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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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    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    13 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    13 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    frogblogBy Gareth Hughes
    14 hours ago
  • What we are expected to believe
    In recent months I have become increasingly concerned at the state of bullshit in this country. Bullshit, as Harry Frankfurt famously wrote, is distinguished not by its intentionally negative truth value (those are lies) but its absence of intentional truth… ...
    14 hours ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    15 hours ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    15 hours ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
    Whistleblowers are a ‘check’ on government, corporate or organisational secrecy and malfeasance. I recently read Tim Shipman’s preview of the Chilcot report into the origins of the Tony Blair-led UK engagement in the US’s invasion of Iraq, which looked at… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    15 hours ago
  • Spend and Tax
    As a general rule, New Zealanders want more public spending. Surveys (such as the 2014 Election Survey) show consistent support for increases in spending, particularly in the areas of health, education, housing, law enforcement, public transport and the environment (in… ...
    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    16 hours ago
  • The birth place of the artist
    It may not be the best reason to fund the arts. It’s certainly not the only one. But travelling to the small city of Rovereto, at the feet of the Italian dolomites, reminded me of the lasting influence that a… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    22 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of the far right, and battle bots
    In his victory speech at the Cannes film festival this week, the British film director Ken Loach warned that the rise of far right parties in Europe was being fuelled by the economic policies of austerity, and manifested in a… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Why Corrections prevented Tony Robertson from getting treatment in prison
    Tony Robertson was sentenced to eight years in prison for indecently assaulting a five year old girl in 2005. He was considered a high risk prisoner and the parole board declined to release him on four separate occasions.  He was… ...
    PunditBy Roger Brooking
    1 day ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Climate denial arguments fail a blind test
    As we saw in the recent legal ruling against Peabody coal, arguments and myths that are based in denial of the reality of human-caused global warming rarely withstand scientific scrutiny. In a new study published in Global Environmental Change, a team led by Stephen Lewandowsky… ...
    1 day ago
  • Palmerston North librarians gather to support UCOL colleagues
    At 5pm today at the UCOL Library, representatives of library staff from the City Library, Massey, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and local schools will meet in a show of support for UCOL Library staff whose jobs are threatened. “We all… ...
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Not Quite But Getting There
    It seems that Labour might have finally gotten the memo about getting it’s A into G but perhaps not quite digested the content. Still it’s a start. The last month has seen a steady stream of both Labour and Little… ...
    1 day ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    1 day ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    1 day ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Review: The Block Party
    Did New Zealand’s 'premier urban music' event live up to the hype?   Photo: Nicole Semitara Hunt ‘Old school’ was the name of the game on Friday night at The Block Party, where several thousand converged on ASB… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    1 day ago
  • New research confirms water fluoridation does not cause bone cancers
    The most common type of bone cancer is Osteosarcoma. Image credit:  Osteosarcoma This time for Texas. A new study confirms what other researchers have found elsewhere. It is reported in this recent paper: Archer, N. P., Napier, T. S., & Villanacci, J. F. (2016).… ...
    1 day ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Selfie-takers think they’re the greatest
    Science says otherwise.  “People often perceive themselves as more attractive and likable than others [perceive them to be].” This is the cutting conclusion from a new study that has found you're probably not as great as you think you… ...
    1 day ago
  • UCOL cutting the staff who lifted student results
    UCOL needs to halt its proposed cuts to student support services now that it knows those services are improving student outcomes. On Friday, in an email to all staff, UCOL released its provisional 2015 Educational Performance Indicator (EPI) results which… ...
    1 day ago
  • Another Road Only Harbour Crossing on the Cards?
    The absence of rail as well as walking and cycling options to the North Shore has been considered an oversight by many probably ever since the Harbour Bridge was first approved for construction over 60 years ago. While Skypath will… ...
    2 days ago
  • Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party Rt Hon Winston Peters New Zealand First Leader Member of Parliament for Northland 23 MAY 2016 Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham The Prime Ministers EU trade deal… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on bank scandals and air crashes
    Libor. It stands for the London Interbank Offered rate. Back in 2012, Libor became synonymous with a scandal involving the dodgy manipulation of how interest rates were fixed – during the years before and after the Global Financial Crisis –… ...
    2 days ago
  • March Against Monsanto
    Press Release – TPP Action Waikato March Against Monsanto (MAM)is a global form of action aimed at informing the public, calling into question the long term health risks of genetically modified foods and Roundup ready crops.Today Waikato people rally, at… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago

  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    6 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    7 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    7 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    11 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    13 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    13 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    13 hours ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    14 hours ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    1 day ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    2 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    4 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    4 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    4 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    4 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    5 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    5 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    6 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    6 days ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    6 days ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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