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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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    Last year, in response to a series of court cases challenging its control orders or claiming compensation for human rights abuses by its intelligence services, the UK passed the Justice and Security Act 2013. The Act introduces a "Closed Material...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Massey chancellor sets up company in opposition to university
    Massey Chancellor Chris Kelly will chair the board of a company that intends to be New Zealand’s largest private training provider (PTE)...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Gibbs, Hayek, Canterbury and the free market for degrees
    The New Zealand Herald notes that philanthropist Alan Gibbs is about to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Canterbury today. One of the many institutions Alan Gibbs has donated his money to...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Record Store Day
    As readers will know, I have long embraced the internet music revolution. The ability to discover and download new things pretty much as they're being made has reinvented and refreshed my lifelong relationship with popular music. But I still really...
    Public Address | 16-04
  • Great Sorkin Parody
    Aaron Sorkin (SportsNight, The West Wing, The Newsroom) makes a very particular style of TV. Some good parts to that, some really silly parts. Amy Schumer' Comedy Central parody of Sorkin is pitch-prefect and hilarious. Enjoy: Inside Amy SchumerGet More:...
    Polity | 16-04
  • Photographic proof
    Deborah asked for a picture of my bicycle, after I wrote about it, and there is now one in existence which even includes me riding it along Mt Albert Rd, thanks to a dear friend who drove past me and...
    The Hand Mirror | 16-04
  • Our future lies in science
    This is not a column on global warming, climate change or whether humans are or aren’t having an impact....
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Gordon Campbell on drone strikes and Judith Collins‘ last stand
    Reportedly, US drone operators refer to their kills as “bug splat” – mainly because when the carnage is viewed on their screens thousands of kilometres away at home, it looks like an insect strike on a windscreen. The name has...
    Gordon Campbell | 16-04
  • Revealed: Steven Joyce’s select committee submission
    Dear Education Select Committee, Well, there are less than two weeks for people to get their submissions in to you on my proposals to remove staff and students from university and wānanga councils. You...
    TEU | 16-04
  • World News Brief, Thursday April 17
    Top of the AgendaTensions Rise in Ukraine’s East Ahead of Talks...
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Northern Europe looks to end fixed-term agreements for academics
    Long strings of fixed term employment agreements are not just a problem here in New Zealand but Sweden too, according to Education International. But the Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) has a plan to solve this. It is turning...
    TEU | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 17, 2014Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today.The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company, Christchurch Yarns, go into...
    First Union Media | 16-04
  • MP to attend progressive politics conference
    Labour MP Grant Robertson will attend the Progressive Governance conference in Amsterdam later this week. “This conference brings together Social Democratic parties from around the world to discuss how progressive politics should work in the post global financial crisis environment....
    Labour | 20-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Why Easter holidays should always be mandatory and retail free
    The moaning from retailers that they can’t open the cash registers and worship the consumer culture of consumption over Easter bores me immensely because I’ve always believed that public holidays should be mandatory. It’s not that I really care about...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Why punish the parents of the disabled?
    Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Family Court Consumers Group appalled at legal rort
    Family Court Consumers Group appalled at Lawyer for Child's "1 meeting in 10 years" taxpayer funded legal rort...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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