.1.3

              The incontenaryan
              Boo Hoo The Westpac bank were at fault just as much as crafar as they didn’t do due diligence.
              SCF springs to mind!

  15. I have held my own just fine. I was referring to the land: It is not publicly held, it is private land. I didn’t think the lender takes ownership in the traditional sense of the word either. But they certainly decide the direction.

    So while I have held my own I know you, possibly to make yourself feel better, will think otherwise through a willful misunderstanding of other peoples arguments not to mention few strawman and red herrings thrown in for good measure. but that doesn’t bother me. You lost when you resorted to rudeness.

  16. bad12 16

    Leaving aside this individual sale of the Crafar Farms for the moment I see as the ‘end-game’ reason for the purchase of these farms and the allowance by the new owners to allow ”Landcorp” to manage the farms as not being that of a ‘land-grab’ or even a ‘profit-milking’ by the Chinese buyers,

    I think that such a buy in to the New Zealand dairy industry is in effect the purchase of ‘intellectual knowledge’

    The Chinese buyers,if the sale finally goes ahead,will insert a number of ‘trainees’ into employment on the various ex-Crafar Farms simply to gain hands on experience and full knowledge of New Zealand dairy farming methods,

    In all reality,New Zealand farmers do it best(dairying), and, Landcorp at the leading edge of the industry in terms of research and development does it incrementally better than the average industry player,

    The Chinese will,once having gained the knowledge begin the transformation of the internal Chinese dairy industry from one of being peasant based to one of being of an industrial scale akin to but on a far greater scale than the present New Zealand giant Fonterra,

    I well remember the ‘gold-rush’ of English language schools here where 1000s of Chinese arrived to learn English,within those 1000s of arrivals were any number of those who had come not only to learn English as a language, but more importantly to the Chinese,to learn HOW to teach the English language,

    Having said all that, while not really having a problem with sharing knowledge with the Chinese on the most modern and best practice use of resources to dairy farm on an industrial scale, I do have a problem with the Crafar Farms sale in terms of the law,

    It is patently obvious that such a sale DOES NOT comply with at least 2 requirements of New Zealand law in that the proposed new owners will not bring with the sale any new employment of any significant amount and nor will the proposed new owners bring to the ex-Crafar farms any new technology or intellectual property that will significantly enhance the farms or the New Zealand dairy industry as a whole,

    It would seem that ANY court in ANY jurisdiction would have to if asked find that such a sale falls well out-side the legal constraints the law places upon such sales…

    • mike e 16.1

      remember how we were told selling Watties to a foreign owner would lead to huge exports of our fresh food no such thing has happened quite the reverse we are importing more fresh food than ever mainly from china

    • xtasy 16.2

      Read the Wall Street Journal of today: Mainland China is heavily investing in buying new dairy cow calves on the international market at present, clearly signalling that they are determined to establish their OWN local and national dairy industry, and making themselves independent from foreign suppliers like NZ, Europe or North America.

      By the way, does anybody realise, that NZ total dairy production is merely 2 per cent of global dairy production?

      NZ is only such a big player in dairy trade, meaning exports, because few countries sell so much on the global market, most focussing on catering for the local markets.

      NZers are dreaming if you think that dairy will ensure you an economic future forever. It is already a lost ground, and the only way NZ can develope and ensure a reasonable, sustainable living standard is by diversifying economic activity, production, invest heavily in R+D, new products, making itself more independent from energy imports and the likes.

      So where are National, Key idiot and even Labour standing on this base of facts?

      I see this country dropping fast on the international scale, unless some radical, serious re-orientation in economic development happens. Maybe joint ventures and investments in future tech may be the solution, it will not be more cows, more sheep, more dairy, more pollution, more cars, highways and stupid thinking like Neanderthal style National and ACT are offering. This is a bloody wake up call for NZ, take it to heart, please!

  17. bad12 17

    just as an afterthought, there seems to be some discussion that Westpac Bank and by association the Statutory receiver for the Crafar farms HAD to sell to the Chinese bidders as they were the highest bidders,

    That is just more of the totally bullshit ”there is not alternative” rubbish trotted out by the apologists who would ”hate to see New Zealanders as tenants in their own land” while proposing an implementing policies that will ensure that this will occur,

    There is in fact NO valid reason upon the planet that didn’t allow the Statutory Receivers to sell each of the 22 Crafar Farms individually and every reason to believe that sold individually the 22 farms may well have attracted more than what is now expected to be paid for them as a bloc…

  18. vto 18

    don’t like to be repetitive but ………………

    still nobody has explained how having foreign landlords is better

    and still nobody has explained how having a shrinking capital base is better

    Plenty of chipping in at the sides, plenty of diversion and avoidance of the questions, plenty of silliness, jst no explanations. Not even John Key has explained how these things are better – all he concentrates on is his racism against the Chinese and projecting it onto everybody else.

    This entire policy and legislation is #&^ing *7&%^%$. It is damaging to New Zealand. Where is the honesty?

    • “nobody has explained how having foreign landlords is better” It has been explained to you that no one is claiming they are better. If you want a different answer ask another question. Show me where someone has claimed that and I’ll ask the same thing.

      As to this comments (ran out of thread above):

      ” but if you read a little more careful it should be clear that I was discussing the changing of this while a legal contract is currently on the table and being discussed. To change the rule in the middle of the game is problematic in this case.”

      “Has it not occured to you that no matter when such law change takes place there will be deals like this affected mid-stream? Such a law change is always in the “middle of the game” for someone.

      Or did that not occur to you?”

      Yes it occurred to me which is why when fundamental changes like this are made changes like this are done generally there is some sort of cut of, or date when it takes effect, etc etc. Like you said “not overnight”. But this is discussing what we can do to stop sales in the future and has no bearing in the Crafar because laws like were not in place

      • vto 18.1.1

        No again contrarian.

        You say this … ““nobody has explained how having foreign landlords is better” It has been explained to you that no one is claiming they are better. If you want a different answer ask another question. Show me where someone has claimed that and I’ll ask the same thing.”

        John Key and all of his government claims that foreign ownership of New Zealand is better.

        So does Peter Dunne.

        And John Banks and his one-man band.

        And a whole bunch of commenters around here who are mysteriously absent. Maybe I am too rude and they can’t be bothered with me. You would think the supporters could try answering the question though. It is their policy and law – to which we are subjected.

  19. “John Key and all of his government claims that foreign ownership of New Zealand is better.”

    Got a cite for that?

    [lprent: I'd look at it. But you aren't replying to anyone, it doesn't appear to be in the post and I'm not hunting.. ]

    • vto 19.1

      Seriously?

      I admire your perserverance as much as you detest my rudeness at times, but I gonna pass.

      I might just wait until someone outlines the benefit of foreign landlords before burning up more of my 25,000 days on this clear-as-a-bell issue now.

    • RedLogix 19.2

      Got a cite for John Key arguing against ownership?

      Hint: How much googling do you think it would take to find it?

      • TheContrarian 19.2.1

        Hint: The formal rules of rational debate and logic determine that those who provide a positive claim (i.e. John Key and all of his government claims that foreign ownership of New Zealand is better) need to provide the evidence to support it.

        [lprent: We aren't interested in formal rules. There is no such thing as 'rational' debate outside of some artifical constructs (algebraic proofs and the Karbala come to mind). The policy are merely guidelines for people to play risk games with the moderators. One of them concerns the risks of trying to define the rules here. Perhaps you should read it. ]

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 19.2.1.1

          He has a point RL.

          • Colonial Viper 19.2.1.1.1

            Oh god, Righties trying to explain the rules of logic and debate to the rest of us. Clue: why don’t you tutor the National MPs in the house first, they are in dire need of understanding “logic” and “debate”.

          • RedLogix 19.2.1.1.2

            There really are only three options:

            1. John Key believes that foreign ownership is better for New Zealand

            2. John Key believes that foreign ownership in NOT better for New Zealand.

            3. Neither of the above apply.

            Now given that the government he leads has defied both public opinion and a High Court ruling in order to push through this land sale….you might conclude he believes in Option 1.

            Alternately a few moments googling will find a statement from John Key stating something about “New Zealanders becoming tenants in their own land”.. which might suggest Option 2.

            Given the contradiction between what John Key is doing and what he said he believed in… maybe Option 3 applies. In other words they are selling this land for some other reason.

            Any suggestions?

            • TheContrarian 19.2.1.1.2.1

              Option 3 because there wasn’t a choice between foreign and NZ ownership. Only offer was put forward. And “In other words they are selling this land for some other reason.” doesn’t apply because they are not selling the land – someone else is. The just approve it, but again, there was no other offer to approve so option 3 is the only one

              • RedLogix

                And you have the gall to lecture me about logic.

                The fundamental choice here IS between local and foreign ownership. If you want to make that distinction go away… then everything you have posted on this thread has been an exercise in meaningless sophistry.

                • Yeah – but there was no local offer presented for the government to rule on.

                • insider

                  You are quite wrong. The choice was selling to a specific overseas party under the offer and OIO conditions or doing something else. That something else might be a revised offer, a retender or retaining the business and trading under the receiver’s control, or some other course of action.

                  Remember an alternative foreign offer was rejected earlier by the OIO. That did not lead to what you say is now the only alternative – a local sale. If that course didn’t happen before, why would you think it is the only option now?

              • Considering NZ makes only $10,000 per annum from the deal, I’m not sure why anyone would think selling to Shanghai Pengxin is such a good deal… http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/three-questions-to-key-williamson-coleman-et-al/

        • TheContrarian 19.2.1.2

          I am not trying to define any rules of the site but the rules of logic are fairly immutable and one of them is you can’t prove a negative and those the make a positive claim are incumbent to provide support. It is pretty simple, standard logic.

          • lprent 19.2.1.2.1

            Ah you are referring to stupid logic logic puzzles that are mostly done by half-arsed philosophy students working in artificially framed semantic boxes. Nice system for framing the debate for the simple minded. Less useful for any real-world applicability.

            You could do to read some algebra where negative proofs are rife, or do some library level code where half of the code is often proving that the negatives aren’t going to bite your arse, or deal with any politics. All of these have real world applications that depend just as much on negative proofs as they do on positives.

            To extend it further, most of the devices that your life and welfare depend upon depend almost entirely on negative feedback principles. The reason why they don’t depend on positive feedback is because it is the classic way to make a systems to go haywire. In my observation, exactly the same thing happens to any idiots who concentrate only on the positive.

            Quite simply you can prove any kind of crap if you ignore negatives that are contraindications to a theory. This is why science operates more on the concept of disproving theories as it does on proving them. But I guess that is probably a little too advanced for you to grasp.

            • TheContrarian 19.2.1.2.1.1

              “But I guess that is probably a little too advanced for you to grasp.” there is no excuse for rudeness. This has even less to do with proving a negative and more to do with those making the positive claim are the ones who need to establish the proof of it. This is standard debate rules, nothing to do with the rules of this site, algebra or real world applications. If someone says “Fire engines are mostly green” and someone asks for proof then you don’t turn around and say “prove me wrong”. If you make a statement you should be able to back it up when asked

              • RedLogix

                In this case there are two clear choices… selling the land to a foreign owner or NOT selling the land to a foreign owner.

                The simplest possible Boolean logic. And you just failed it.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.3

      Him and his government are the ones selling it off and they also promised a brighter future. Seems fairly clear that they mean that selling off NZ to foreigners is the way to that brighter future.

      • TheContrarian 19.3.1

        This was the ONLY offer presented. It wasn’t as if there was a choice between two offers.

        So what your saying is key should have not accepted this deal in favour of a non-existent deal which was never presented to him?

        • Draco T Bastard 19.3.1.1

          It was the only offer presented to the government to rule on. If the government rejected it then the receivers would have had to accept one of the other offers made which weren’t foreign bids such as the Landcorp bid.

          • Ben 19.3.1.1.1

            Credit to everyone who’s trying to make TheContrarian understand the basic principles at play here, but four letters come to mind:
            DFTT.

          • insider 19.3.1.1.2

            Not true. The receiver doesn’t have to accept any offer. They could retender it and accept another foreign offer that presumably would have to go through the OIO, or continue to operate it for the benefit of security holders, which could be interesting as they are foreign banks in the main.

  20. xtasy 20

    Come on, this is all a “win, win, win situation”, yes indeed it will turn into a “WINZ, WINZ, WINZ situation” for most NZers, for sure. Sell the assets, more farmland, sell it to companies and buyers getting Landcorp do the serf tasks to generate the profits. All else will “win, win, win”, or rather “WINZ, WINZ and WINZ”, becoming dependent on WINZ and government handouts, while real jobs go overseas, where slave wages keep economies going (against NZ and others)! Great stuff, John Key is a really smart operator, right? The future is now totally guaranteed!

  21. xtasy 21

    To take hold of the control of a country and its government, there are a number of options. One is to manipulate and conduct a takeover under perceived “democratic conditions”, which hardly anybody may notice. Take control of commerce, the (commercialised) media, key state media, core business, involve your cooperating mates and thus discretely take hold of the core echelons of power.

    There is otherwise a more ruthless and violent approach, wich took place in a country like Chile in 1973, arranged by the CIA and their Chilean military contacts. A good documentary is shown under the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=NHUqwep8UtI.

    Whatever, we have now in NZ a situation, where an very influential elite with high level economic contacts is taking hold of the whole NZ political, economic and social system, imposing law changes and policies that will ultimately disown the ordinary NZer and create a society of more division, exploitation and suppression, so far unknown in this otherwise free country.

    NZers must bloody well wake up and take a solid stand against what is going on. This country is being sold off to foreign interests, undermined and enslaved for generations to come. There is no alternative but to take most resolute measures now, and all possible must be done to stop the full scale corruption and sell out of NZ, that is for Maori, Pakeha and genuinely committed migrants to this country.

    History is at a cross roads in this country!

  22. From the bits and pieces I’ve managed to string together, from info from various sources (main credit goes to Adam Bennett from the NZ Herald), I’m thinking it may be time for a Royal Commission to enquire into the whole issue. Especially when it looks like what I think it looks like; http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/doing-the-business-with-john-key-heres-how-part-rua/

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    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    frogblog | 29-10
  • Look to international students for funding says Joyce
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce says universities need to expand overseas and recruit more international students to boost their income. Joyce told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that New Zealand universities are not doing enough to generate income from international students. “If...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s “NoahR...
    An Heretical Work: Darren Aronofsky's Noah is an attempt to reconstruct from the ill-fitting fragments of the much older and more finely textured myth of the Great Flood, a religious homily about human power, human guilt, and human redemption. That he...
    Bowalley Road | 29-10
  • World News Brief, Thursday October 30
    Top of the AgendaIraqi Kurdish Fighters Enter Syria...
    Pundit | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    frogblog | 29-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the links between bad labour laws and poor safety practi...
    By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port...
    Gordon Campbell | 29-10
  • How Labour’s ballot paper works
    Some weeks ago, I promised not to post about the Labour leadership election. I am going to break that promise today, but only because some of the people I have talked with appear a bit confused about Labour’s preferential ballot....
    Polity | 29-10
  • UKIP’s apostrophe fail
    The venerable institution that is the United Kingdom Independence Party wanted a hoodie for young patriots, so they can proudly declare how great Britain remains. For UKIP, the sun has never set on the British Empire of Awesomeness. Until this...
    Polity | 29-10
  • Understanding climate science in 10 easy steps
    The latest United Nations report on climate change is about to be finalised, written by thousands of scientists. The report is VERY important, but also a bit dull.What we really want to know is: How bad is climate change? And what can...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 29-10
  • Random thoughts on the Labour Party leadership contest
    Some thoughts on the leadership contest, and a puzzling mystery at the end....
    Imperator Fish | 29-10
  • Auckland Transport’s 30 Year Project List
    As part of the discussion on Alternative Transport Funding, which was launched yesterday, the Council also released a copy of Auckland Transport’s entire 30 year transport programme which includes the cost of projects and seemingly ranked according to some combination of criteria....
    Transport Blog | 29-10
  • Questions and Answers – October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk EconomyInterest Rates and Inflation 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT (NationalWairarapa) to the Minister of Finance : What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation?QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Storm surge: Hurricane Sandy
    On the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy making landfall, we are running an extract from a new book by Adam Sobel “Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future”. It’s a great read...
    Real Climate | 29-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Bartlett case means Govt must act on equal pay
    The Court of Appeal victory for Lower Hutt caregiver, Kristine Bartlett demonstrates that both the Government and employers have been ignoring and not fully implementing equal pay law, the Green Party said today.The Court of Appeal today upheld earlier rulings...
    Greens | 27-10
  • Rotorua shift for Maori TV a bizarre move
    The bizarre idea to move Maori TV to Rotorua is either poor planning or possible political interference that adds to the perception of a service in crisis, says Labour MP for Tamaki Makaurau Peeni Henare. “Moving Maori TV to Rotorua...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Second rate deal a no go – Goff
    A second rate deal on dairy in the TPP would totally contradict the agreed purpose of the Pacific trade agreement, Labour’s Trade spokesperson, Phil Goff says. “Both the origin of the trade negotiations and leaders’ statements on its objectives emphasise...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Legal victory a boost for all working women
    Today’s legal victory for equal pay is a much-needed boost for working women at a time when the Government is pushing through reforms which will make it harder for them to get pay rises, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney...
    Labour | 27-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Public now needs to have its say over new tolls
    “I welcome the likes of new tolls and fuel taxes going out for public consultation after these matters have been talked about for 20 years. However the timing is not ideal as it comes on top of the likes of...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis to fight back against TPPA ‘corporate trap’
    New Zealanders in at least sixteen different locations around the country are organising for an International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 8 November, co-ordinated by It's Our Future NZ. This is part of an international...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes NZ First MP’s Resignation
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming NZ First MP, Clayton Mitchell’s resignation from the Tauranga City Council, despite Party Leader Winston Peters' public comments in July that Mr Mitchell would do both jobs if elected to Parliament. The Union's...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Stopping unnecessary roading projects solution to transport
    Today Auckland Council released the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report which claims Aucklanders need to choose higher rates, petrol taxes or tolls to pay for future transport projects, when the real issue is the prioritisation of unnecessary...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Fixing Auckland’s transport
    Today marks a critical step in the most important funding debate Auckland has ever had: whether or not Aucklanders are willing to pay for the transport system this city desperately needs to keep it moving, says Mayor Len Brown....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • The New Zealand Gazette Moves into the Digital Age
    On Monday 20 October, the New Zealand Gazette was published completely online bringing to a close 173 years as a purely printed publication. First published in 1841 as the official government newspaper, the Gazette website gazette.govt.nz , replaces...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • International report shows NZ struggling with child poverty
    A report by UNICEF International shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have scarcely changed since 2008 – this stands in contrast to a number of other countries that managed to significantly reduce child poverty in this time, including...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Dunedin
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Dunedin on Thursday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF Report a Waste of Paper
    In response to the hysteria coming from the far left, Josh Forman of slightlyleftofcentre.co.nz writes the following:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Press Council opens doors to digital media
    The New Zealand Press Council, the body which handles complaints against newspapers and magazines and their websites, is offering associate membership status to news and commentary-oriented digital media including bloggers....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Tolls Should Be for New Roads, Not Old Ones
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming Auckland Council for wanting to introduce a motorist tax under the guise of ‘tolls’. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy
    Today, Wednesday 29 October, there will be a peaceful protest at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to call on new Indonesian President Joko Widodo to honour his election promise to ensure greater media freedom in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Lack of leadership blamed for decline in Gender Equity
    BPW NZ challenges NZ’s lack of leadership with the decline in Gender Equity Ranking...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Richard Falk visit to NZ
    Professor Richard Falk, who recently completed a six-year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, will deliver a public lecture in Dunedin on Monday 10 November....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
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