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Seething O’Sullivan misunderstands markets

Written By: - Date published: 11:53 am, February 18th, 2012 - 303 comments
Categories: overseas investment - Tags: , ,

Fran ‘Sell it all’ O’Sullivan is fuming over the Court decision putting aside the approval of Pengxin’s application to buy Crafar Farms. She knows that Pengxin can’t satisfy the actual legal test because its bid has never been about bringing benefit to New Zealand. Its been about securing strategic assets for China. But some of her whining really needs to be pulled up.

Repeatedly, O’Sullivan sneers that New Zealand bidders for the farms are offering “below market price” by which she appears to mean the price offered by Pengxin. What she conveniently ignores is that Pengxin is no ordinary market player. It’s heavily linked to the Chinese government including, it is thought, receiving interest-free loans from Beijing to finance its buy up of arable land around the world. Free money allows Chinese companies to pay more now than locals can for land and become long-term holders for the resource crunches that China sees coming in the next decades. That’s not a real free market.

Now, if our government had supplied Landcorp with an interest-free loan to buy Crafar Farms, O’Sullivan would be screaming blue murder. She would complain that Landcorp had an unfair advantage – its much lower cost of capital allowed it to outbid the private sector. She would also complain about more farmland falling under the control of a government-linked company.

So, one has to wonder why the same logic doesn’t apply to Pengxin. The Chinese government does have a lot of that free money to chuck around but I’m sure O’Sullivan has never benefited from any of it.

O’Sullivan makes a related argument that farm prices will fall if Pengxin is prevented from buying the Crafar Farms. She says it like it’s a bad thing. But I’m struggling to understand why that is. Farms, like houses, have experienced a massive price bubble which hasn’t really popped yet. Everyone, including foreign investors, got in expecting capital gain and bid up the prices. The result is that many farms are barely profitable. The agricultural sector owes $47b (four years’ worth of dairy exports), mainly to the Aussie banks and Chinese-owned PGG Wrightson, and dairy spends 18% of its income servicing debt.

Again, the market is being distorted by foreign companies with government-backed free money outbidding our farmers. That’s not a ‘market’, Fran. It’s a game that we are suckers to play.

We have got to get off this debt cycle that is leaving us more and more in hock to foreign interests that don’t give a damn about the health of our society and the wealth of our people. Letting ourselves get outbid for our land by those interests just makes the situation worse. We need lower farm prices, which New Zealanders can afford to buy without getting in debt up to their eyeballs.

303 comments on “Seething O’Sullivan misunderstands markets”

  1. Salsy 1

    Fran truly is a traitor. She now argues how unfair it would be for Westpac Australia not to get that bundle of cash from China and have to lend to Fey.

    Fay is a client of Westpac which also happens to be the major banking creditor for the Crafar farms. Clearly the bank operates “Chinese walls” between those managing the credit risk on the farm lending side and Fay’s commercial banker.

    But I can’t imagine Westpac boss Gail Kelly – who at a client luncheon last year exhorted the local team to step up the rural business – being less than impressed the bank has to take a multimillion-dollar haircut if Shanghai Pengxin is tossed out.

    Its incredible that she is actually so focussed on the Chinese sale, that in one article she promotes farming for capital gain and foreign ownership of our economy. Business anaysis?? When will the Herald replace this dinosuar with fresh new thinking.

  2. Wayne 2

    It’s heavily linked to the Chinese government including, it is thought, receiving interest-free loans from Beijing to finance its buy up of arable land around the world.

    This is pure conjecture. Can you provide a single piece of evidence that this is really the case?

    • Galeandra 2.1

      @ Wayne, Try a rudimentary search, oh bright star. There is plenty of evidence of surplus US$ in Chinese treasury sloshing about (hence the a gradual sell off of the same throughout 2011) and thus there are lots of articles in media around the world about bright-eyed venture capitalists like Pengxin’s owner looking for good opportunities:

      http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2012063638_chinamoney09.html

      But you’re a lazy dope, you just can’t be bothered finding reasons for your magical thinking.

      BTW ask your Nactoid friends where exactly the ‘money’ is that their lying leaders were so ready to promise when things ‘turn up’ in 2014…15…16..

      Your non-argument just uses the same shallow line as Clueless “Show me the money” Key.
      And because you’re just a dumbass troll, this is the last meal you’ll get from me.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      Pure conjecture? What, are you ignorant of China’s strategic intent?

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 2.3

      lol a demand for evidence has to be a joke coming from you. Shall we hold you to the same standard in future?

      It must be difficult, though, for a bigot to think about this issue clearly. On the one hand, well, the buyers are foreigners, on the other hand they’re rich and powerful. Such a dilemma.

    • Zetetic 2.4

      Pengxin’s links to the Chinese government are well known – you don’t become a major public works builder and you certainly don’t become a major farmer given that all land in China is publicly owned without strong government links and the NBR has written about their soft loans.

    • mikesh 2.5

      Neither do we know that it is not happening, so it is a matter of common sense to assume that it is given the the large amounts of dosh China has from its trade surpluses.

  3. Salsy 3

    Can you provide a single piece of evidence that its not Wayne? Are you also aware that the Chinese Govt have been meeting in secret with the OIO?

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    Free money allows Chinese companies to pay more now than locals can for land and become long-term holders for the resource crunches that China sees coming in the next decades.

    It’s also getting rid of those depreciating US$ bills that it’s holding.

    So, one has to wonder why the same logic doesn’t apply to Pengxin.

    Has to do with the RWNJ psychology – they kowtow to those with power or money and China has both.

  5. DH 5

    Heh, Standard vs O’Sullivan round three. This judge’s scorecard had it a TKO to the Standard in round two, she must have been saved by the bell. She’s a sucker for punishment, I’ll give her that.

    She’s conveniently forgotten that Landcorp offered a price similar to, but lower than, the Fay consortium which should tell her the market price for NZ buyers is a lot less than the market price for a Chinese buyer.

  6. Peter Martin 6

    ” The Chinese government does have a lot of that free money to chuck around but I’m sure O’Sullivan has never benefited from any of it. ”

    Though, as we know a company, Oravida, formerly owned by Terry Lee, director of Pengxin’s Crafar Farms vehicle, Milk New Zealand donated some $55,000.00 on 30 November 2011 to the incoming Govt which had yet to sign off on the deal…

    Prolly just a chrissy pressie… :-)

  7. Jackal 7

    Fran O’Sullivan is such a drongo! If there was an adverse effect on Westpac balance sheets, Fay Consortium wouldn’t have the loan. She’s arguing that banks don’t make a profit from loaning money.

  8. muzza 8

    Seems Fran has developed xenophobia against her own country…wonder what brought that on!

    Protecting banks loan books, capital gains on farmland, selling out of NZ (consistant at least)…

    Quite something is our Fran!

    BOO WOMAN , BOO!

  9. Doesnt make the slightest difference if Chinese imperialists, Harvard University Trust or Michael Fay long time expat vulture capitalist, owns NZ farms.
    They are all making super profits from NZ production at the expense of working NZers.
    The logic of preferring one to the other leads sooner or later to siding with one imperialist against another.
    Do you really want to get sucked into a Pacific War where NZ and US workers are pitted against Chinese workers in the interests of whichever 1% comes out on top?
    The aim of NZ workers should be the nationalisation or socialisation of land and planning of production to meet social needs not private profits.
    There is every chance that Chinese workers are well ahead of us so they are our (NZ workers not the ‘our’ of all kiwis in the same sinking boat) strongest allies.
    http://redrave.blogspot.co.nz/2012/01/chinese-workers-and-peasants-confront.html

    • Bill 9.1

      Thank fuck! Another comment that recognises kissing a master’s arse is kissing a master’s arse ;-)

      Now, what would that be? A mere couple of comments, from a stream of some hundreds, expressing a basic ‘no brainer’ left perspective?

      Said it before, but I’ll reiterate. The ‘mainstream’ left has been dancing on the head of a pin on this one. Too much xenophobia being writ large by those scrabbling to annoint a kiwi master. I’m not saying there were definately no comments on the legal nature of the purchase before the Court Decision, just that I can’t remember reading a single one. Not one.

      Mostly, what I’ve read has been variations on ‘Chinese master bad/ Kiwi master good’ with no questioning whatsoever of the ridiculous and deliterious notion of private ownership.

      • Puddleglum 9.1.1

        I think it’s more complicated than that.

        Keeping it in ‘New Zealand masters” hands means that it would be easier to prise it out of those hands, presumably, than prise it out of the hands of foreign investors.

        I say this simply because I assume that foreign ‘investors’ have more power associated with them than do local ‘investors’.

        I’ve noticed that powerful ‘investors’/countries have a habit, throughout history, of making sure their investors are not given a ‘haircut’ (e.g., through nationalisation) by small, poorly armed and otherwise powerless nations. The recent history of South and Central America is one example.

        One way or other powerful ‘investors’/countries would exert that power.

        Best to keep their interests (and the ‘projection’ of their power) elsewhere. Local ownership would ensure that – for now. 

        I agree completely, of course, that the only just ownership of decent sized assets/companies is by those who work in them. The question is how best to maximise the chances of that happening one day. Letting land, assets and companies get into ‘foreign’ hands does not increase those chances, so far as I can see.

        The international approach to workers (i.e., most of us) gaining the level of control over productive assets that is justified by our work is best achieved by local victories – not by waiting for some enormous international singularity of a workers’ takeover.

        Prior to the current debate over the Crafar farms (and some other sales to overseas interests, including in relation to asset sales) I haven’t seen a massive upswell of public opposition to private ownership of land.

        But, this current debate has the potential to provide some reflection on the virtues and vices of private ownership of large, publically important productive assets. That is, it provides an opening for a more radical discussion about land and asset ownership in general – and the limits to it. Simply abondoning the field to whichever capitalist happens to succeed – because one capitalist is like any other – would, so far as I can see, just dissipate that potential.

        But I’m more than happy to be persuaded otherwise (honestly). 

        • Bill 9.1.1.1

          I honestly don’t see it as being any more problematic for people to take control over foreign owned resources as opposed to taking control of domestically owned ones. The existing domestic state apparatus ain’t going to just sit back and twiddle its thumbs in either scenario.

          Unless takeovers happen as a result of a continuous process (a lengthy one) whereby ordinary people have been incrementally assuming control of their workplaces, communities and resources. Then the role and perceived legitimacy of the state would already have been diminished and so a backlash might not occur.

          Nationalisation is another matter altogether and one which seems fairly easy to execute (Venezuela has nationalised US interests without too much bother)

          But regardless, my point is that the position adopted by much of the left is untenable. As Dave suggests (above), the reaction has been emotive and is essentially seeing many on the left adopt or condone a position that is against the interests of us all insofar as their stated position favours the interests of one or other elite.

          My position isn’t to say ‘abandon it all to who-ever’ but to suggest that those of the left adopt a position that offers consistency and that is in tune with future aspirations. As I said, I simply don’t see that the identity or nationality of an owner will matter much when it comes down to it. Meanwhile the jingoism on display over the Crafar sale is, from a left perspective, a retrograde step.

          • Puddleglum 9.1.1.1.1

            I honestly don’t see it as being any more problematic for people to take control over foreign owned resources as opposed to taking control of domestically owned ones. The existing domestic state apparatus ain’t going to just sit back and twiddle its thumbs in either scenario.

            Well, I don’t know. I’ve always thought that the greater power you’re fighting the greater the problem. But maybe not – maybe any power greater than one’s own is equally problematic.

            And it’s one thing to have one state’s apparatus (your own) wielded against you. It’s quite another to have the state apparatuses of more than one state (including more powerful states with more powerful/extensive covert agencies, institutions and the like) weighing in against you.

            Nationalisation is another matter altogether and one which seems fairly easy to execute (Venezuela has nationalised US interests without too much bother)

            Venezuela has actually had quite a bit of ‘bother’ by following the track it has. There was a coup, supported and perhaps even instigated/facilitated by US agencies. There has been consistent attempts to attack it diplomatically, economically, discursively (in the media) and covertly. Frankly, the only reason a more direct response from the US has not happened is probably a calculation based on potential massive disruption to an important supply of oil and the highly mobilised and active support for the Venezuelan government amongst the population.

            I can’t see how New Zealand (or its population) could hold out in the way that Venezuela has to such attacks. 

            But regardless, my point is that the position adopted by much of the left is untenable. As Dave suggests (above), the reaction has been emotive and is essentially seeing many on the left adopt or condone a position that is against the interests of us all insofar as their stated position favours the interests of one or other elite.

            I’m not sure what you mean by ‘untenable’. Do you mean ‘inconsistent’ or ‘incoherent’? Given the opposition in the general population to land sales to overseas investors, a position in line with that surely cannot be called electorally or politically ‘untenable’.

            As for the reaction being ‘emotive’, that, in itself, doesn’t mean its wrong. Accusations of emotionality are often as not attempts to undermine a position without addressing it. I could call Dave Brown’s reaction ‘emotive’, too. Does that mean his position is flawed? Of course it doesn’t.

            You say that those on the left who oppose foreign ownership are, therefore, condoning a position that is “against the interests of us all insofar as their stated position favours the interests of one or other elite“.

            But this comment just restates your view – it ‘begs the question’ of whether or not opposing foreign ownership is, in fact, “against the interests of us all” just because it might, in the short term, favour the “interests of one or other elite”.

            What I tried to argue was that, compared with the position of ‘a pox on all private ownership’, it actually stands a better chance of furthering the “interests of us all” because, using the public sentiment in evidence, it expresses and manifests an attitude that is actually against the idea of the absolute privilege of capital. It involves, in effect, supporting the diminution of the sovereign domain of capital. I think that’s a good thing and provides a platform to work from to diminish public support for the interests of capital even further.

            To that extent I see it as being fully consistent and “in tune with future aspirations”, as you put it. When you aspire for something, you work out a way of getting there and follow that path – don’t you?

            In the future, I would like to see human work and ‘resource use’ operate via a thoroughly democratic process. I can’t see how having ownership of those resources concentrating into fewer and fewer hands (which is what happens, on a global scale, when international capital is given free access to all countries) would get us closer to that goal.

            How is letting more and more power and wealth concentrate in fewer and fewer hands a “consistent position” or “in tune with future aspirations”? Opposition to foreign ownership does not entail acceptance of local ownership, does it? The most it entails is the belief that – in relation to “future aspirations” – having local ownership rather than foreign ownership is a shorter route to the intended goal.

            Are you simply talking about some notion of ideological purity and communicative honesty rather than a position that is, in reality, most likely to be consistent with left goals, in practice? That’s the only way I can understand your comment there. If so, then I agree. The left should be honest about why it opposes foreign ownership and not resort to ‘jingoistic’ soundbites about ‘New Zealand’, as if it were some kind of transcendent entity (which, sadly, it isn’t).

            I, for example, would say that I oppose foreign ownership because a greater degree of foreign ownership makes it less likely for the success of initiatives to establish democratic control of work and resource use. That position is also why I’m not a fan of free trade agreements.

            So far as I can see, cast in that way, opposition to foreign ownership is perfectly ‘tenable’ for a left winger.

            I also still can’t see how you could believe that a ‘small time’ capitalist is just as formidable a foe as capitalists who have honed their competitive instincts in far bigger pools. I just don’t get how you seem to see all capitalists as equally powerful – which, surely, is implicit in your claim that “the identity or nationality of an owner will [not] matter much when it comes down to it“. I think the power of an owner matters greatly.
            BTW, this is a very good discussion – it’s made me think through why I oppose foreign ownership. I honestly don’t have the remotest jingoistic inclinations and I cannot raise a nationalist sentiment for the life of me.

            My opposition to foreign ownership is just a variation on why I will always go in to bat for a locally owned shop in my neighbourhood rather than a national or international company setting up shop. I have more influence over the local shopowner – who is, inevitably, more socially embedded and regulated – than I could possible have over the bigger company.

            • Bill 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Just noticed your comment PG. But it’s late, I’m tired and the comment is long and involved, so I’ll come back to it tomorrow

            • Bill 9.1.1.1.1.2

              Well, I don’t know. I’ve always thought that the greater power you’re fighting the greater the problem. But maybe not – maybe any power greater than one’s own is equally problematic.

              Maybe, just maybe it can be advantageous to be up against a state that a group in some circumstances. It depends on the likely-hood of your opponents using lethal force. So I can imagine some people attempting to take control of a farm (say) and the owner and his goons turning up with guns and happily shooting the shit out of everyone, no questions asked. On the other hand, the state might deploy their police force and enter into ‘negotiations’ while things wind their way through a court process.

              But that’s kind of irrelevant. Like I tried to say before, taking control of stuff is a process. And there is some stuff that would be left alone where the prospect of bringing injury or death to yourself was quite real or likely.

              Attitudes change over time. Taking the state on today would invite disaster. But small scale stuff slips under the radar. Over time, the hope would be that genuine democratic control would develop and spread and eventually become a new norm. At that point, a final step towards full democratic control of everything may be able to take place without inviting a reaction from the state or others. It would be a normal progression that no-one would think to question.

              Bear in mind, that as democratic control establishes itself, progressively less of it’s trade activity takes place within a market context and more of it takes place in a parallel democratic economy (as more ‘stuff’ comes under democratic control and formerly isolated instances of democratic control that were interacting with dedicated market players are able to interact with one another instead). Eventually (it might be hoped), the parallel democratic economy outgrows the market economy and the varioous apparatuses that presently exist to monitor and manage the market economy will have faded in conjunction with the fading of the market economy.

              So the likelyhood of conflict, due to a redressing of the balances of power, although not gone, is diminished.

              I’m not sure what you mean by ‘untenable’. Do you mean ‘inconsistent’ or ‘incoherent’? Given the opposition in the general population to land sales to overseas investors, a position in line with that surely cannot be called electorally or politically ‘untenable’.

              I meant it just follow through to any logical conclusion or lead anywhere. It’s a dead end. Is there a problem with private ownership or just a problem with foreign owners? If the former, then I haven’t seen much evidence of that argument or position. If the latter, then we’re not going to move forward at all and we’re merely invitng ourselves to pin our colours to this or that masters/owners mast. I don’t see much point to that.

              Be against foreign ownership and put up the arguments for that. But there has to be an and…a progression of the argument to question ownership in a more general sense or, like I say, there is no or little point to it all.

              What I tried to argue was that, compared with the position of ‘a pox on all private ownership’, it actually stands a better chance of furthering the “interests of us all” because, using the public sentiment in evidence, it expresses and manifests an attitude that is actually against the idea of the absolute privilege of capital. It involves, in effect, supporting the diminution of the sovereign domain of capital. I think that’s a good thing and provides a platform to work from to diminish public support for the interests of capital even further.

              I’m not convinced that the ‘public sentiment in evidence’ has got much at all to do with capital, and view it more as a manifestation of anti-Chinese sentiments. (I put a comment up down the botom of the thread that touches on that [comment 31]

              To that extent I see it as being fully consistent and “in tune with future aspirations”, as you put it. When you aspire for something, you work out a way of getting there and follow that path – don’t you?

              I think the problem I have here and in the couple of paras that followed, is that ‘supporting’ domestic ownership over foreign ownership is a circuitous path to the goal we’re considering. It’s an unnecessary distraction (from my perspective) because, as I’ve said, I don’t think that who the private owner is matters in relation to the goal being achieved. I could be wrong. But I just don’t see what difference it makes in the end. The conditions will be favourable on the same time scale regardless of the interum owners…that is, if the conditions will ever be favourable at all. Does it make a difference to perception if the idea of a growing parallel economy, rather than some ‘taking over’ of the present economy, is the focus?

              My opposition to foreign ownership is just a variation on why I will always go in to bat for a locally owned shop in my neighbourhood rather than a national or international company setting up shop. I have more influence over the local shopowner – who is, inevitably, more socially embedded and regulated – than I could possible have over the bigger company.

              I don’t know that the comparison works on the two different levels you suggest. The local shop keeper can be engaged directly by you in conversation and, like you say, they are socially embedded, ie an integral and connected part of the local community. But larger businesses, whether domestic or foreign, are disconnected and therefore ‘out of reach’. So again, within the context of what we are discussing here; remote is remote. And I just can’t see how there is some form of remote that is better or more advantageous in the scheme of things than some other form of remote. Again. It’s not as though anyone would have to be negotiated with. Some will have faded and the resources they currently control will have gone too. Others will have faded but the resources they currently control will be in tact and available for use by the parallel (newly dominant?) economy.

              • vto

                “I’m not convinced that the ‘public sentiment in evidence’ has got much at all to do with capital, and view it more as a manifestation of anti-Chinese sentiments. (I put a comment up down the botom of the thread that touches on that [comment 31]”

                But as other have posted Bill, you have provided no evidence of this from this site or similar, despite there being plenty of evidence of the opposite of your “view”.

                There is no evidence to support your view.

              • Thanks Bill. That makes a lot of sense.

                And I see we agree that probably the best way forward is from efforts to claim more and more resources (e.g., land) for cooperative ownership and democratic control.

                The point about ‘remoteness’ is an interesting one. Size of supposedly ‘interconnected’ groups has always been an issue for the left, since the connections it tends to emphasise are ones based on human solidarity rather than formal ‘contractual’ interactions.

                There’s that popularised research by Robin Dunbar (a Scot, btw) about 148 people being the limit to relationships based on trust and obligation.

                If you read the book he also argues that you can start with an intimate circle of around 3-4 people and then keep multiplying by three to get other forms of natural groupings that serve different social purposes (Think sports teams, class sizes, etc.). He reckons it stops at around about 4500 for any remotely human social form.

      • Zetetic 9.1.2

        We could talk about the problems with private property and capitalism all day. But it’s a bit like discussing how cool it would be to have flying cars when the real question is whether to take the bus or drive to work.

        • Bill 9.1.2.1

          No. It would like discussing the merits of different ownership/control models being applied to the buses, cars and workplaces; not fantasising about flying cars.

  10. Wayne 10

    Come on.

    No one can provide a link which says this group is funded by the Chinese government.

    Are you saying that investment from any Chinese investor in the future should be rejected out of hand, simply on the suspicion that they are a front for the Chinese government?

    Whereas investment from Western sources get a free pass?

    Is that what Labour is proposing?

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Wow Wayne you really are being deliberately ignorant.

      Are you saying that investment from any Chinese investor in the future should be rejected out of hand, simply on the suspicion that they are a front for the Chinese government?

      The OIO doing its job properly would be a good start :)

    • DH 10.2

      It’s obviously nigh impossible to prove it since it’s not something the Chinese Govt would ever admit to but it is widely accepted that they are backing the likes of Pengxin with cheap capital. This article here has a bit about it;

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/6315003/Crunch-time-in-Crafar-farms-saga

      Notable comments;

      “Investigations into Pengxin are believed to have shown it to be a reputable trader with access to cheap credit from the Chinese Government.

      “They’re not a Mickey Mouse outfit. What they’re doing is, without any question, advancing Chinese Government policy,” a source familiar with the company said. “

      • Wayne 10.2.1

        hahahaa….rumours and conjecture feeding on rumours on conjecture.

        John Hartevelt probably got those quotes off the standard! for all we know.

        But practically speaking.

        Should it be spelt out to the OIO in future that all Chinese bids should be treated differently from bids from Western countries because of this?

        That is what this government needs to be upfront about and tell the Chinese that they will be treated differently from British and Americans. In this way a both sides will not be wasting their time.

        Is this what you want?

        • Colonial Viper 10.2.1.1

          Wayne, how does it feel to be working against your fellow NZers? And against the economic interests of your own children and grandchildren?

          • Wayne 10.2.1.1.1

            Wayne, how does it feel to be working against your fellow NZers?

            So you think stopping foreign investment in NZ, and trashing our trade relationship with China will be working for the interests of NZ?

            The facts to the Chinese are this. After hundreds of thousands of hectares have already been sold off to non-Asian buyers, the first Chinese buyer appears, and the goal-posts shift.

            Labour sold off hundreds of thousands of hectares and Colonial Viper never complained about this once. Colonial Viper, and Labour, must then have also been working against the interests of NZ, using his own logic.

            Regardless of the rights and wrongs of foreign ownership of land, how do you think that will be seen by not only Chinese investors, but any potential non-white investor?

            • KJT 10.2.1.1.1.1

              You are wrong saying we never complained about it.
              It just did not get into the papers.

            • Draco T Bastard 10.2.1.1.1.2

              So you think stopping foreign investment in NZ, and trashing our trade relationship with China will be working for the interests of NZ?

              Yes.

              Labour sold off hundreds of thousands of hectares…

              Labour were wrong – they have admitted this (although only partially).

              Regardless of the rights and wrongs of foreign ownership of land, how do you think that will be seen by not only Chinese investors, but any potential non-white investor?

              Who gives a fuck? We need to stop selling of NZ now before we become serfs.

              • Bill

                DtB. In relation to land we are serfs! And we have been for quite some time. No. I take that back. Even a serf has some right of access and some right to work or use land. What access rights do you or I have to land for productive purposes? None.

                Just for the hell of it, contrast that with China, where the ‘proletarialized’ peasants have (so far) maintained their land rights. Y’know, when they have been ground down by the working conditions in the industrial zones, they can at least go back to the strip of land that they (their family) has an absolute right to.

                • That would be good.

                  Does Shanghai Pengxin plan to do that for New Zealand workers through the Crafar farms?

                • mikesh

                  We have the right to purchase NZ land if we have the money.

                  Having said that, I believe that all NZ land is owned by its citizens jointly and that if we recognize private ownership then such private ownership is subject to that proviso. This, I believe, is what underlies the state’s right of compulsory purchase (for public works), and also gives us the right to not allow “owners” to sell land to overseas buyers whoever they might be.

            • Jackal 10.2.1.1.1.3

              Let’s just suppose for a second that there is no evidence of a link between Pengxin Group and the Chinese government (which there is). Why then do you suppose that Milk New Zealand’s application to by Crafar farms included a threat concerning trade with China?

              The goal posts have not shifted because the Overseas Investment Act 2005 has not changed. National were playing in the wrong direction.

            • Colonial Viper 10.2.1.1.1.4

              The Chinese would never sell their farm land or power stations to NZ.

            • Hateatea 10.2.1.1.1.5

              Some of us have been complaining since 1848 only no one listened then either!

        • DH 10.2.1.2

          Ah yes, the reply I expected. As I said, it’s nigh on impossible to prove because it would be tantamount to a sovereign nation undermining our financial markets and China knows that. The cost of funding is how assets are valued, China certainly isn’t going to admit to backing their own with cheap credit.

          The fact that only the Chinese offered 20% higher than everyone else should suggest to you that something isn’t quite right. But let’s not pretend here, you’re not even slightly interested in rational discourse. You’re here to troll.

    • KJT 10.3

      One. This is not a Labour only site.
      Two. Many on this site have been opposing selling of assets and land for decades.
      Three. It is only coming to light against China, because these are the first land sales to get much MSM publicity, and the RWNJ’s are screaming xenophobia to silence the opposition.
      Four. If the MSM had been doing their jobs they would have raised the issue of land sales to the US, UK and other offshore corporates before.

    • Foreign Waka 10.4

      Wayne, China will need resources that feed an every increasing population in the next decade. They do recognize that this is their biggest vulnerability as distribution of wealth is very uneven and a great many people could be affected by lack of basics-as it is becoming apparent already. This in turn creates instability. Politically, it will have an impact how the government will work to eliminate risks of such nature as to endanger the current structure. The buying of farmland elsewhere (NZ in that case) is just part of that strategic plan.The people of this country are of no concern to the Chinese Government or its private enterprise alleys. As this sounds all reasonable and well, for the people living in this country it is important that they maintain there independence and sustainability in REAL terms. Whilst we should be sticking to our philosophy of giving everybody a fair go and share food – the land itself should not be sold. Leased perhaps, with stipulations of ROI for NZ – but not sold. You cannot sell your country to the highest bidders and change the fortunes of your own people making them the recipients of the misfortune avoided by that other party.
      You can find an interesting read here: http://www.duke.edu/web/pass/pdf/warpeaceconf/p-wang.pdf

  11. Wayne 11

    Pengxin’s links to the Chinese government are well known – you don’t become a major public works builder and you certainly don’t become a major farmer given that all land in China is publicly owned without strong government links

    Really? You seem a bit of an expert on the inner workings of China.

    How about Fonterra. They own farms in South America. Does Fonterra have strong government links to the NZ govt?

    And how about the strong government links of almost every American multinational you can think of. The huge donations of US corporations to US presidential election candidates?

    The US also has a huge history of militarily intervening around the world to secure its resources, and to protect its multinationals. Anyone here heard of the United Fruit Company?

    Should we now reject all Western investment out of hand on account of this, in the same way you wish to reject Chinese investment?

    • mik e 11.1

      geez wayne blame shifting Rod Oram explains what will happen very well, local production will be commoditized and the real profit will be made in china!

      • Wayne 11.1.1

        So I suppose Harvard did not buy vast tracts of forestry land to make a profit?

        Most of the profits from the Harvard sale to to NZ —is that right?

        And if not, where are the 500+ commented threads on the Standard voicing outrage over this?

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1

          How does it feel to be working against the economic interests of your own children and grandchildren? To work against progress in NZers understanding the vital importance of maintaining a strong economic sovereignty?

          • Wayne 11.1.1.1.1

            “To work against progress in NZers understanding the vital importance of maintaining a strong economic sovereignty?”

            Can you show me your posts on contributing to NZers “understanding the vital importance of maintaining a strong economic sovereignty”, when hundreds of thousands of hectares of prime agricultural land were sold to US and European buyers under Labour.

            Also my point from before, which you ignored.

            Should proposed Chinese investment be treated differently from proposed investment from Western sources”?

            YES or NO?

            And if YES, when this is formally conveyed to the Chinese, will this adversely affect our trade relations with China?

            YES or NO?

            • Matt 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Who gives a shit what anyone did before, it’s never too late to be smart.There might even be hope for you. Well probably not.

              • Wayne

                Again. How do we go forward from here?

                Should proposed Chinese investment be treated differently from proposed investment from Western sources (because they are all apparently fronts for the Chinese govt)?

                YES or NO?

                And if YES, when this is formally conveyed to the Chinese, will this adversely affect our trade relations with China?

                YES or NO?

                What do you propose, Colonial Viper?

                • McFlock

                  NO.
                     
                  Which is why the court challenge worked.
                    
                  As to foreign ownership in general, what you wilfully fail to realise is that the Crafar purchase is the big visible hole which made people realise that there’s a gold rush going on, and it’s our gold foreign landbankers are seeking to loot. The only overseas purchase I knew of was Shania Twain buying a single farm in central otago, and that caused a pile of crap when walking tracks were rerouted for privacy, etc. Harvard purchases I hadn’t heard of. But people were already looking at Crafar farms, which seemed to be basic over-leveraging with neglect  and pollution thrown in, so henone buyer walks in to pick up the lot in one gobble, THAT got people’s attention.
                    
                  So maybe we need to tighten the rules for ALL foreign land purchases. Save us doing compulsory purchase orders in 50 years when we’re in an Indian or Irish “people starve while the overseas landloeds export the grain back to England” situation.

                • Jackal

                  What you’re talking about Wayne is limiting the ability of countries to conduct outbound foreign direct investment (OFDI). This is very different to limiting the ability of businesses/governments to purchase land or other strategically important assets without consideration to the effect on and laws of the country where those assets reside.

                  Personally I think China and other countries that are following similar OFDI policy should be treated differently. Just before you start screaming “racist” in my face, please let me explain:

                  China has policy designed to take advantage of countries that have been adversely affected by the global recession. They can achieve this because they had greater growth than most other countries and continue to acquire foreign exchange reserves. In other words they have money to spend while many other countries (including New Zealand) are desperate for that money. Some Western governments are following similar policy.

                  As to your second question, it is stupid! I do not believe there are any Chinese government representatives commenting here who could answer you. Even if there was, and there’s an adverse effect on our trade, China isn’t exactly going to put it up in lights. They will simply look at other ways to invest the approximately $6 billion of OFDI they have available for investments in New Zealand in other ways.

        • felix 11.1.1.2

          I think you’ll find an enormous proportion of the comments in those threads were made by you and a couple of other idiots screaming “racist” because you can’t imagine any reason other than racism that people might not want to be colonised, which says a lot more about you than anyone else.

          • Wayne 11.1.1.2.1

            So now we have been saved from ‘colonisation’ because there is now only 357056 hectares of land in foreign ownership, not 364948 hectares?

            • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.2.1.1

              Zero hectares of prime farms in foreign ownership would be ideal for the economic sovereignty of this country.

            • muzza 11.1.1.2.1.2

              Lets just keep selling shall we Wayne, that way you will have more “scum” to put the boot into!

              You love it!

            • felix 11.1.1.2.1.3

              “…because there is now only 357056 hectares of land in foreign ownership, not 364948 hectares?”

              Yep.

              Should never have let that much be sold in the first place. That’s the bit you’re too fucking thick to get your head around.

            • Hateatea 11.1.1.2.1.4

              Well, I don’t know about anyone else, but I have been colonised enough already, thanks!!

    • KJT 11.2

      Yes. We should be careful about selling any land or assets offshore, especially essential infrastructure.

      I’ve never liked the power US multinationals and Australian banks have been given either.

      Been saying that since the 80′s. Long before the Chinese were in the picture.

  12. Wayne 12

    The essence of the article by James Henderson is Chinese investment is uniquely sinister because (1) all Chinese companies are simply a front for the Chinese govt and (2) all Chinese investment promotes a wider Chinese govt strategy.

    Now assuming both (1) and (2) are true, what should the NZ govt now do? What does Labour propose the govt do?

    Should we or should we not treat Chinese investment differently from investment from the US or Europe? Yes or No?

    And if Yes to the above, when we formally convey this to the Chinese govt, will it or will it not adversely affect our trade relations with China. Yes or No?

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Selling off strategic productive farm land is a bad move Wayne. Thanks for working against your own fellow NZ citizens.

    • felix 12.2

      Oh dear, is that Wayne straight up lying about what James wrote in the post?

      Must be time to change shift at the Chinese embassy.

    • Zetetic 12.3

      We should be careful that any foreign purchase of strategic NZ assets provides a real and substantial gain to New Zealand that we couldn’t provide ourselves.

      You know, like the Court decision said.

    • DH 12.4

      Have you any idea at all how investment works Wayne? You sure don’t show it.

      The interest payments on a loan are funded by the income of the business. When valuing the business as a prospective purchase the income dictates how much interest it can pay. That leads to how much can be borrowed against the business in order to buy it, the amount being dependent on the interest rate available to the borrower.

      If you have access to finance with a lower interest rate than anyone else it means you can pay more for the business because the interest payments will be less & the income can therefore fund a bigger loan to buy the business. Even a horse’s ass should be able to understand that.

      If you read James’s article again he explicitly covers the issue of free or cheap loans. Anyone with access to finance at below market rates has an unassailable commercial advantage over the rest. The fact that the Chinese offers were so much higher than all other offers is very strong circumstantial evidence they have that cheaper funding.

      • Wayne 12.4.1

        So you are arguing that Chinese investment is fundamentally of a different nature from investment from Western sources?

        And that we should treat investment from Chinese multinational companies differently from Western multinational companies?

        Let’s say we agree with all that and the main essence of the article above.

        Obviously it would be very hard to find direct evidence that these Chinese companies are a front for the Chinese government.

        So what we need to do is to have a blanket policy about Chinese investment – that it is rejected out of hand. Whereas Western investment can be given due consideration.

        Is this what you propose?

        • grumpy 12.4.1.1

          Sorry Wayne – you’re wrong.

          NZ companies cannot buy land in China…..obviously the Chinese authorities have thought long and hard about that and decided that policy is in China’s best interests.

          who are we to second guess them?

          • Wayne 12.4.1.1.1

            That New Zealand companies cannot buy land in China is hardly surprising…..because Chinese companies and Chinese people also cannot buy land in China.

            Are you so ignorant not to know that China is a ‘communist’ country, and that one of the biggest aspects of the communist revolution 60 years ago was about private land tenure, which was abolished?

            Or do you want special privileges for New Zealanders in China over and above the average Chinese person? (not that far fetched—it was only little over 60 years ago that Westerners had such privileges -including the right to be exempt from Chinese law –that is a white man could kill a Chinese with utter impunity – in China).

            • Colonial Viper 12.4.1.1.1.1

              …..because Chinese companies and Chinese people also cannot buy land in China.

              Yep, and although there have been changes around the edges, the Chinese Government still sees great benefit in holding communal ownership of Chinese land and power assets on behalf of its citizens. Maybe the NZ Government could learn something there.

        • DH 12.4.1.2

          Well no. We can have a blanket policy on all foreign investment, can’t be seen to be xenophobic can we. The funding issue also applies to any country with interest rates much lower than our own and until we can come up with ways to fix that we’d be best advised to ban all foreigners from buying up our land & squeezing local investors out of the market.

          • Wayne 12.4.1.2.1

            The funding issue also applies to any country with interest rates much lower than our own and until…..

            LOL! Almost the entire developed world, and the fast developing world has interest rates much lower than our own.

            • DH 12.4.1.2.1.1

              Indeed Wayne, and perhaps you’ll start thinking about the difference between a domestic economy and a global economy. NZ investors & business owners are dictated to by our domestic interest rates, which incidentally are heavily influenced by our Govt via the OCR. Some of us aren’t too impressed when our own Govt betrays us in making different rules for foreigners which gives them a commercial advantage we can’t compete against in our own country.

              The only protection we have from foreign carpetbaggers is the risk weighting of our currency, but that ain’t much the cost of hedging is less than 1%. Our export industries are also pretty immune to currency fluctuations for foreign investors because a fall in our dollar leads to higher export prices & greater profits.

    • bbfloyd 12.5

      her we go again…. w w w wayne has need to attract attention to himself , and raise his pulse rate,.. so he drags a perfectly good discussion down into the realms of rank stupidity….usually,, people have grown out of the “why” game by around 8 or 10 years old…..

      it is painfully obvious the you have no interest in the actuality of this issue… you simply wish to engage in old fashioned reactionary stonewalling…. it is painfully obvious that you have no opinions of your own that relate to the real world…..it is painfully obvious that we are, once again the victims of your pathological need to validate what is, in practice, indefensible once the yardstick of common sense and maturity are factored in….

      are you simply a worshipper of whale oil, who happens to own an expensive thesaurus? similar tactics, slightly larger vocabulary….same pointless waste of time…..

  13. Nick K 13

    Gawd the headline is just so funny coming from a left wing blog. I’m surprised you can spell the word *market*.

    • felix 13.1

      There are a few words just below the headline that you might want to have a look at if you get a moment. Love to know what you think about them too.

      • McFlock 13.1.1

        Given that Nick K’s sole contribution to this 84 comment thread was off-topic, I’m not sure that he’s a fancy “read beyond the headlines” kind of guy.

  14. Salsy 14

    Wayne – You sound like a Nat looking for policy advice. We were the 3rd ranked nation in the OECD in the 1960′s, every decade since we have just gone further down the rankings. This was long before we started on the track to neoliberalism – selling strategic assets, offshoring our economy and long before China “emerged”. You are either exceptionally naive or simply another terrified right winger . Either way, like Fran, Key and the OIO – I’ll bet you cant offer an sound arguement as to why selling the Crafar farms to an international buyer would be beneficial to NZ… Come on, give it a go..

    • Wayne 14.1

      You mean our high living standards before the 1970s had nothing to do with preferential treatment given to us by Britain, in respect of our dairy exports?

      And the current decline since then had nothing to do with Britain joining the EEC in the 70s?

      Come on. NZ became rich off being British and was Western imperialism’s beneficiary for well over a century. And she eagerly participated in all the imperialist wars to keep Asians and Africans down. She even sent soldiers to Vietnam to help Uncle Sam.

      Pining for the halcyon days of the 1950s and 60s is basically wishing for a return of the old order where the West dominated the world.

      • KJT 14.1.1

        Being rich was despite Britain. Because they needed our exports and Europe was not interested in their shoddy manufactured goods.

        They tried to pay as little as possible for commodity imports, from around the world, while returning shoddy manufactured goods, and keeping their exchange rate artificially low to benefit their industry. Sound familiar.
        Much of NZ was owned by British companies meaning that a large proportion of the returns went to Britain anyway. Also should sound familiar.

        Leaving us with little, and an economy to rebuild, when they found a cheaper source of food. European countries who were rich enough to pay their farmers to keep their countryside looking nice.
        The same problem the oil producers like Saudi Arabia will have when their oil runs out.

        The town of Thames was a prime example. When the gold mining stopped the town was out of work and bankrupt. The money went to the British “investors”.

        We partially escaped the impoverished fate of most British colonies, along with Australia, by Government investment in our own industries, union power keeping profits and taxes in NZ and Nationalising our banking.

        • Wayne 14.1.1.1

          Oh fucking bullshit…..New Zealand was never treated like India or China or Kenya. New Zealanders benefitted enormously from being part of the empire and New Zealanders were enormously proud of being part of that empire, even calling Britain ‘home’ up until about 20 or 30 years ago.

          Of course, some British elites benefitted from the relationship more than the average peon, but the peon’s did not do too badly either. They did get a small slice of the cake. Indians, Africans and Chinese did not even get crumbs.

          I’m sure part of the desire for a republic on the part of many leftists is their embarassment over NZs association with the British empire and all its crimes. But New Zealand was a beneficiary. Not a victim of Western imperialism. And she continues to prove this by sending troops abroad to help the US and UK fight their wars.

          • McFlock 14.1.1.1.1

            Many of the 4/5 of New Zealanders who were descended from Europeans benefitted enormously from being part of the empire unless they were poor and some of those rich European New Zealanders were enormously proud of being part of that empire, even calling Britain ‘home’ up until about 20 or 30 years ago.

               
            Fixed it for you.

          • mickysavage 14.1.1.1.2

            Um Wayne one thing you have not addressed is the merits of the High Court decision  Justice Miller said that when deciding whether or not to allow a foreign entity to buy sensitive land the correct economic test is does the proposed ownership offer benefits to NZ over and above the benefits which new local ownership would offer.

            Seems perfectly sensible to me.  And not a hint of any sort of xenophobia in the rationale.

            Care to address this? 

            • Wayne 14.1.1.1.2.1

              Actually there could be some sense to this.

              But that is not the real issue. The real issue is the fact the investors are Chinese. This re-interpretation of the rules happens just before the Chinese are about to complete their first purchase, not for the previous hundreds of thousands of acres already sold?

              Come on. Even if you are against these types of sales, and notwithstanding the merit or otherwise of the high court decision, it is highly unlikely that the matter would have even being taken to court had the investors been Lichensteiners or Americans. Even you know this.

              • McFlock

                Nope. The incorrect interpretation of the rules was in favour of the Chinese bid. A competing bidder challenged the ruling in the courts, and the courts found that the rules had not been followed. Your position seems to be that it is racist to expect bids from Chinese capital to follow the same rules as bids from anywhere else.
                  
                But thanks to such a public case, a lot of NZers have been made aware of how much of the country has been quietly sold into overseas interests.

                • Wayne

                  Sorry. But that ‘misinterpretation’ benefitted the American and European owners of the 350000 hectares already snapped up by them. But the re-interpretation (whether or not it is a correct interpretation) applies only when the Chinese come along. And if it was an American investor, and not Chinese bidding for the farms, it is highly unlikely the ruling would even have been challenged.

                  • Um because someone had the money to go to court to check on the interpretation.

                    Wayne I have not seen you before but on this particular issue you have made 25 comments in pretty quick time.  Are you getting paid?

                  • McFlock

                    Of course, if you want to only look at the purchases by “Western” companies that were granted, and ignore all those purchases by Chinese and other Asian countries. But if you look at the list of OIO decisions, it’s not restricted to Europe and North America. 
                        
                    Amazing what google can do. Some interesting reading there.
                     
                     

              • Wayne

                The real issue is the fact the investors are Chinese.

                Um nope.  The real issue is overseas control of our country.  But you have been told this repeatedly yet you still say it.

                Are you being paid by the comment? 

                Even if you are against these types of sales, and notwithstanding the merit or otherwise of the high court decision, it is highly unlikely that the matter would have even being taken to court had the investors been Lichensteiners or Americans.

                Possibly not but I am glad Fay (gulp) did this.  We need to retain control of our lands.  What did Key say about becoming tenants in our own land?

          • RedLogix 14.1.1.1.3

            And she continues to prove this by sending troops abroad to help the US and UK fight their wars.

            Obviously you are not a New Zealander or you would not be making such elementary mistakes about the left in this country, and it’s track record regarding the sending of NZ troops to fight other countries wars.

            • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1.3.1

              Obviously you are not a New Zealander

              And that’s what I’ve been thinking for the last day or so about “Wayne”.

  15. given there is widespread opposition to selling off our country..

    ..would the political climate not be right for a campaign to introduce ‘lease not sell’-legislation..?

    ..(i’m surprised peters isn’t already all over such an idea..)

    ..how hard would it be to sell the concept to nz voters..(and thereby gain serious support..)..

    ..that those not citizens/permanent-residents are welcome to invest here..

    ..but they must just lease the/any land..?

    ..how can that not be a vote-winner/game-changer…?

    ..with both the beauty of simplicity..

    ..and eminently do-able..

    ..what’s not to love..?

    ..phil-at-whoar.

    • another beauty of this approach is that it removes any accusations of racism…

      ..and as far as the bigger-picture/long-term is concerned..

      ..if you need a mental infographic to motivate..

      ..think of a scale new zealand..where the land can be bought..

      ..superimposed on a map of china…where the land/assets cannot be bought..

      ..we will be swallowed with barely a burp…

      ..and yes..this is colonialism/empire-building re-writ..

      ..the chinese are only following in the footsteps of first britain..then america..

      ..of looting their vassal-states…

      ..time to put a stop to it..

      ..and to reclaim control of our future..

      ..i reckon..

      ..eh..?

      ..(and funnily enough..a mass-movement to support ‘lease-not-sell!’ would also give key/nact an ‘out’..

      ..their hands have been tied..

      ..by the will of the people/new zealanders..

      ..once again..what’s not to love..?..

      phil-at-whoar.

  16. vto 16

    “Clearly the Government needs to take independent advice on this ”

    No it doesn’t, it just needs to grow some balls.

  17. Wayne 17

    Again. Should the OIO deem any Chinese investment money to be ‘tainted’ by the Chinese govt by default, and then reject any offer?

    What does Mr James Henderson propose, assuming his claims in his article are correct?

    Because if they are, we surely should be treating the Chinese differently from US and European investors eh?

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 17.1

      I would have no objection to Liu Xiaobo buying land here. In fact I think that would be quite a nice way to protest the issue – let’s buy up land and offer it to Chinese political prisoners.

    • Jackal 17.2

      You presume that the US and European investors have different policy and funding structures to China in terms of their OFDI’s, but provide no clarification? It is equally annoying that you have repeated the same question over and over throughout this thread Wayne.

      Let me just make it clear… the court ruled against the government’s decision not because the Chinese government has vast funding available to spend globally in OFDI, but because National’s interpretation was incorrect. Effectively there was no real benefit to New Zealand shown.

      Let me also highlight a couple of other factors. China has reduced taxes on milk formula and Nestle is building a large milk processing plant in Mongolia. There’s also a beneficial tariff structure between New Zealand and China. Along with a hugely increasing population, all of this is driving demand in China, and thus potential profits for the dairy industry in New Zealand.

      Even though the Milk New Zealand’s bid was higher than the others, the loss in long term profits when the boom will only increase (amongst other things) is not beneficial for New Zealand. It does not make good financial sense, which makes me wonder why National approved it in the first place?

  18. grumpy 18

    I’ll just come out with it – call me xenophobic if you wish

    I DON’T WANT OUR LAND SOLD TO CHINA.

    This does not mean that I oppose selling land to NZ resident chinese – far from it.

    I can buy land in the UK, USA, Australia etc. but not China.

    Seems to me like a no brainer………..

    • Wayne 18.1

      I appreciate your honesty.

      That is good. Most people here are opposed to selling land to CHINA. Not to foreign ownership in general, in spite of what they say. And in fact the article above provides specific reasons why we should fear Chinese investment, over that of investment from other countries.

      That is fine. But we do need to make this clear, in a formal way to the Chinese government.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 18.1.1

        Sure: get your criminal kleptocratic dictatorial mitts off everything, and establish a truth and reconciliation commission, and we can do business. Oh, and tell Liu Xiaobo that his lifestyle block is here whenever you dropkicks let him go.

        • Wayne 18.1.1.1

          Kotahi Tane Huna,

          Assuming from your name that you are of non-Western descent, it is very surprising that you would support someone like Liu Xiaobo. Liu Xiaobo is a fervent supporter of the US and UK in their invasions of Iraq, and most famously has advocated Western imperialism and colonialism as a ‘cure’ for what he sees as China’s woes. This is what he said:

          “(It would take) 300 years of colonialism. In 100 years of colonialism, Hong Kong has changed to what we see today. With China being so big, of course it would take 300 years of colonialism for it to be able to transform into how Hong Kong is today. I have my doubts as to whether 300 years would be enough.”

          Do you approve of these types of people Mr Kotahi Tane Huna?

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 18.1.1.1.1

            Tena rukahu tena, ko Kotahi Tane Huna taku ingoa, a, no Iuropi ahau. Kia ata haere.

          • Hateatea 18.1.1.1.2

            ‘Kotahi Tane Huna,
            Assuming from your name that you are of non-Western descent, it is very surprising that you would support someone like Liu Xiaobo.’

            Please remember the constituent parts of assume and apply them to yourself. The do a simple site search to discover that Kotahi Tane Huna is a fairly new screen nick for a longstanding Standard commenter.

            RAcist as well as dogmatic, Wayne 

      • grumpy 18.1.2

        China economic colonialism is the equivalent of Strip Mining and Drift Netting to the rest of the world.

        What’s your’s is their’s and what’s their’s is their’s too……

        • Wayne 18.1.2.1

          Really?

          Was it not the West which ‘stripped mined’ India and China for well over a century, with gunboats and all?

          Or was it Chinese warships in the Thames shelling London, not British warships in the Pearl River Delta enforcing the opium trade?

          • grumpy 18.1.2.1.1

            So you think it’s payback time eh?

            It may have escaped you but this is New Zealand, not Britain or some other historical colonial power.

            The colonial power today is China and you only need to look at Africa, asia, Europe and the US to see that.

            In my youth I was a member of the PYM (Progressive Youth Movement) headed by – Murray Horton. Even though I am now a capitalist rightie (like the Cassells brothers), I still respect his integrity and his consistent stand on Foreign ownership (especially China).

        • KJT 18.1.2.2

          Just like Britain and the USA. AND they reason why we should not accept the dominance of any of them over our own people.

      • Draco T Bastard 18.1.3

        Most people here are opposed to selling land to CHINA. Not to foreign ownership in general, in spite of what they say.

        Wrong fuckwit and I suggest you stop telling people what they think. People here don’t lie so don’t go around accusing them of it unless you have proof.

        Selling land to foreigners is selling off the economy which is bad for the local populace.

        Is that general enough for you? Is it simple enough for you to get your minuscule mind around?

        • Wayne 18.1.3.1

          Well why the plethora of articles targeting the unique perfidy of the Chinese investors, but very few, if any about Western investors. Why not an article dissecting the benefits or otherwise of the Harvard sale?

          • felix 18.1.3.1.1

            This question, which you have asked many times, has been addressed many times by many different people from many different angles on many different threads, yet you keep asking it as if it hadn’t.

            That’s just straight trolling.

            • Wayne 18.1.3.1.1.1

              Oh come on….the stuff said here by most commentators has also been repeated many times…..I asked a question in response to a comment. The question is pertinent to the comment. So that is not trolling.

              • Kotahi Tane Huna

                What felix is saying is that your question has been asked and answered. To which I will add stop being such a lazy bludger and do your own homework.

          • Foreign Waka 18.1.3.1.2

            Whilst I am not agreeing on the point of selling land to foreigners (regardless of their origin) I do appreciate that you are staying on the issue and don’t descent into the realms of spite. It certainly is a civilized way of keeping a discussion on track.

            • felix 18.1.3.1.2.1

              It might look that way if you took this one thread out of context.

              • Foreign Waka

                We are all living in the same country and it is a good thing to have discussions going about issues like these. Everybody has an opinion and a point of view. This is a good thing! I am learning a lot about the way people are affected by events and matters that seem so “logical” on the onset. It is very difficult to discuss an issue when things become profane. My post reflects what I observed over the whole track of comments. It sometimes looks like a ganging up on one person. So all I like to say is that I appreciate people who keep their cool. :)

                • felix

                  Search his handle and see how he stacks up against your standards then.

                  • Foreign Waka

                    Felix – this is not a personal statement against you. I appreciate that you responded to the same question a number of times. But equally several people were pounding that poor sod and I just felt that there are too many banding together against one person. I don’t set standards, in fact I am not endowed with that much patience that I stay cool all the time. It takes me sometimes some doing to not give someone a tang lashing that the feathers fly.

                    • felix

                      Perhaps “standards” is a bit strong. I was referring to the desirable qualities you describe in your previous comment.

                      Don’t let me stop you taking the cretin at face value based on your experience of him but don’t expect me to play along based on mine.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I just felt that there are too many banding together against one person.

                      Pointing out that someone is wrong and that someone is ignoring what’s being said so that they can push their delusional opinions isn’t “banding together against” him.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Everybody has an opinion and a point of view. This is a good thing!

                  Only when those opinions are based upon facts. When they’re based upon delusion, as RWNJ opinions tend to be, then they need to be ignored as paying attention to them is bad for society.

          • Draco T Bastard 18.1.3.1.3

            Well why the plethora of articles targeting the unique perfidy of the Chinese investors…

            There hasn’t been any such articles – only articles pointing out that foreign ownership of the land will be bad for NZ.

  19. The OIO is hardly a trustworthy source for evaluating foreign investments including China.
    Foreign investors have had virtual open entry into this country since colonisation. I am not aware of any investments being blocked on the basis of concern over repatriation of profits, that is not since this sacred property right of capital was restored by Sir Roger Douglas.

    The question as to whether China has an advantage because of cheap state loans is the main argument of US capitalism stirring up anti-China sentiment as the US finds China becoming a serious rival. Whereas for US workers the main complaint is that the Chinese state is subsidising cheap Chinese labour for US firms like Walmart to steal ‘American jobs’. But of course that is another sacred property right of capital asserted forcefully by neo-liberals.

    More interesting is what China gets out if its foreign investments.

    This is a subject hotly debated in Africa where China has moved in a big way in recent years and is now threatening to displace US and EU powers. The West has responded with charges of Chinese colonialism propping up dictatorships with cheap loans worse than the practices of long standing Western colonisers. lol

    Deborah Brautigam has written extensively on this. eg on the question of eximbank subsidies http://www.chinaafricarealstory.com/2011/12/us-eximbank-versus-china-eximbank.html

    From memory her main findings are that despite appearances (and being late on the scene) China is doing pretty much what Western power have done for years – exploiting raw materials (but less labour) at a price pretty much comparable with the West. That means investing at a similar rate of return as others and being neither more or less ‘imperialistic’ (my word) than the others. In other words China could not expand at the rate its doing without getting ‘value for money’.

    That would figure since they are all capitalist countries and you cannot grow by printing money without causing inflation. So what we have is China emerging as an imperialist power having accumulated surplus capital from the extreme exploitation of labour (alongside the maquiladoras of Japan, Taiwan, US etc in the SEZs) and clever adoption of new technology, which is now being invested in the classic manner of the European and American imperialists before it (including in China), to plunder the resources of the colonial and semi-colonial (and of course rival imperialist) economies to extract super-profits. So what is new?

    NZ is a tiny pawn in this game, for fucks sake we cannot even protect the real kiwis from ravaging dogs. So the only question that should be posed by what passes for the ‘left’ here is how does the NZ working class avoid being dragged by national capitalist chauvinists to fight for one or other imperialist power in the new wars that are looming everywhere?

    The answer to that is not too difficult. Oppose ALL privatisation into the hands of all large capitalist enterprises, most of which are multinationals and backed by one or other imperialist power, including Australia, and demand nationalisation under workers control. Where private firms go bankrupt, do not bail them out, do not subsidise their sale to vulture capitalists of any nationality, but nationalise (socialise actually) without compensation all their assets. All land should be nationalised and land users licensed via leases to produce meeting strict social criteria.

    • Wayne 19.1

      Deborah Brautigam has been mostly quite positive about Chinese investment in Africa, as have been most Africans who are overwhelmingly positive about China’s rising power, in spite of Western media reports to the contrary. Many Western and Asian countries fear China, but in Africa public opinion is surprisingly pro-China. In fact polls show Africans prefer dealing with the Chinese than Europeans and Americans.

      That means investing at a similar rate of return as others and being neither more or less ‘imperialistic’ (my word) than the others.

      True…the focus on China, in spite of this country’s wrongdoings, is rather absurd, given the far greater crimes of the imperialist West. If China is a new imperialist power, they are hardly worse than the US and the UK, who have been looting the world for well over a century and a half.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 19.1.1

        You’ve convinced me: we shouldn’t be selling land to any of them.

      • grumpy 19.1.2

        True, China is well regarded in Africa – but they probably would be after the crap the European powers dished out to Africa for hundreds of years.

        Your point about UK and US colonialism is well made.

    • Foreign Waka 19.2

      The last few sentences reflecting what the Chinese are actually doing. The new wars you are mentioning are already fully in force. Watching the currency war between US and Europe over the last 2 years and their petty fight whilst China has been “buying” the US is quite a story in itself. The force that is being neglected is Russia. If China and Russia combine things will really get heated. Considering the financial problems in Europe which now doubt will benefit the US to prop up their economy for the sake of not being foreclosed by the Chinese, one wonders whether Europe is once more being sacrificed for the sake of the military and economic might of the traditional powers.
      As for NZ – that little fish in the pond of all these rattlings going on – it should retain its land and sovereign power in order to be able to survive this new world order that is unfolding. I am just very surprised that Maori, who have screamed of every rooftop in the last few years are keeping quiet on this so very important issue that symbolizes the future of the country. How many verbal attacks were launched against the “settlers” and the crown and yet – no comment in this case.

      • grumpy 19.2.1

        Very true, there is a much bigger game at play and silly local politics will destroy NZ.

        I agree – keep our resources as long as we can – but eventually someone will take them off us – and they won’t be Maori or Pakeha……

        • Foreign Waka 19.2.1.1

          This, grumpy would be only in two ways, by choice (and this is the issue here) or by war (not necessary in the conventional sense) The question is – will the NZlanders stand their ground?

          • grumpy 19.2.1.1.1

            Mate, those of us who have spent a LOT of time overseas, know that New Zealand is too small and insignificant to withstand either……

            • Foreign Waka 19.2.1.1.1.1

              This maybe true, but we should not give up that easily.

              • grumpy

                The next topic is “who do we align with”. Current policy is with the Western Powers esp. USA. Non-aligned is no option at all.

                What other options China??? russia???

                This is the real issue of our time and one that would no doubt set these pages alight.

                • McFlock

                  Depends on the power structures. Stay with the group or power that can offer enough protection to deter outright hostility, but not powerful enough to screw us without fear of other powers’ responses.
                    
                  Could be worse – at least we’re not a buffer state or key trade choke point. Unless Antarctica gets opened up.
                   

                • Foreign Waka

                  Very difficult question indeed as I have no natural leaning towards China and my experiences with the USA were more of an eye opener than a heart set on fire, that is for sure. I lean towards the mainland European way of life philosophies and the idealist idea of freedom as the forefathers of the USA dreamed about. Of cause this is the luxury thinking of a free western world. So hence my choice would reflect that. Practically speaking NZ may be forced to take sides as we are right on the pacific boundary where east meets west. What side? Depends who blinks first.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The next topic is “who do we align with”.

                  None, we go neutral.

                  know that New Zealand is too small and insignificant to withstand either……

                  Actually, we’re not. We can make it far too expensive for any to invade us. Just need to develop the weapons from our own resources. Britain is smaller than us and yet she ruled the waves for the better part of a century.

                  • Bill

                    Who is the ‘we’ doing the aligning?

                    If it is the nation state fiction of NZ, and the left condones any type of alignment by that entity, then there is no left.

                    I mean, shit, isn’t your natural alignment to/with workers wherever they might happen to be?

                    Just as it makes no sense whatsoever to align yourself with one elite as opposed to another, so it makes no sense to align with one state as opposed to another.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Britain is smaller than us and yet she ruled the waves for the better part of a century.

                    On the back of vast energy resources (coal) which the invaded did not have. Steel, ships, trains, food production and logistics all relied on coal.

                    We can make it far too expensive for any to invade us. Just need to develop the weapons from our own resources.

                    Exactly.

        • Draco T Bastard 19.2.1.2

          but eventually someone will take them off us

          Only if we let them – unfortunately, we seem set on letting them.

    • Wayne 19.3

      If China and Russia combine things will really get heated

      I think that is already starting to happen. They basically vote together on the Security Council, and China’s veto over intervention in Syria was basically in support of Russia, the latter of which more has more important strategic and economic concerns in that country. Both vetoed resolutions against Mugabe in Zimbabwe, also on Burma.

      Both Russia and China, while having their own disagreements, are afraid of a neo-liberal, totalitarian world order which the West is trying to impose on the rest of the world. Their leaders want what the Russian political philosopher Aleksandr Dugin has described as a ‘multi-polar’ world, not a world which they see is simply a toilet for the US, and the decadent post-modern West.

      • grumpy 19.3.1

        Can’t argue with that – you have the Russian attitude off pat – now what about the Chinese?

      • McFlock 19.3.2

        Damn those decadent post-modernists.
         
        Don’t forget India.

      • Foreign Waka 19.3.3

        China’s vote could also be interpreted as a means of keeping the Israelis in check. They seem to have an expansion fever and Syria’s has already lost the Golan heights and the claim is beyond that region (Kingdom of Israel). It is not in the interest of either Russia or China to have the US expanding via Israel.

  20. Bill 20

    Would somebody (anyone) who is advocating land be sold to Kiwi’s but not foreigners on the grounds that it is somehow good for the New Zealand economy (and so by extension, you and me) please point out the benefits that have flowed to us mere mortals via the Capitalist system, courtesy of all those benevolent landowning Kiwis from over the past 150 years or so?

    • McFlock 20.1

      Taxation on profits, plus the greater demand in the local economy that the increased wealth from profit retention creates.

      • grumpy 20.1.1

        As opposed to those foreign owned enterprises who repatriate profits to their homeland (and the benefits from their Transfer Pricing Regimes, so poorly policed by IRD).

      • Bill 20.1.2

        All companies pay the same tax rate regardless of who the owners are, no? And why is it any more likely for a Kiwi owner to invest net profit here as opposed to overseas? And even if the net profit isn’t invested overseas, how does that translate to a increase in the wealth of the general populace?

        • Zetetic 20.1.2.1

          “why is it any more likely for a Kiwi owner to invest net profit here as opposed to overseas”?

          because they have to make a return on the foreign capital they’ve invested. they have to repatriate profits at some point, to pay whoever lent them the money or to pay their shareholders.

          The proof is in the $14b of profits that flow offshore every year.

          foreign-owned companies pay the same corporate rate (with some complications) but the owners don’t pay tax in nz when they get paid dividends as nz owners are.

          • Bill 20.1.2.1.1

            But it would seem reasonable to assume the lender was a foreign financial institution (eg an Australian bank) and that the bulk of shareholders would also be foreign, no? (Or at least have off-shore banking arrangements designed to avoid tax payments)

        • grumpy 20.1.2.2

          Ahah!!!

          But pay tax on what is the issue. Big overseas owned companies make profits out of transfer pricing, charging out for services (IT, finance etc).

          They can easily work things so as to pay their tax in the least rate jurisdiction.

    • Zetetic 20.2

      I know what you’re saying Bill – a capitalist elite is a capitalist elite, whether they’re domestic of foreign. But at least the domestic ones have to live here and so they have some interest in New Zealand as a society, all foreign owners have is an interest in NZ as a source of profit. And at least the profit flows through our community in taxes and the spending of the owners, not into a different economy.

      No-one’s saying that ownership of our assets by domestic elites is optimal but foreign elite ownership is worse.

      • Foreign Waka 20.2.1

        Not sure about this. I know of foreign people who really love NZ and I know of NZlanders who would sell their grandmother to get an advantage. So maybe it should be differentiated between resident or nonresident?

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 20.2.2

        Ownership of our assets by domestic elites may not be optimal but it may be inevitable. Elite artisans will always get more for their product than clumsy imitators. Elite surgeons will always be in demand, as will elite scientists and elite drain layers.

        None of that gives them the right to abandon us lumpen sods who paid for their education and work on their grand schemes.

        • Bill 20.2.2.1

          KTH, why do you accept an elite controling and managing resources; resources that most on this site claim (oddly, to my mind) as belonging to us, ie you and me?

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 20.2.2.1.1

            We all own and control resources – our minds if nothing else. The mind of an elite artisan is going to provide that artisan with better goods for their own personal use – better furniture, for example. I think said artisan also has somewhat of a responsibility to teach apprentices, which in turn implies that she or he will gain control of more resources than simply the ones between her/his ears.

            I’m not making a judgement about whether this is right or wrong – I’m just saying it’s inevitable.

            • Bill 20.2.2.1.1.1

              Personal attributes are an entirely different matter to the natural resources that lie beyond our personal physical make up KTH.

              • Kotahi Tane Huna

                Our personal attributes are natural resources, aswell as having a marked influence on our material circumstances.

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  …the reverse is also true: our material circumstances shape our personal attributes: which is where the obvious argument for greater equality comes in – to make a good life we need a good start.

      • Bill 20.2.3

        Sorry Zet, but all businesses are in the business of making money. The means by which they do so is of secondary importance to them.

        As for the supposed cash benefits to us, the people of the wider community, see my response to McFlock.

  21. Wayne 21

    So hence my choice would reflect that. Practically speaking NZ may be forced to take sides as we are right on the pacific boundary where east meets west.

    Ideology will be relatively unimportant.

    The big issue facing the West over the next few decades is this.

    For well over a century or even two, the lion’s share of the world’s resources were owned and controlled by the West. A Westerner even today, working one hour can buy shitloads more than a Chinese who works one hour, or an Indian or African for an hours work. This is a legacy of Western aggression over the past century and a half.

    Indeed one can see how China and India’s share of world GDP (35% and 25% respectively) plummetted spectacularly after Western economic and military intervention in the early 1800s.

    http://acminc.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/Untitled7.png

    This stranglehold on the resources of Asia and Africa, and the draining of wealth of these two places financed the industrialisation of the West, and helped drive living standards to the levels enjoyed by the West, including New Zealander in the 1950s and 60s.

    However following the era of decolonization, the communist revolution in China of 1949, and the independence of India and many other African and Asian countries, things nowadays are not so simple. From the chart above, you can see the turnaround for Asia and Africa came 60 years ago with decolonization.

    With China and India (and soon Africa) rising, and waning Western dominance, and the 7 billion people on the planet all hankering after a Western standard of living, and more importantly a more level playing field in terms of access to these resources, America, Europe and Australia and New Zealand simply cannot expect the same standard of living of the 1950s and 60s, and even current standards of living, as of right.

    With a level playing field, and equal access to the resources of the world, there simply will not be any reason why a New Zealander working a 40 hour week should have a better standard of living than an Indian working a 40 hour week, or a Chinese or a Nigerian working the same number of hours.

    Eventually, with a fairer distribution of world resources, the average Westerner should enjoy precisely 1/7 billion of the world’s resources, the same as everyone else. Not 10 or twenty times that of the average Chinese or Indian as is now the case.

    So that is the big thing looming for the West over the next century. As the billions of the developing world rise, there could well be a commensurate decline in the living standards of the West. Ideology will be relatively unimportant.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 21.1

      Bullshit. The continued rise in living standards in the developing world is not being accompanied by a matching decline in the developed world. This convergence in living standards has been going on for many decades and simply shows no evidence of the effect you are suggesting.

      • Colonial Viper 21.1.1

        I actually agree with most of what Wayne has to say here. Western living standards and incomes are in severe decline (check out the underemployment rate in the USA for instance, and check out what has happened to Maori and Pasifika median incomes in the last 3 years)

        and the 7 billion people on the planet all hankering after a Western standard of living

        I agree with your inference; this is never going to happen. Peak energy is going to be a powerful leveller.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 21.1.1.1

          “Western”? The distinction is between developed and developing, and the thesis is that lifting the latter necessarily lowers the former, which thesis is proved false by the fact that the evidence shows no sign of the proposed effect.

          Peak Oil is another issue, and may indeed have the effect you say, but Wayne’s notion that developed world living standards can be degraded by the rise in developing world living standards is entirely unsupported.

          Colonial powers have taken material wealth that did not belong to them, but this wealth has been hoarded by the 1%, and has not trickled down to anyone else – labour also creates wealth (especially in the democracies), and that does not trickle back down much either these days.

          In any case I’m not convinced that Wayne believes a word he’s saying.

          • Jackal 21.1.1.1.1

            Sadly the current global economic systems is still built on feudalism. The effect of which is a few becoming wealthy at the expense of the many. In some respects I’m glad our biased media isn’t going to be covering the predictable catastrophe.

            Peak oil is the main issue. Just because China has recovered from the global recession faster and buys up land all over the world to meet its demand for resources and sustenance doesn’t make it good economic policy. Suddenly a reduction in cheap transportation makes the investment not so worthwhile. Bang! Increased environmental destruction eats into efficiency and profit margins. China is giving peak oil and climate change as much consideration as the US and is just as susceptible to its effects.

            Wayne is about as believable as trickle down theory.

            • Colonial Viper 21.1.1.1.1.1

              Suddenly a reduction in cheap transportation makes the investment not so worthwhile. Bang! Increased environmental destruction eats into efficiency and profit margins. China is giving peak oil and climate change as much consideration as the US and is just as susceptible to its effects.

              China needs to feed its people. And because it does not follow the western model of capitalism, it will be happy to do so at a financial loss if that is what is required in order to maintain political stability (read: in order for its rulers to maintain a grip on power).

              Hence access to food is the most important factor, with financial cost a distant second. Put another way; even if shipping milk to China from NZ becomes so expensive that it loses China money at a rapid rate, they’ll still likely do it because the milk is more important than the money.

              And trust me. China is giving peak oil plenty of attention, from the senior leadership right through to the academics and policy advisors.

          • Lanthanide 21.1.1.1.2

            Wayne’s making a prediction based on the current inertia.

            In a world with infinite resources then it might be possible to raise developing countries up to the standards of developed countries without lowering the standards in the developed countries. We do not live in such a world, however.

            Furthermore, the developed countries are doing a good job of bringing themselves down anyway, due to over-consumption of resources and disregard for the environment. That’s because you even mention peak oil (which if we’d started mitigating against 20 years ago, as we were perfectly capable of doing, may not have been a big deal at all – but we chose not to).

            • Kotahi Tane Huna 21.1.1.1.2.1

              If improved circumstances in developing nations could degrade circumstances in developed nations, we would see evidence of this. Where is it? Life expectancy (and living standards in general) in China improved massively over the 20thC – where is the associated fall in living standards elsewhere predicted by the hypothesis? Answer, it doesn’t exist, because the premise is nothing but a dog whistle.

              Look at it another way – while life expectancy etc in the developed world was improving, if the premise is correct, we would see diminishing life expectancy everywhere else – but the reverse is true – the developing world improved at the same time – albeit more slowly.

              • Carol

                What about the differences in life expectancy between sections of the population within developed countries? Given the increasing wealth/income gap in developed countries I would expect an increase in the life expectancy gap within developed countries.

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  These are purely internal factors. Countries with competent economic managers will not experience them.

              • Jackal

                Sure life expectancies have been increasing worldwide, but infertility rates have been increasing dramatically, worldwide fish stocks according to some research have fallen by 90% between 1952 – 2012 (OECD says fish landings have fallen 25% between 1995 – 2007), CO2 emissions are off the charts, crime rates in some countries have increased dramatically, an increase in obesity and a reduction in renewable freshwater resources by 21% between 1992 – 2009 make the premise of Lanthanides argument highly valid. Perhaps you might like to let us know how long life expectancy will continue to increase without enough fish to eat and fresh water to drink Kotahi Tane Huna?

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  Perhaps you would care to read the thread and recognise that I am arguing against Wayne’s dog whistle, not Lanthanide’s premise, nor yours, which are entirely irrelevant to the notion that improving one country degrades another.

                  Do I really have to spell it out again?

                  • Jackal

                    No! You replied to Lanthanide, not Wayne. Clearly improving living standards in one country by gaining majority shares over the worlds resources can and does in some instances degrade the living standards in other countries. If you do not understand that the information above is relevant and shows this, there’s no helping you.

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      If you do not understand that me saying “I am arguing against Wayne’s dog whistle, not Lanthanide’s premise, nor yours,” means that I am not arguing against Lanthanide’s premise or yours, there’s no helping you either, so that makes two of us.

                      However, despite the reasonable sounding nature of your last comment, material living standards and life expectancy did improve across the globe over the last one-hundred years. A more even distribution would have been fairer, but there’s no getting away from the fact that everyone’s doing better, or that the premise that advancing one country can degrade another is undermined by observations which merely show different rates of improvement.

                      If you want to think that means I’m in denial of peak oil, go for your life, but don’t expect me to humour you.

                    • Jackal

                      It would appear to the reader that you were replying to Lanthanide and not Wayne’s simplistic generalizations. Let me explain how the site works: There is a reply button after a comment. When you click on that reply button, it means you are replying to the comment where that reply button is located. You clicked on Lanthanides comment @ 11:01 PM, not Wayne’s comment @ 8:05 PM.

                      I am sure you can accept that New Zealand is one of the largest exporters of milk products in the world. Presently there is huge worldwide demand for milk products, which has driven up local prices. This means that New Zealander’s are paying more for their milk than the local market would set. As there is no economic management to rectify the situation, this example shows that there is a detrimental effect to New Zealander’s because China (amongst other countries) has an insatiable appetite. In this example, their growing consumerism has lowered our living standards.

                      I’m presuming you accept that having less money and purchasing power lowers living standards?

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      Presume all you want, I was just pointing out that Wayne’s thesis doesn’t hold water.

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      “having less money and purchasing power lowers living standards”

                      I agree. But New Zealand hasn’t got “less purchasing power” – we keep hearing about how the wealthiest keep getting even wealthier, for example, and the strong dollar. We are suffering from lower levels of equality, certainly, but that is an internal matter which is unrelated to GDP – unless The Spirit Level et al have it all wrong ;)

                      “improving living standards in one country by gaining majority shares over the worlds resources can and does in some instances degrade the living standards in other countries.”

                      Yes, that sounds right, but as I said, over the last hundred plus years (and more if Pinker is to be believed) global living standards have improved everywhere. That is the fact of the matter. The Spanish ‘flu and the two world wars had a huge impact, but nonetheless things got better overall (thanks to Socialism). The improvement has partly come on the back of fossil fuels, unfortunately, and as we know, the future is now uncertain in new character-building ways.

                      The best standard of living in the world is in Scandinavia – I may be wrong but they’re not exactly noted for empire building, well, not for a while, anyway. Even counting Viking raiders I doubt they stole anything like as much as the Brits and the Yanks, but who has the better place to live right now?

    • RedLogix 21.2

      Not been paying any attention have you Wayne. That’s more or less exactly what the left .. and more particularly the Greens … have been saying for some decades.

      In fact if you knew anything other than the racist poison you’ve swallowed uncritically…. you’d know that there are not enough resources on the planet to sustain anything like 7b people in the manner to which they have become accustomed to aspiring to. The left has known that for ages; the logic is inexorable… business as usual cannot be sustained. The future must be utterly different to the past.

      You’ve spent weeks here ranting about Western colonial history, oblivious that in the deeper historic context it was but one relatively brief episode, a mere 300 years or so, compared to empires of earlier times such as the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Islamic, Han, Mayan… and so on.. many of which lasted almost a 1000 years or more.

      There was nothing fundamentally peculiar about history of Western colonialism…. apart perhaps from it’s remarkable global scope… thank mainly due to it’s navies and the technical ability to maintain accurate navigation. Otherwise the inherent logic of conquest was the same, subjugate a territory and export it’s resources back home for the benefit of the privileged and powerful elites.

      Moreover in the moral context of the times, Western imperialism was a mostly acceptable logic. As with all empire it was fundamentally racist, unjust and exploitative. Extremes of wealth and poverty are endemic throughout their territories, including even their home country. Politicial power in whatever form is concentrated into the hands of tiny elite…. the only thing that varied much was the degree of cruelty and degradation of the ordinary population. This was how the world was and what people believed was normal.

      If you imagine that the future is more empire, a neo-Han hegemony if you will… then you envisage nothing more than a repeat of the same vicious cycle of history. The left have something else altogether different in mind…. something I think you really have no idea about.

      • Wayne 21.2.1

        Redlogix has said basically nothing. Apart from a weak apologetic for Western colonialism, you throw up a ridiculous strawman…that I am for a neo-Han hegemony?

        Where the fuck did you get that from….did you pull it out of your ass?

        And surely the world would be a better place with China, India, Russia, and Africa on the block as major players to counter what is the reality now–Western, particularly US hegemony?

        • McFlock 21.2.1.1

          Indian, maybe. I would prefer major powers that have a tradition of at least domestic democracy and pretensions of freedom. Pushing shit uphill, yes, but China and Russia are not exactly the “balance” in a direction that’s good for the planet.

          • Wayne 21.2.1.1.1

            I think that the idea that all powers, all countries, and all peoples should adopt the same idea and interpretation of ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ are rather dangerous. In fact it is the main justification, but not motivator, for Western imperialism all over the globe.

            To each their own. Different systems for different folk. If Iranians want a theocratic Islamic republic that is great. If North Koreans love their Dear Leader and Juche, that is also great. If Chinese are happy with socialism with Chinese characteristics – great. If Saudi Arabians stop women from driving –that is also cool.

            The fact is the Chinese have a system which has worked spectacularly well for them. That is enough. If they jail dissidents, or even execute them, that should be no business of anyone else. As long as they don’t push their ways onto others.

            That is why African leaders prefer the Chinese in Africa over Westerners. The Chinese tend to mind their own business – and stick to business.

            • McFlock 21.2.1.1.1.1

              If they jail dissidents, or even execute them, that should be no business of anyone else. As long as they don’t push their ways onto others.
                  
              Seriously? Nice doublethink.
               
               

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 21.2.1.2

          It was neither weak nor apologetic. It was explanatory within the limited confines of a blog comment.

          On the other hand your comment is on the block as a major player to counter the Redlogix hegemony. You betcha.

        • RedLogix 21.2.1.3

          Until about 150 years ago, empire was the accepted nature of the world. Do you really want me to give you a list in rough chronological order in order to make my point?

          Historically of course the subjugated peoples never liked it… but the normative response was to either collaborate or rebel (usually with futile and tragic outcomes). But few challenged the logic of empire, it was either conqueor or be vanquished.

          I’m not justifying it, merely pointing out the reality.

          And surely the world would be a better place with China, India, Russia, and Africa on the block as major players to counter what is the reality now

          And given that the Chinese would inexorably be the dominant players in your scenario… I think the phrase ‘neo-Han hegemony’ is quite apt. Don’t you?

          • Wayne 21.2.1.3.1

            Until about 150 years ago, empire was the nature of the world

            A rather ridiculous statement. You mean the scramble for Africa, the boxer intervention, the Belgian Congo had nothing to do with ‘empire’?

            Empire is still the dominant narrative. The US and Europe still account for an overwhelming proportion of world GDP. Western economic and cultural influence around the world vastly outstrips Chinese influence. The Chinese are not projected, at current rates of growth to even pull level, in per capita terms, with the US until 2050. And their share of world GDP would then still be less than it was in 1820.

            At the moment about five to 10 percent of the world’s population, the white part, commands most of the resources of the world, and contributes the most to polluting the world—to the detriment of poor Africans, Asians, and even those in the Pacific Islands.

            Look at the permanent members of the UN security council. All Western powers except China (Russia perhaps semi-Western). Hegemony you say?

            Why not replace Britain with Indonesia, France with India? That would make things a little fairer.

            Perhaps the real reason why many Westerners are worried is not because of actual Chinese hegemony. What they find disturbing is the thought that the West will not be calling all the shots. That the playing field will be more level than before.

            Africans on the other hand, overwhelmingly welcome the rise of China, precisely because China is a non-white counterbalance to actual Western hegemony.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna 21.2.1.3.1.1

              “Perhaps the real reason why many Westerners are worried is not because of actual Chinese hegemony. What they find disturbing is the thought that the West will not be calling all the shots. That the playing field will be more level than before.”

              …and perhaps it isn’t. How about you cite some evidence to support the claim that you have the first clue what “many Westerners” are thinking.

            • McFlock 21.2.1.3.1.2

              Actually, i do agree that there should be alterations to the structure of the UN security Council – certainly no veto. But then it’s a snapshot of geopolitics 60 years ago.
                 
              Empire is no longer thecurrent narrative. The current narrative is now “spheres of influence”, not “spheres of dominance”. That s why e.g. sub-Saharan nations can choose whom to accept aid from, and whom to align themselves with. The decision is no longer overtly militarily imposed. Covert is another matter, but then the Chinese don’t have clean hands there, either.

              • Kotahi Tane Huna

                “Covert is another matter, but then the Chinese don’t have clean hands there, either.”

                “to remain in ignorance of the enemy’s condition simply because one grudges the outlay of a hundred ounces of silver in honours and emoluments, is the height of inhumanity.”

            • RedLogix 21.2.1.3.1.3

              Really Wayne… you keep misreading everything. Moreover the kind of mistakes you keep making reveal a very patchy knowledge of Western history.

              For while you have a grasp of the gross outlines; you miss other important inner details. Very roughly in the mid-1800′s there was a rather profound inner shift in the Western world; the very dramatic rise in the scope of the sciences and engineering, the astounding movement to abolish slavery in the English empire, the origination of the various socialist movements and unionism in response to the degradations of the working peoples, the movement to gain women the vote, the advent of universal education, the temperance movement, the consciencious objectors to war, the early beginnings of various ‘race unity’ movements, the idea of a universal language… and tellingly in the context of this discussion… the first stirrings of the universalist idea. The idea that the peoples of the earth were all equal. And this just a brief list.

              From within that framework, the idea of empire itself was for the first time challenged. The end of WW2 saw the founding of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. By the time of the Vietnam war even the middle-classes were no longer prepared to see their sons sent to fight imperialist wars; and in case you hadn’t noticed the invasion of Iraq triggered world-wide protests on an unprecedented scale.

              What you have completely missed is the liberalising and progressive achievments in the Western world (largely absent elsewhere I should add) … for the large part victories hard won by left wing socialist parties. Gone are the absolutist monarchies, the overwheening dead-hand of Church hierarchies, the cringing deferrence to ‘class’, women are no longer mere chattels or ‘weaker creatures’, disability is no longer a shameful family secret, and even sexuality is far more openly discussed and understood than at any time in human history.

              Does this mean we live in a perfect world? Hell no. We got rid of the aristocratic masters only to have them replaced by bankers and their parasites. We got rid of the dead Churches and substituted a dead consumerist materialism. We let machines take away not just the drudgery, but we let them cart away much of our life-awareness and vitality. Oh yes we still have battles left to fight.

              Because while it suits your polemic to paint all Westerners as racist imperialist bastards, “the world would be a better place if all Americans were dead” to quote you from a week or so ago… such a blind, generalised hatred is of course the very definition of racism itself. While at the same time stinking of smug superiority and arrogance yourself.

                • RedLogix

                  Thanks for that McFlock.. I made a half-arsed attempt to search for it myself but came up empty-handed.

                • Bill

                  A bit of context? He said that in relation to the carbon footprint of the US. Could have been put better, but the intent was clearly to the effect that if the footprint of the US was eradicated, it would be a blessing to the world.

              • Wayne

                You are wrong here. Those internal movements did not amount to much for the vast majority of people around the world. It was the 1917 October Revolution which changed the world.

                Without the October Revolution and the astonishing rise of the Soviet Union, which acted as a bulwark for the world’s oppressed, the world would still be completely owned and dominated by the West, as it was 100 years ago. It was Lenin who 100 years ago condemned imperialism and provided a scientific way for the oppressed nations to liberate themselves. This while the political antcedents of the Western ruling classes today, thought of non-white people as little better than vermin ripe for extermination ala the Phillipine American war, the Hereros, the suppression of Boxers.

                And it was the Soviet Union which was the first ‘Western’ country to renounce colonial privileges in China. It was the Soviet Union which saved the world, including the capitalist West, from fascism.

                The US communist party admitted black members as equals long before the Democrats. The South African communist party (after a rather unfortunate start), played a key role in the anti-apartheid movement.

                Almost every anti-imperialist movement in Asia, Africa, and Latin America was Marxist Leninist inspired or supported. They found their inspiration in Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao. Not in the British Labour Party, or their various pathetic social democratic imitations around the Anglo-sphere.

                And we can see the unreliability of so called Labour governments. Blair’s government was as keen for war as Bush’s. The NZ Labour Party sent the SAS to Afghanistan. The conservatives and libtards in the West are really two cheeks of the same backside.

    • Foreign Waka 21.3

      Wayne – re my response to grumpy 18/2
      I think you are wrong. You mistake ideology for one stream of thought – economic consumerism. Ideology has many faces and can be used and misused in the same way as all ideas. You citing a lot of learned statistics and theories. However, people all over the world do recognize the depletion of resources is be the next big danger on the world map. In fact I belief it will be drinking water over which the next war will be fought. No TV or new car, simply drinking water. The first signs are already there.The power is not in anyone country’s hand but in the hand of the military the world over. It is their “Industry” that is being fed and thus creates this huge hole in which resources are being sucked in. This has not much to do with COUNTRIES but a lot with IDEOLOGY. So no matter how many historical facts are being cited, the outcome has been the same. War to protect ones perceived right, religion, expansion or simply for revenge. All of these emotional motivators are translated into ideology because how else would you get 11 million people killed in the holocaust or under the Khmer Rouge anything up to 3 million or more. It is ideology that has killed people over the course of world history and what makes you think that this will change?

  22. Wayne 22

    Western imperialism was a mostly acceptable logic

    To whom? Certainly not Indians, Africans or Chinese, or Maoris, or Australian aborigines, or Native Americans.

  23. Cactus Kate 23

    On your definition of a non-free market

    House in Akl worth $500,000.

    Buyer A has $500,000 cash from years of savings, thrift and investment and requires zero finance. They also are going to spend another $100,000 on improving the house.
    Buyer B has a $25,000 deposit loaned from Mummy and Daddy and a bank loan for $400,000 because they’ve spent all their money on consumables and the high life and haven’t saved a cent and live on credit. Their offer is $425,000.

    But it’s not a free market?

    Who is more worthy to buy the house?

    Bit different when you personalize it and remove race from the equation isn’t it? Now put it back in.

    Buyer A would be China and Buyer B would be NZ.

    • McFlock 23.1

      Race isn’t in the equation.
      Overseas vs residential ownership is in the equation.
      So logic fail.
       

    • Jackal 23.2

      It’s not a free market Catcus. Buyer A has $13 billion in assets with an asset-liability ratio around 76%. They clearly have government backing. Buyer B is the best of a bad bunch. Considering the land was stolen from Maori, no wonder people are fighting over it.

    • felix 23.3

      Yeah it is a bit different.

      But then that might be because your story was about a fucking house in Auckland.

      “Who is more worthy to buy the house?”

      I suppose you think the one with the most money is inherently more worthy. But what if they’re not?

      What if they’re buying the house to cook meth in and sell it to the local kids?
      What if they’re thieves who want to burgle the neighbours?
      What if they’re not even moving to NZ, but are sucking 700 bucks a week in rent out of the country and spending it overseas?

      Nah, the people who live there don’t play any part in your calculations. It’s just a transaction.

      • Wayne 23.3.1

        Felix. In the context of the topic of this thread, you are saying the default assumption should be, if the buyer is Chinese, is that the property will be used for nefarious purposes?

        If that is the case, we should be honest with the Chinese and simply tell them that they will be treated differently than European or American buyers, and that New Zealand should be well prepared to bear the consequences of this.

        • McFlock 23.3.1.1

          Desperate even for you, “Wayne”.
           

        • felix 23.3.1.2

          Do you suffer from amnesia?

          Are you still pretending we haven’t had this exact same discussion over and over again?

          And that I haven’t made my position abundantly clear?

          Also, in the context of this thread, are you saying that you fondle chickens for erotic kicks?

          Because I just can’t seem to find any evidence to the contrary. And because I’m tired and feeling quite slow I’ll be using your own reasoning to assess your responses to this question.

  24. Hami Shearlie 24

    Paul Holmes was worried that NZ would miss out on $200 million from the Chinese buyer!! What planet is he on? The money will be paid to the overseas banks!!! Scary that he’s the best that TVNZ can come up with for Q and A!!!

    • Wayne 24.1

      The money has to be paid to overseas banks anyway. But at least in the proposed case $200 million would not be leaving the NZ economy to pay for this (regardless of the overall benefits or otherwise of the sale). Dumb ass.

      PS. Not that I like Holmes, who is a despicable piece of trash. He is almost as despicable as you, Hami, are dumb.

      • McFlock 24.1.1

        The money has to be paid to overseas banks anyway until the purchase debt has been repaid, after that the profits are largely retained within New Zealand.
            
        Fixed it for you

      • fender 24.1.2

        PS. Now that I love Holmes, who is a despicable piece of trash. He is almost as despicable as me, Wayne Kerr.

        Fixed that bit too

      • Kaplan 24.1.3

        So the choice is $200 million in cash or a shit load of land.
        Tell me, if the bank gave you the option of repaying your mortgage by sending them an arm, would you do it?

    • Dv 24.2

      Rabbobank is owed as well, not just the Aussie banks.

  25. Salsy 25

    Comments are now open on Fran’s piece and some fascinating reading. Clearly, Fran is now out of her depth, the public seem to know more about global Chinese investment than the Herald’s own business analyst. One interesting article outlines the concept of China’s so called Corralling or Kettling of Trade

    A disturbing new feature of Chinese commerce is a phenomenon I will call trade corralling, or kettling. Under this way of doing business, Chinese enterprises control the entire trade chain from production to consumption by only dealing with enterprises within the same corral. This practice removes trade from the global marketplace. This practice enables the overall monitor of the corral to obtain its commodities and supply its goods without the inconvenience of having to deal with competitors in the marketplace. Like a wall it keeps insider in and outsiders out. It is arguable that corralled trade is a hardened version of “Guanxi”.

    Western capitalism is based on the idea that buyers and sellers exchange goods in a marketplace at negotiated prices. Corralled trade has its own dynamics. Everything about the trade can be controlled and dictated by someone other than the direct participants. The role of market prices becomes redundant. In March 2011 China’s Industry Minister Miao Wei said that his country’s government would buy up foreign iron ore mines to better control iron prices and wean itself from the grip of the world’s major miners. Mr Deng Qilin, President of Wuhan Iron & Steel, told The Australian newspaper that his company is aiming to supply itself with ore, moving away from the “monopolies” of Australia-based BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto and Brazilian giant Vale. He set a target of three to five years to become self sufficient.

    This practice is not limited to iron ore. For example corralling can occur where Chinese enterprises purchases foreign farms or coal mines and then export the commodities produced directly back to China. Should corralled enterprises, for example, purchase apple farms in Australia and then export the apples grown directly back to China, then it would prevent Australian consumers from purchasing those apples.

    The general effect of corralling trade is that it increases China’s commercial security while simultaneously diminishing opportunities for others. The practice gives China a much higher level of certainty over both the price and supply of commodities but less certainty to others. Rare earths production and manufacturing of products that require rare earth are industries where China currently has effective ‘corral’ control. China currently produces nearly 95 percent of the world’s rare earth materials.

    • Wayne 25.1

      Interesting article. But is what the author accuses China of not done by the West itself, and on a far grander scale? Sounds like typical Western hypocrisy to me. Especially the paragraph about some sort of ‘superior’ Western morality LOL. Amazing a so called ‘left’ blog would post such blatantly racist rubbish.

      • Jackal 25.1.1

        In a vain attempt to piss everybody off… Wayne puts the same broken record on and turns it up really loud. Newsflash! You’ve lost the debate.

        • Bill 25.1.1.1

          No, Jackal, he hasn’t. I’ve been watching the exchanges between Wayne and others over the past couple of days and he has certainly a goodly number of salient points. (Despite being continually ‘shouted down’ I might add)

          but moving on, Salsy’s link (or the parts reproduced here) caused me to raise my eyebrows a few times.

          In relation to the first pasted para; the ‘trade chains’ in China are controlled by western corporations. China plays the role of mere ‘bit’ assembly line in the west’s production chain. (eg, a study done on barbie dolls assembled in China. Everything from the plastic pellets to the paint, hair etc originated in Europe, the US or Japan. China only supplied the cloth for the garments. [And the cheap labour, of course])

          Second para: market prices are fixed by some neutral mechanism leading to agreement between buyers and sellers in the west. Really? So, there is no coercion excercised and no power exerted by one market player over another to either obtain goods at artificially low prices or to sell them on at artificially high prices?

          Para three. Do you think that NZ consumers have access to export variety apples at the moment? We don’t. Same can be said for high grade west coast coal or lamb or any number of products in our export orientated economy. It doesn’t matter who owns them. Globalisation runs on the premise that the unwealthy of every country will labour to produce goods for the wealthy in every other country.

          Para four. Securing access to raw materials, thereby reducing or ‘fixing’ the costs associated with obtaining them is what the imperialists of the west have done for three hundred years or so. (eg, Indian cotton)

          • Jackal 25.1.1.1.1

            I’ve not seen anybody SHOUTING on this thread?

            You are correct that there are a number of salient points. However I think Wayne has lost the argument because he/she is saying that globalisation is OK because it has a pretext of helping the poor in developing countries. Waynes argument is defunct because he believes that people opposing globalisation are somehow racist. This particular argument has been spoken to throughout the thread and has been completely discredited.

            • Bill 25.1.1.1.1.1

              Meh. Your reading completely differently comments to me. I can’t see where he (presumption ;-) ) has said that globalisation is okay. In fact, he’s been quite damning of the colonial prelude to today’s globalisation. What he has argued is that a multi-polar world is preferable to a uni-polar one. And that western standards of living cannot be sustained moving forward if there is a more equitable distribution of resources (a concommitant to a multi-polar world).

              And nowhere that I can see has he said that anti-globalisatiion is racist. What he has said is that the opposition to a Chinese purchase of some land in NZ seems to be being fuelled by a degree of racism. (And on that point I concur.)

              • Jackal

                I’m reading the same comments idiot!

                Wayne has tried to use past colonization to defend current expansionism. A multipolar world vs an unipolar world… Wayne hasn’t made any such distinction. Besides, Chinese expansionism does not control the world.

                Let’s just make it clear… just because countries have exploited their populations and/or environments, does not mean they can use that wealth to take advantage of the wealth in other countries without any environmental, social or economic consideration.

                I agree that in general western standards of living cannot be maintained, but not because of some sort of imperialist expansionist disease that has taken over logical thought.

                If you agree with Wayne’s argument that people are opposing the Chinese bid for the Crafar farms because of racism, surely you can provide at least one example of said racism?

                I’m starting to think that a lot of the nuance in the debate is lost in translation.

                Personally I think Russel Norman’s idea is the best one… if it’s good enough for China to put productive land into forestry, why don’t we?

                • Bill

                  Oh. Thanks for responding.

                  Wayne has tried to use past colonization to defend current expansionism. Where?

                  A multipolar world vs an unipolar world… Wayne hasn’t made any such distinction. Yes he did Besides, Chinese expansionism does not control the world. Who said it did?

                  Let’s just make it clear… just because countries have exploited their populations and/or environments, does not mean they can use that wealth to take advantage of the wealth in other countries without any environmental, social or economic consideration. Well, actually they can and do, or at least the corporations associated with them do. But I agree they shouldn’t be allowed to.

                  I agree that in general western standards of living cannot be maintained, but not because of some sort of imperialist expansionist disease that has taken over logical thought. I really have no idea what your alluding to when you mention an ‘imperialist expansionist disease taking over logical thought. Care to explain?

                  If you agree with Wayne’s argument that people are opposing the Chinese bid for the Crafar farms because of racism, surely you can provide at least one example of said racism? It’s implicit in comment after comment across a number of posts on this topic. Just read the comments

                  I’m starting to think that a lot of the nuance in the debate is lost in translation. Eh?

                  Personally I think Russel Norman’s idea is the best one… if it’s good enough for China to put productive land into forestry, why don’t we?

                  Well, at least Norman offers consistency, and I did have a chuckle at the irony of him using a maoist argument. Productive land and forestry. The pro’s and con’s aside, who do you imagine this ‘we’ is that you and I are a part of?

                  • McFlock

                    “Implicit”, or just an inference?
                       
                    It’s a bit like how criticising Israel frequently results in allegations of anti-Semitism.
                         
                    As opposed to Wayne’s comments, which are pretty explicitly contemptuous of a stereotyped and homogeneous “Western” culture.

                • Bill

                  Jings! Forgot to point you to the multi-polar bit. Here you go, first posted by Wayne (comment 19.3)

                  Both Russia and China, while having their own disagreements, are afraid of a neo-liberal, totalitarian world order which the West is trying to impose on the rest of the world. Their leaders want what the Russian political philosopher Aleksandr Dugin has described as a ‘multi-polar’ world, not a world which they see is simply a toilet for the US, and the decadent post-modern West.

                  • Jackal

                    There you go again Bill… applying a completely off topic argument. Not one example of racism being the reason why people are opposing the Milk New Zealand bid for the Crafar farms… I rest my case.

  26. Wayne 26

    From Salsy’s linked article:

    “Behind Western capitalism there is a general expectation that all participants will behave according to a moral code that roughly translates as; truth, honesty, straightforwardness, the respect of others and the rule of law. These characteristics, although not always evident in every aspect of the Western the commercial world, do all derive from Western capitalism’s origins in Judeo-Christian spirituality. Today, although largely diluted, they still moderate human behaviours. Chinese culture is primarily built on Confucianism and its values, values which do not always parallel Western morality. It should therefore not be surprising if Chinese businessmen operate according to a different code of behaviours to their western counterparts.”

    Really? The history of the past 500 years of Western behaviour around the globe would belie such a claim.

    In particular the history of the West’s ‘engagement’ with China over the past 150 years.

    If the colonised countries of Asia and Africa were to present a bill for compensation to the West for imperialism, the West would be instantly pauperised. Perhaps they should, in the manner that some black Americans propose for slavery.

    Africans, who have had close commercial dealings with the Chinese over the past decade, are overwhelmingly positive about China’s rising economic and military power. And who naturally trust Chinese more than they trust Westerners (even the article begrudgingly admits that Africans have ‘materially’ benefitted from Chinese investment).

    The article simply betrays white bitterness over the fact that a non-white people for the first time in centuries is starting to have a little influence, even if this influence is still vastly outstripped by combined white influence around the world.

    You hardly find non-white people in the world who are worried about China’s rise. Only white people.

    Of course such an article would appeal to a little closet racist like Salsy. It is called ‘confirmation bias’. The article confirms everything that Salsy already believes about Asians. And of course it confirms what he believes at the start about white superiority.

    It is coming out more and more here. Most here particularly oppose Chinese investment. Not investment by white people (in fact I would have absolutely no problem with banning all foreign investment in land —it is the 80-20 rule or perhaps 99-1 rule, ie 99% of the outrage directed against 1% of the sales, that is the point).

    The posting of ridiculous, unsubstantiated, and white supremacist articles like the one linked to by Salsy is clear evidence of this.

    [Just in case anyone wonders why as a moderator I'm tolerating this racist arsehole; it's because his own attitudes and behaviours are exemplary evidence as to why New Zealand should be very, very cautious in it's dealings with China. ..RL]

    • Colonial Viper 26.1

      If the colonised countries of Asia and Africa were to present a bill for compensation to the West for imperialism, the West would be instantly pauperised.

      I do believe that this is what China has been doing to the ‘West’ for a couple of decades now, through other means.

  27. McFlock 27

    You hardly find non-white people in the world who are worried about China’s rise. Only white people.


    What – absolutely no Indians, Japanese or Vietnamese are at all worried at the prospect of China becoming the world’s dominant military and commercial power? Gosh. Not that that’s a sweeping, even “racist” statement in itself…

    • Bill 27.1

      McFlock, the last time a non-white country attempted to emulate the lessons of imperialism they eventually became the reciprients of two nuclear bombs. And many non-whites living in colonies supported the Japanese, for obvious reasons. The same reasoning that led subjugated people to consider their enemy’s enemy as a friend are as valid today as they were then.

      It’s a broad brush stroke for sure, but there is an element of truth to the statement that only white (western) elites and those who identify with them view China in terms of a threat.

      • Jackal 27.1.1

        You are presuming to know people’s ethnicities? It is also wrong to confuse physical war with economic war. They are intertwined but in this context completely different. China has a requirement and needs to look abroad to meet the needs of its populace. New Zealand should help China where it is beneficial environmentally, socially and economically (in that order) to both countries. There is nothing racial about it.

        • Bill 27.1.1.1

          Presumption on peoples’ ethnicity? Nope, lost me on that one. And the example of Japan is instructive. They attempted to secure natural resources and did so through a policy of military expansionism (partly) in response to economic sanctions being placed on them by the west.

          As for ‘New Zealand’ helping ‘China’. What does that even mean? Both are illigitimate constructs that act to empower and enrich tiny proportions of populations at the expense of the majority.

          I’m neither on the side of NZ nor China; to hell with both of those constructs. I’m simply on the side of Chinese and NZers.

          • Wayne 27.1.1.1.1

            Exactly. In fact Japan simply followed the well-trodden path of the Western imperialists, enriching herself in the process. They were evil, but no more so than the UK, US, France, and the Kaiser’s Germany.

            The focus of course is on Hitler, Hirohito, but Hitler’s antecedents are little condemned when they massacred hundreds of thousands of Herero, and it is little known that the word ‘hun’ came from the Kaiser’s order to German troops to massacre as many Chinese as they could find in the wake of the Boxer rebellion. French colonial atrocities were on a scale comparable to Nazi atrocities on the Eastern front, while the US killed more phillipinos as a proportion of the phillipine population than Japanese killed Chinese in China.

            All imperialism should be condemned. But the singling out of actual non-white imperialism (Japan) or apparent non-white imperialsim (China), or white imperialism only against other whites (Nazi germany) for singular condemnation is simply racist at its core. And this is what Salsy has done in his blatantly racist article above, which attempts to place the West on some particularly elevated moral plane above others. RedLogix (who I don’t consider a racist) also does this, although in a less blatant way.

            I’m neither on the side of NZ nor China; to hell with both of those constructs. I’m simply on the side of Chinese and NZers.

            I’m tempted to agree here as well (although the nature of Chinese investment and foreign policy is far less imperialistic, if it can be described as that, than the Western kind). It comes down to whether or not China is still a ‘socialist’ country. By some measures she is. By others she is not. In many ways her people were better off before the economic reforms, with Western multinationals earning 9 out of 10 dollars on every product manufactured in China. But that is another story.

            But certainly I hold no brief for Chinese billionaires anymore than Western ones. In fact the ‘good character’ requirement (only asked of the Chinese investor, not Western ones, mind you) to be absolutely laughable. There is not one rich motherfucker on the planet who could meet such a requirement, whether Chinese, American, or New Zealander (michael fay??).

            It is the racially selective outrage, which is indeed ‘galling’.

          • Jackal 27.1.1.1.2

            You claimed earlier that the left was dancing on the head of a pin, and there was xenophobia shown by many on the left. I was questioning you about your presumption to know what people’s ethnicity was? Perhaps my question will illicit another case of amnesia from you?

            The similarities with the Japan/American war with the current Iranian dynamic are worth noting. However I think you are just confusing the issue concerning Chinese expansionism. For one thing, China is not undertaking military action.

            Should I really need to explain how New Zealand as one of the largest exporters of milk products can help China… no! A country and its people are not “illegitimate constructs”. If you are truly on the side of the people in both New Zealand and China, then we have something in common.

            • Bill 27.1.1.1.2.1

              Yup. Many on the left have indeed been dancing on the head of a pin over this whole land sale. And there’s been a lot of xenaphobia on display. Now, how does that lead in to having presumptions of peoples’ ethnicity? I wouldn’t even presume to know how to define ethnicity, fcs! It’s self assigned and can be based on whatever cultural, religious or historical markers a person finds important to their identity. And sure, sometimes people simply consider their ethnicity as being their nationality. Whatever.

              As for milk being sold to China. Am I wrong in believing that lactose intollerance is fairly endemic; that many Asians lack the enzyme to break milk down? If so, what’s the advantage to Chinese people of having a dairy market foisted on them? And am I mistaken in recalling that Fontera were flavouring their cheese with chocolate in a bid to have Koreans(?) eat the stuff? And would I be wildly off the mark to suggest that dairy products (alongside such things as surgically widened eyes) are consumed by sections of the emerging middle classes in Asia because there is a preception (abetted by cynical advertising and fashion) that western ‘markers’ are signs of ‘success’? If so, then NZ dairy interests (with others) are simply helping themselves to increased markets share and profit with no concern for what is good for Chinese people…or ‘China’.

              Moving on, I said that nation states are constructs (Illigitimate insofar as they assign and concentrate power in the hands of a few.) A nation state is an entirely different scenario to people assigning a name to a geographical area, eg a country or a region.

              And as for claiming I said or implied that people are illigitimate too, what can I say besides ‘silly bastard’?

              • Jackal

                People who are politically left leaning are not usually racist Bill. I would be interested to see if you can point out even one case of racism that has come from the leftwing?

                My reasoning with the ethnicity question is that with such broad statements, you are presuming to know what leftwing commentator’s ethnicity is. You and Wayne have made gross generalizations about racism. Can you qualify your statements with facts?

                1. Ethnicity is not self-assigned… it is defined by heritage of DNA from predecessors.

                2. The dietary requirements and governmental controls of China are not relevant to the Crafar farm deal in New Zealand.

                3. Propaganda that says Western looks are a sign of wealth are also not pertinent to the debate.

                4. China is in control of it’s own boarders. People are in control of their own diets.

                5. Nation states are not constructs… they are determined by the people and laws of a country.

                6. Broadly applying the “illegitimate construct” to China and New Zealand is clearly wrong.

                Please better define your argument as it applies to the post by James Henderson.

                • Wayne

                  People who are politically left leaning are not usually racist Bill…..I would be interested to see if you can point out even one case of racism that has come from the leftwing?

                  Perhaps not since the 1917 October Revolution, as left movements took their cue from Bolsheviks, as much as they would wish to deny this. In the US the Democrats were way way way behind the communists.

                  However if we talk of the early labour movements in late 19th century and early 20th century, especially in the US, Australia, New Zealand, they almost defined racist policy, in particular with respect of Chinese workers, and white immigration policies.

                  Jack London, Margaret Sanger, had views which would be considered racist today, although some recent interepretations of London’s work go the other way.

                  And the history of blacks in the American labour movement is far from exemplary.

                  However if you speak of communists, the whole modern anti-racist movement came from them (some will argue from Trotskyite elements in the West). In Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, Lenin held that the exploited masses of the colonies of the European powers, would become the revolutionary vanguard for world revolution against the global capitalist system. This of course necessitated a non-racist approach, on the part of communists all around the world, and indeed was what attracted so many Asians and Africans to become adherents.

                  The left in the West has made contributions, but mainly they are milquetoast when it comes to imperialism and the true underlying reasons for poverty not only around the world, but also in their own countries, and the relationship between the exploitation of the Third World, and of labour at home. Most of the time they have sat round asking for a few more dog biscuits off the master’s banquet table, and been satisfied with that.

                • Bill

                  Care to respond to 25.1.1.1.1 at all jackal?

                  Anyway. So left wingers are ‘not usually racist’. That so. In other words, the racism endemic to NZ (you do acknowledge that NZ is really fucking racist, right?) just doesn’t affect anyone of the political left, meaning that they couldn’t possibly adopt stances that are implicitly (even subtly) racist. (Fuck, next you’ll be telling me that left wingers aren’t sexist)

                  You want evidence of racism from the left then just go through the threads of the posts on the Crafar Farm sales ffs. And while your at it, point out to me where I made ‘gross generalizations (sic) about racism’

                  So, to go through your points.

                  1. Ethnicity is, according to you, just another term for the discredited notion of race (ie determined by DNA) Right-e-o.
                  2. In spite of much gnashing of teeth with regards the form of Chinese governance and how it would make it ‘bad’ if a Chinese company was to buy the Crafar Farms, it now ‘has nothing to do’ with the Crafar Farm deal…or any opposition to it. And the dietry requirements of Chinese has nothing to do with establishing a market for dairy products in China. True – but only from a purely business perspective that gives a toss about nothing besides making money.
                  3. Propaganda that instils in people attitudes that are beneficial to business interests are of no concern. Whatever.
                  4. China has boarders. And they’re not being ‘uppity’. And these non-uppity boarders are in control of their own diet in a similar way that families eating unhealthy junk food in NZ are wholly in control of the ‘bad choice’ they make with regards food. (Wall to wall corporate advertising is of no consequence. They [the corporates] do it simply to help people make intelligent choices and apply no pressure and exert no influence what-so-ever. They really don’t want to produce the shit they produce but the consumer demands it. Poor corporate buggers have got their hands tied)
                  5. Nation states are benign expressions of peoples’ agreements and so weren’t established through means of extreme violence. Right-e-o.
                  6. Viewing NZ and China as nation states is clearly wrong… because?

                  Meanwhile, I’m thinking you should replace the ‘l’ of your handle with ‘ss’ and then pull your head out of it. Y’know what I mean Jack?

                  • Jackal

                    Yawn!

                    Comment 25.1.1.1.1 is mine dickhead! As previously shown, there has been no racism by those opposing Chinese bids for the Crafar farms. However there has been a lot of people who want the deal to go through claiming that those opposing it are racist.

                    The Crafar decision has nothing to do with the propaganda going on in China to sell milk products.

                    Is your vehemence in promoting your now completely discredited argument because you have a vested interest Bill?

                    • Bill

                      Okay Jackal, I’ll put it this way. What do you reckon the rhetoric employed in a response to a US bid or a German bid or a bid from the UK would have been? Would it have been as ‘fearful’ or as ‘accusory’ as has been the case in this instance? Would there have been talk of expansionism for example?

                      I don’t think that the character (or supposed character) of the buyers, their links to their government, the nature of their government, their governments foreign policy objectives or lending criteria would have come into it at all. The debate would have centred on the issue of land sales to overseas buyers and had an almost hermetically sealed kiwi focus. Meaning that the identity or whatever of the potential buyers would not have been a part of the debate.

                      And in all of this, it’s not irrelevant that NZ has a pretty dismal history in relation to treatment of Chinese people. Or that many NZers continue to have a pretty poor opinion of chinese people. Chinese and other Asians are still widely regarded as ‘other’ and the reaction of that perception of ‘otherness’ (which is essentially xenophobia…fear of) has infected the dialogue.

                      And so there has been an unnecessary distraction and the potential for developing a more wide ranging discussion/debate on land ownership and associated issues has been diminished.

                    • Jackal

                      This is a political blog… you’ll be looking for a fictional blog. May I suggest Kiwibog or Failoil, they seem much more up your alley.

                • Wayne

                  I have said this:

                  in fact I would have absolutely no problem with banning all foreign investment in land —it is the 80-20 rule or perhaps 99-1 rule, ie 99% of the outrage directed against 1% of the sales, that is the point)

                  (1) banning foreign land purchases is not a racist position to hold.

                  (2) But that does not mean a significant amount of the opposition to the Crafar deal is not driven by racism.

                  Get it? (1) and (2) above are not contradictory statements.

                  So I will spell it out again: “Opposing sale of farmland to foreign investors is in itself NOT racist. “.

                  Now if your bar to prove racism is someone has to explicitly spell it out, like use racial epithets such as ‘chink’ or ‘coconut’ or ‘bunga’ or ‘chinaman’ or whatever, then for fucks sake, even Holmes diatribe last week could not be shown to be racist.

                  But when we have massive selective outrage against the Chinese, who may or may not be guilty of doing what the West does one hundredfold more, then racism could be a factor in this.

                  If a hypothetical black man is given 100 years for stealing a bar of candy, but the same court gives a white man 5 years for massive corporate fraud, you can’t prove racism, but it is entirely reasonable to moot it as a possible factor.

                  When the writer of this article at the top of the thread insinuates that chinese capital is uniquely sinister, that the Chinese have some sort of ‘strategy’ (for fucks sake – what sensible investor does not), and there are dark mutterings of Chinese expansionism, or Colonial Vipers alluding to the Chinese as imperialist aggressors against the US! no less, then it is fair that these sort of rabid, hysterical reactions could have something to do with fear of the ‘other’.

                  And of course Salsy’s linking to an article claiming Western moral superiority (contrary to all the facts) over the Chinese, and how we cannot expect the Chinese to behave like, upright, decent, honest Westerners, then if that is not racism what the fuck is? Dare you say the same about blacks, or Maoris, or Pacific Islanders

                  Now we have had several threads on the unique insidiousness of Chinese investment, please can we have a few on the hundreds of thousands of acres already in foreign Western hands?

                  And I expect that we will have the same crescendo of outrage and volume of comments when the Harvard sale, and an analysis of the profits repatriated back to the US is discussed in an article by Mr Henderson – right?

                  Or do the Americans invest solely to benefit New Zealand and not themselves – so they get a free pass?

                  And of course America and the West have never been interested in securing “strategic assets” right?

                  That huge military they have is simply to make the world safe for ‘democracy’…right?

                  • McFlock

                    Maybe you should organise a public protest about it, Wayne. In NZ you don’t get shot for doing that.

                    • Jackal

                      Is there even one complaint to the HRC about racism against the Chinese concerning the Crafar farms deal? Nope!

                    • McFlock

                      Don’t give Wayne ideas – he might not be familiar with the concept of a government body that can and does openly criticise government departments for violating people’s human rights.
                        
                      As a probable National supporter, I mean :)

              • Carol

                Bill I agree with many things you say on this issue, in general terms at least. I do agree that there is an element of xenophobia in the resistance by the general public to the Chinese bid for Crafar farms, I don’t think it is as strong with the left, especially the activist left.

                Yes the rise of nation-states was an illegitimate enterprise fuelled by European 19th Century colonisation. However, now these are a key feature of the main political, economic and social structures internationally. And I agree that underlying this configuration of nation-states the main issue for the left is the power of the wealthy elite versus the rest.

                However, in the network of nation-states, some countries have more power than others, and this is mapped onto the power structure dominated by wealthy individuals an corporations. In this configuration, NZ/Aotearoa is a middle-ranking power. And the most traction Kiwis have in challenging this international powerful elite is, in most cases, through our country’s political system. We’ve got more chance of influencing policies of corporate or foreign government land buy-ups by challenging our government and laws, than by challenging those foreign powerful interests directly.

                I am as against powerful US, European and Australian trans/multinational and government interests gaining more of a foothold here as I am opposed to similar actions by Chinese interests. e.g. I am opposed to giving up control of Pharmac in the TPP, and of giving up economic power to Aussie banks and political control to Aussie-generated laws on health products. We can have more influence on how they work here than related provisions in Aussie, the US or Eurpoean countries.

                Such things as the TPP and health product laws should be opposed on the basis of providing fair and just provisions for all Kiwis. Ditto the sale of land to foreign interests should be regulated by very strict guidelines as to the benefits to Kiwis in general.

                The struggle against the international wealth elites and the legacy of the illigetimate rise of nation-states is a much harder one and will take a lot longer to get any traction.

      • McFlock 27.1.2

        I think that the Japanese in China proved that my enemy’s enemy is not always my friend.
           
        Am I saying that the Chinese have no support in developing nations? Hell, no. But to argue that their support is universal, as Wayne has done, is just the different side of the same bigoted coin. For example,  I don’t believe that India views a Chinese training facility based around a massive scale model of disputed Indian-Chinese border areas as a Valentine’s Day gift.
         

        • Bill 27.1.2.1

          What I said was that the reasoning behind many colonial subjects regarding their enemy’s enemy as their friend back in the first half of last century, still stands today. (Understandable and deep seated resentment towards white colonialism) I didn’t comment on the intelligence or otherwise of that (usually emotive) reasoning. It obviously depends on who or what that enemy of your enemy is, no?

          • McFlock 27.1.2.1.1

            I’m not so sure that Indian defense analysts identify with the W/W elite, but they would certainly regard China as a threat.
              
             
              
             
             

            • Bill 27.1.2.1.1.1

              A few years ago, the budget of the Indian Congress was found to have been written (quite literally) in Washington. Apparently, the dead give-a-way was the spelling and syntax. And India has definately taken the neo-liberal experiment to heart…which might, in part, explain the deal it managed to cut with the US (who duly had a wee word in Phil Goff’s ear to drop the NZ veto in return for talks on free trade talks) allowing it to purchase nuclear technology.

              The US certainly favours India over Pakistan and I dare say a fair bit of India’s military hardware comes from the US, UK and France (although I could be wrong, never having been bothered to look it up)

              As for China, well they did support Pakistan in conflict with India. But whatever. They seem to get along okay within the context of BRIC.

        • Wayne 27.1.2.2

          The differences between China and Vietnam, between China and India, is of an entirely different nature from that of Western fears of a rising China.

          The former come from a legacy of boundary dispute (which are common among almost all countries with common borders with each other —Chile and Argentina, India and Pakistan, Russia and Japan, and many others). These are not unnatural problems, and who is wrong, who is right is often difficult to determine.

          Western fears of a rising China come from fears of loss of their own military, economic, and even cultural hegemony, something which Indians and Vietnamese of course, in spite of the heroic history of the latter, have little of.

          • McFlock 27.1.2.2.1

            NZ wants to preserve western global hegemony, that’s why a competing bid challenged the Crafar Farms deal in court. /sarc
               
            As for the “border disputes” minimisation, you might want to read up ion Vietnamese history pre-French colonial. Those “border disputes” frequently  went so far as the south coast of Vietnam.
             

      • DH 27.1.3

        “It’s a broad brush stroke for sure, but there is an element of truth to the statement that only white (western) elites and those who identify with them view China in terms of a threat.”

        That’s just silly. Vietnam & India see China as a threat for starters, they’ve both had border wars with China. Then there’s all the other countries with claims on maritime territory that China is trying to grab for itself. And of course there’s Taiwan.

        As for Africa, the despots & dictators might like China but the people on the street aren’t so enamoured.

        There’s very little anti-colonialism antipathy left now, too many new generations have been born under their own national flag.

  28. Wayne 28

    As for Africa, the despots & dictators might like China but the people on the street aren’t so enamoured.

    You have a stereotypical view of what is happening on that continent. Much of sub-saharan Africa has averaged 5 to 7% growth over the past decade, with projections of a continuation of this over the next five years.

    http://www.economist.com/node/17853324

    Most Sub-saharan countries, far from being uniformly ruled by despots and dictators, are democracies, albeit imperfect ones.

    As of their views of China, polling figures from Western sources show that Africa is the only place in the world in which not only Chinese economic power is welcome, but also her rising military power. Of all the countries of the world, China is most popular in Africa.

    http:/www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/pdf/mar11/BBCChina_Mar11_rpt.pdf
    Http:/pewglobal.org/database/?indicator=24&survey=12&response=Favorable&mode=chart

    The average African also finds Chinese more fair to deal with than Westerners.

    It is perhaps this engagement of non-European peoples to decide their own futures, to follow their own uniquely defined paths to development, with Europeans having little influence, which is perhaps what is really galling to some. Not some hypothetical Chinese’ imperialism’.

    On top of this, perhaps the ‘uppitiness’ of non-whites who think they should have the same right to the same living standards of whites which really stirs racial fear and hate.

    • DH 28.1

      “On top of this, perhaps the ‘uppitiness’ of non-whites who think they should have the same right to the same living standards of whites which really stirs racial fear and hate.”

      You’re one of those people who farts in a full lift. I can see why the regulars are sick of you

  29. Salsy 29

    The truth is that the New Zealand public wants to engage in a full conversation regarding foreign investment in our nation. To state we are racist, xenophobic and even white supremist for wanting to investigate the merits of Chinese investment in a substantial collection of diary farms, is as lame a right wing arguement as ever we have seen here. We’ve challenged you before Wayne to outline the economic benefits to NZ but all you do is railroad the arguement back to your racism discourse. Is this all you, John key and Fran “tow-the-line” O’Sullivan can come up with? If you cant supply this, then how about you fuck off back to John keys office – oh, and while your there tell him his stock is collapsing.

    • ropata 29.1

      Wayne is probably the looniest troll I have seen in these parts. Apparently all NZers are terrible racists and collaborators with western hegemony and therefore deserve to be asset stripped and become serfs, or something.

      It’s all justified by a strange reference to historical events we had nothing to do with, and Marxist theory that “proves” we must submit to the whims of transnational capital ???!!

      It’s a shame that someone of apparent intelligence suffers such deep and irrational racism.

  30. vto 30

    I am sure it has all been said already in the 260-odd posts above but this just takes the cake and is a pointer to O’Sullivan’s blinkered approach…

    Fran O’Sullivan: “A 15 per cent discount to open market values (which is what the Fay price represents) would make banks’ balance sheets not look too healthy if applied across the $50-60 billion debt in the farming sector.”

    Does it not occue to her that such a 15% discount to values, applied right across the $50-60 billion debt in the farming sector, equates to $7.5-9.0 billion less debt for farmers?

    So, Fran O’Sullivan, you strange commentator, which is better, following an initial adjustment period? High debt or low debt for our farmers? And why do you only consider the money-lender part to this equation and not the borrower or the wider community of which that borrower is part?

    You see,… your commentaries are just shallow.

  31. Bill 31

    So Wayne provides a lot of historical context that essentially highlights a problem with some of the arguments being employed against a Chinese acquisition of land. (ie, the yardstick being applied to a Chinese acquisition being selective and not one that would have been applied consistently to other would be purhasers)

    When selective arguments against sales of land to a Chinese company cast aspersions on the motives or intent of ‘inscrutable’ chinese players in a way that wouldn’t be applied to other would be buyers, then that’s not just inconsistant but hypocritical.

    And when those same arguments (inevitably) stir up pots of only half forgotten, half baked fears concerning China and feed in to/ reinforce present day racist attitudes towards China and Chinese people, then those arguments are encouraging and excusing xenaphobia and racism. And it is that anti-Chinese sentiment, having been allowed to come to the fore…having been implicitly condoned by some on the left…that becomes the underlying motivation in the minds of many opposed to sales.

    And so, violla! You get a groundswell of public opinion opposed to the sale. But at what cost?

    That same groundswell of opposition would have been very unlikely had the prospective buyers been European or from the US. And the reason for that is simply that peoples innate fears of ‘other’ couldn’t have been poked and prodded as has been the case here.

    Wayne has pointed out that some of the rhetoric being used is ‘unhelpful’ (affecting xenophobic attititudes, if not xenophobic in and of itself). So have I and a few others. Wayne, and others, have also pointed to the dissonance or dishonesty involved in applying selective criteria to one prospective buyer and not others. That doesn’t make Wayne or any others pointing those things out racist or right wingers.

    What too many people here have done would be comparable to someone poking and prodding at anti-semetic sentiments to get traction against John Key. You wouldn’t find that acceptable. But then, of course, such a ploy wouldn’t work anyway because, unlike with the case of China and things Chinese, we don’t live in an environment that generally accepts any level of anti-semetic discourse.

    • vto 31.1

      Bill, you have written lots of words in that post – all of which say essentially the same thing. It is a shame it is wholly incorrect.

      As an example, I have been railing against foreign ownership of NZ for years. I even railed against it when Cullen was in charge of the OIO etc and swapped some correspondence on it (in relation to US purchasers no less).

      At not a single point in time has the race of the foreigner been raised as an issue by me. Feel free to check it out if you don’t believe me.

      Similarly, during that entire time I have never seen anyone on this site refer to the race of a foreign purchaser as being a factor.

      You assertion that there is an element of racism is completely wrong. The only place I have ever seen race brought up as an issue is at Kiwiblog – go bark at them. Meantime, concentrate on the issue at hand – namely, when it comes to ownership of NZ then what is in the best interests of NZ?

      Your post is a fail.

    • Jackal 31.2

      So you’re guessing as to the intent behind people who are opposing the sale of Crafar farms to the Chinese. Could you perhaps tell me if you know what my ethnicity is Bill? For all you know I am Chinese. Why then would I oppose the sale of the farms to my own people?

      Could you also point out at least one case of racism against the Chinese? I don’t need you to explain in never ending speculative circles that spin around the ceramic bowl that there is racism, I want you to show me at least one case of actual racism? If you can do that, please then show where anybody who is politically left leaning has supported that racist argument?

      The only selective criterion that has been applied to one buyer and not the others was when the OIO and National gave Milk New Zealand’s bid preferential treatment. Their interpretation of the law was incorrect and had to be rectified by a court of law. I am still at a loss as to why National would do this?

      There is no applicable comparison with the comments here and people being anti-Semitic against John Key. You have not proven there is any racist argument and you have not shown that people’s beliefs are developed from racist intent. You’re actually weakening your argument that all people who oppose the sale of Crafar farms to the Chinese are racist.

      The leftwing have not used racism as political traction. Your cynical attempt to tarnish an entire argument (and nation) with your innuendo and supposition is disgusting! It is intellectually defunct and deserves a second flush.

      Let us know when you actually have an argument that shows the sale of Crafar farms is beneficial to New Zealand?

    • Bill 31.3

      For VTO and Jackal.

      VTO. You might disagree with my perception that an element of xenophobia has infected the whole debate around the Crafar farm sale. That doesn’t de facto make me ‘wholly incorrect’. And it is most definately not the case that I have claimed that all and any opposition to the Crafar Farm sale is being fuelled by xenophobia. Neither have I said that opposition to foreign ownership in general is xenophobic. So no, I don’t feel any need to ‘check up’ on your comments in relation to past land sales.

      Jackal. We’ve been over this ethnicity ground before. And you’ve made it quite clear that you consider ethnicity to be a fixed biological phenomenum. That’s a slippery slope I’m going to leave you to explore on your own.

      And if you refuse or are incapable of acknowledging the underlying xenophobia in some of the arguments raised against Pengxin purchasing the Crafar Farms, despite the efforts of some to point out what ‘should’ be bleeding obvious, then any worthwhile debate or discussion is at a dead end.

      As I’ve said in responce to VTO, I simply haven’t said, as you claim I have, that “all people who oppose the sale of Crafar farms to the Chinese are racist.” Maybe you mistakenly believe that I favour the sale? On that front, what I’ve said is that can’t get my head around people who truncate the discussion and cast it solely in terms of percieved ‘good’ owners (domestic) and ‘bad’ owners (foreign) and so find themselves in a position of supporting Fay fucking Richwhite.

      Your cynical attempt to tarnish an entire argument (and nation) with your innuendo and supposition is disgusting! Yeah. Ludicrous hypocricy much, Jackal?

      • vto 31.3.1

        Bill, that’s fine. People are welcome to their views – it is just that without any supporting evidence or examples then it has little weight and will blow away in the wind. And it is blowing away in the wind.

        Regarding your suggestion of debate truncation I don’t think you’re right there either. I and others have been promoting all sorts of reasons as to why having the people who live on the land owning the land is superior to having the people who live on the land being tenants. Makes for stronger communities. Gives a depth of ownership and long-term guardianship to the land and its occupiers. Encourages a depth of capital within NZ. Means the price of farmland (and other land) is lower. Means less debt and a lower obstacle to farm and other ownership, which equates to more of of the fruits of our hard-working days ending up in our pockets instead of the bank’s pockets. Many other arguments have also been promoted, so for you to suggest that there has not, like your racism factor opinion, is simply foolish.

        On the other hand however, I note that nobody has published a full and comprehensive set of arguments as to the reverse i.e. why having foreign landlords is good for NZ. In fact, by way of example, the main argument promoted by Maurice Williamson, John Key and Fran O’Sullivan has been a negative attack on people with an accusation of racism.

        It is all there in black and white.

      • vto 31.3.2

        Hey Bill, if you can’t understand the reasons put forward for not selling land to foreigners by New Zealanders, then maybe you could gain an understanding by asking the Chinese why they don’t allow the sale of land to foreigners. I’m sure the reasons will apply here too.

        Go on. I dare you.

        I dare Maurice Williamson too.

        • dave brownz 31.3.2.1

          VTO the Chinese don’t allow the sale of land to ANYONE.
          I dare you to apply that reasoning here too.

        • Bill 31.3.2.2

          Hey VTO, if I don’t understand what?! Didn’t you read this wee bit of my previous comment? (I’ll put it in bold in case you miss it again ;-) )Maybe you mistakenly believe that I favour the sale?

          I’d rather move things in the direction of common ownership, y’know? In a direction that lends meaning and substance to the term ‘our land’.

          The Fay consortium offers nothing on that front (and neither would any other private entity.)

          Maybe nationalisation could be a step in the right direction, although I am no great fan of state ownership given it’s less than glorious history in terms of ceding control and power to ordinary people.

          (You want to rush to pin your colours to Fay’s [or any other domestic master's] mast, go ahead.)

          • vto 31.3.2.2.1

            Oh, fair enough, it seems I may have mis-read most of your point.

            It is entirely true that ownership and control of the land and resources are what is important in giving strength to a community – not the waving and wavering of the once-mighty dollar.

      • Jackal 31.3.3

        The underlying xenophobia you keep referring to but cannot highlight one case of you mean Bill. Pathetic!

        As to your requiring me to qualify the ethnicity comment… A thesis on ethnicity is not required for my argument to be correct. Straw man much?

        Being against the Pengxin’s bid to by Crafar farms does not mean a default support for Fay Richwhite’s bid. FFS! I’ve proposed a number of solutions that I think are preferable. If you do not have the cognitive ability to recognize or remember them, don’t insult us with your stupidity.

        Your cynical attempt to tarnish an entire argument (and nation) with your innuendo and supposition is disgusting! Yeah. Ludicrous hypocricy much, Jackal?

        I presume by that you’re calling my writing factually incorrect. Like your accusations of racism, I challenge you to point out even one case where I’ve been factually incorrect Bill? If not, you know where you can stick your argument.

  32. Wayne 32

    From one of New Zealand’s leading ‘left’ commenters, Tim Selwyn:

    “It may be that the Crafar farms represent a small area, that the overseas buyers to date only own 1% or so of total land; but an aggressive state-backed aggregator of land, like the Chinese, in for the ultra-long haul and who will not sell-down will quickly change that scenario. If the Chinese population can rise from 1% to 5% or so in only 20 years due to government policy, there is no reason why 20 years from now the Chinese (that is to say the Beijing-controlled businesses), due to government policy, may be owning well over 5% of farmland

    http://tumeke.blogspot.co.nz/

    So conflating New Zealand chinese residents and citizens with the” aggressive state-backed aaggregator of land like the Chinese”, pointing to their percentage of the population in the country as an indicator to how much farmland will be in Chinese government hands in the future, is not racist?????

    No racism from the left?…..yeah right.

    • Colonial Viper 32.1

      Gee what is your point again? Oh yeah, to distract from the loss of NZ economic sovereignty using your Racial Red Herrings.

      • McFlock 32.1.1

        Christ another jerk starts.
        Just for them that almost believe Wayne’s shite:
         
        The FULL paragraph from Tim Selwyn was:

        It may be that the Crafar farms represent a small area, that the overseas buyers to date only own 1% or so of total land; but an aggressive state-backed aggregator of land, like the Chinese, in for the ultra-long haul and who will not sell-down will quickly change that scenario. If the Chinese population can rise from 1% to 5% or so in only 20 years due to government policy, there is no reason why 20 years from now the Chinese (that is to say the Beijing-controlled businesses), due to government policy, may be owning well over 5% of farmland.

        The Chinese population in NZ in 2006 was about 3.5%, not 1%. So it’s more likely that Selwyn was referring to aggregate overseas Chinese land ownership. Whether Wayne wants to argue that “population” was a freudian slip and drag outt his persecution complex while at the same time spitting hate at the decadent post-modernist americans, I don’t give a shit. Wayne’s time-zone is probably more charitable than mine. I’m off to bed.
         
         

        • Wayne 32.1.1.1

          The Chinese population in NZ in 2006 was about 3.5%, not 1%. So it’s more likely that Selwyn was referring to aggregate overseas Chinese land ownership.

          Can you clarify this bit of mumbo jumbo?

          Oh yeah, to distract from the loss of NZ economic sovereignty using your Racial Red Herrings.

          No. You distract yourselves. Asian countries represent about 5% of total overseas investment in land in this country.

          Concentrate on the other 95%.

          • Colonial Viper 32.1.1.1.1

            No. You distract yourselves. Asian countries represent about 5% of total overseas investment in land in this country.

            Concentrate on the other 95%.

            That’s what your masters are paying you for, I suppose.

        • Wayne 32.1.1.2

          By the way I did not quote Selwyn out of context, in spite of your trying to make things appear this way.

          Your FULL version of his words, is exactly the same as the paragraph that I copied and pasted into my post above.

          • lprent 32.1.1.2.1

            He is right (I checked). But on my initial read it looked quite different to the block quote version by McFlock.

            It just looks that way because it is in italics with part of it in bold. Bold is seldom useful for highlighting because it shouts too much, which is why I tend to discourage its use. It works for moderators shouting at offenders and it is useful for headings in long comments

            I’d suggest that you use block quotes and highlight in italics. Damn sight easier to read

          • rosy 32.1.1.2.2

            Here’s an idea… why don’t you go and ask Selwyn what he meant? It is strangely worded and he’s obviously the person to explain it.

            If you could report back, that’d be cool too. Cheers.

            • Bill 32.1.1.2.2.1

              Okay. Requested that he clarify what he meant by that second last para in his piece. Just have to wait and see, I guess.

          • McFlock 32.1.1.2.3

            yeah – my bad. I was tired, so missed the non-bold.
              

    • Bill 32.2

      I’ve read the ‘bolded’ part of the quote several times now and just can’t make any bloody sense from it. What government policy is it that is going to increase the Chinese population to 5%? (Or is he saying it has risen to 5% over the past 20 years?) I just don’t get what’s being referred to. That aside, is he really suggesting that farmland ownership goes hand in hand with population %age? The only sense I can make of what he’s written (and it doesn’t make sense at all!) is that Chinese people who immigrate to NZ and/or have off spring here are in cahoots with the Chinese government in some way that would facilitate the buying up of farmland under the auspices of Biejing companies.

      If that is what he’s suggesting (and please – somebody correct me if it’s just my brain not working properly this morning and he’s saying something else) is sunk in conspiracy and very much hearkening back to a ‘yellow peril’ mentality. Utterly racist and complete drivel.

  33. vto 33

    The Germans can fuck off buying our land as well as the bloody Chinese.

    So can the Americans – piss off. Bloody imperialists.

    And the poms can take their whingeing asses back to Mother England. We don’t want no pommy landlords.

    The Japs? The Koreans? The Filipinos and Singaporeans? Yep, the lot – out.

    Africans and Iranians and Kurds – take your money and go away.

    And especially the Fijians and South Africans and Israelis – don’t want none of their bloody racist activities over here that’s for sure.

    Mexicans are also unwelcome as landlords.

    No person who lives outside of New Zealand can own land in New Zealand.

    There, wayne and Key and Williamson and Fran O’Sullivan – fixed it for you. Don’t want none of the pricks as our landlords.

    • marty mars 33.1

      the land was stolen in the first place – tangata whenua have been tenants in their own land since colonisation began. Fix the crooked foundations of this country first.

      IMO, the cult of private property and commodification of land means that any landlord is as bad as any other, so where they come/came from is irrelevant.

      • vto 33.1.1

        You might have a semi-related point there mr marty, but my point concerns the existence of foreign overlords. We can deal with the local overlords at another point. Similarly re the status of land and its ownership and control – fair issue but only semi-related to the matter at hand.

        Regarding theft of land – are you referring to Ngai Tahu and its military takeover and theft of the South Island and its resources such as pounamu, post European arrival?

        • marty mars 33.1.1.1

          “Ngai Tahu and its military takeover and theft of the South Island and its resources such as pounamu, post European arrival”

          what the fuck bullshit are you going on about vto. You are ignorant with a capital ig – try and grow up instead of diseminating hatred twerp.

          • vto 33.1.1.1.1

            It’s pretty clear what I was saying mr angry bullhead.

            • marty mars 33.1.1.1.1.1

              clear as mud and just as dirty.

              Military takeover – that will be news to the 45,000 registered Ngai Tahu. Theft of Te Wai Pounamu and its resources – lovely hate speech – your longlost relative must be so proud of that statement.

              Why not just admit you have some issues with indigenous rights and tangata whenua instead of abusing a group of people who have suffered terribly because of exactly the type of attitudes your comment displayed.

              and I am not a taurus I am an aries so ramhead is more appropriate thanks.

              • vto

                well look fellow ram, why not take issue with the issue then and stop accusing and abusing. I do have issues with some issues around the place of maori and the treaty and the first-in-first-served approach. They are entirely legitimate issues and questions, which we have in fact batted back and forth on several occasions. There is no problem with having issues with these things – it is hardly as if these things are well settled and accepted. It is called an open discussion. Handle it.

                As for the military takeover by Ngai Tahu – that was a tiny exaggeration to go with your exaggerated claim re theft of lands in your first post above.

                But why would it be such a shock to Ngai Tahu to learn of, or even begin to question, the warring ways to gain lands and resources which are then claimed from high moral ground under the treaty process in a subsequent century. Many parts of this period and history are quietly but forcefully shoved under the carpet. Perhaps a little more openness and honesty about what happenned then would be useful for all parties. After all, repression never lasts.

                As an example, the true history of Ngai Tahu on Te Tai Poutini combined with the undercurrents of today regarding pounamu may be a good starting point.

                When things are not allowed to be questioned that is entirely the time for questioning…

                • I made my initial comment to supplement yours not to create a flamewar but you decided to have a go and you know it. Now you get all preachy cos it’s a bit hot – try that for honesty and openness. And i also spent some time answering you politely on my blog but you seem to like hit and run there.

                  You don’t have an arguement just an opinion. Ngāi Tahu whānui are aware of the true history but you are not and that is obvious with your ‘warring ways’ line. If you really want to debate the issue then do so in an adult way without resorting to slurs and unsubstaniated biased opinion that is hurtful to a selected group of people.

  34. I would say Selwyn is a NZ chauvinist more typical of the social democratic but not revolutionary left. He seems to have a thing about Chinese in NZ. That may reflect historic attitudes, his strong support for Mana and the tension that exists between Maori Treaty claims and selling off of land to foreigners all of which needs to be unpacked.

    In NZ historically, the white-settler labour movement was anti-Chinese which goes back to the time when British workers were infused with British social imperialism.

    Social imperialism is that Eurocentric view that non-European peoples need to follow the path to civilisation of the European powers which may take an invasion or a war to instil. In China bombing the imperial palace was necessary to advance civilisation. In NZ where Maori were numerically and militarily strong the Church and the Treaty accompanied the military.

    Social imperialism was adopted into the working class to provide a rationale for reserving the best jobs for European workers while the ‘natives’ had to work their way up the ladder of civilisation.

    It took the militancy of Maori, Irish, Scots and US workers, whose ‘civilisation’ owed something to fighting the British, and the socialist and anarchist ideology of the late 19th century, to challenge this British chauvinism in the labour movement early in the 20th century. Militancy had to overcome national chauvinism and racism in order to create international solidarity against the bosses.

    In NZ the the militants were defeated by 1913 and the moderates who formed the social democratic, reformist layers of the labour aristocracy (better paid skilled workers these days often mislabelled the ‘middle class’) now the base of the parliamentary Labour party, retained an anti-Asian and anti-Maori prejudice. Margaret Mutu recently highlighted the fact that NZ’s skilled immigration policy still favours the white settler ‘kith and kin’ reproducing the white racism and chauvinism of old for the same reason – protection of better jobs.

    So now that China is becoming an economic power, and obviously seen by the US as a challenge to its Pacific hegemony, there are those in NZ who conflate the historic anti-China racism, with anti-foreign investment. That is a conflation of a reactionary with a progressive cause. It is reactionary when it blames foreigners for loss of control over the economy, land, jobs, incomes etc and looks to ‘national’ ownership as salvation. It is progressive when it blames foreign imperialism of all colours, and its national agents in NZ, the NACTs, the banksters and the vulture capitalists, which as an international ruling CLASS, conspire to increase their control over the economy, land, jobs, incomes etc.

    The Crafar Farms issue shows that those in the working class most influenced by chauvinism and racism are those sectors that historically defend their jobs from non-white races. Those in the working class that oppose China buying the farms in favour of NZ ownership (and Maori ownership) are in danger of getting sucked into this racism. When Fay forms a bloc with Maori iwi leaders this is a fraction of the national capitalists aligned with imperialism. It is not an alternative to so-called foreign ownership. Because, to survive, national capitalists must become agents of imperialism on its terms so that part of the profits created by NZ workers go into their pockets. Think Maori joint ventures in fishing.

    The fact is that international finance capital is contemptuous of borders. It only preaches nationalism and racism to keep the workers lined up behind national borders and ready to go to war to defend this or that imperialist power. That’s why workers as a class have to be even more internationalist than their bosses and not fall for the racist nationalism that divides and conquers them. NZ workers allies are ‘foreign’ workers. The best ally against Chinese imperialism is not Michael Fay but the Chinese working class that fights for workers control of the economy.

    NZ workers should do the same. Because the term ‘nationalise’ still conveys the narrow insular ideology of nationalism, ‘social ownership’ and ‘workers control’ are more accurate terms for the change from private ownership to collective ownership of strategic assets such as land.

    http://redrave.blogspot.co.nz/2012/01/chinese-workers-and-peasants-confront.html

    • Bill 34.1

      I admit to be kind of ‘interested’ to see how certain sections of the left are going to get out of the corner they appear to painting themselves into over this farm sales issue.

      Michael Fay, I would have thought, is not the type of person anyone would want to see having ownership of or control over resources. But by dint of the arguments used to oppose the Chinese bid, a lot of people have by default pinned their colours to his mast. He would be a ‘domestic’ owner and that would appear to be all that is required to get the approval of certain sections of the left. (Oh, he would be a domestic owner, except that he lives in London or Switzerland or where ever ). Anyway. Seems to me a section of the left has effectively gagged itself with regards commenting unfavourably on the Fay Consortium bid.

      Will his non-residency be brought up? Will there be a call for strict conditions on the sale (similar to what was in place for Chinese buyers) in an attempt to ensure that his purchase is ‘good for NZ’ (whatever that means)? Assuming any (or most) produce coming off that land is exported (a fair assumption) and assuming that Fay has all the usual convoluted financial arrangements in place to minimise any tax payments and so on and assuming that some management team is put in charge of at least some of the farms (can’t see Michael givng up his financial wheeling and dealing to be a farmer), then….well, what’s the difference again between ‘this’ owner and ‘that’ owner?

      F-cking, beyond me.

      • vto 34.1.1

        If he is a non-resident then bad luck. Simple.

        Other issues around the structure of land ownership in NZ are just that.

        • Bill 34.1.1.1

          What if he’s a resident but most of his company is (or most of his companies are) registered in another country?

          • vto 34.1.1.1.1

            Bill, that is a technical issue around people trying to be tricky. Clearly the rules would have to be fairly comprehensive to stop this trickery. Beneficial ownership, part ownership stakes, non-person ownerships – all issues to be evaluated to ensure the basic premise holds tight. Simple but complex.

      • Colonial Viper 34.1.2

        well, what’s the difference again between ‘this’ owner and ‘that’ owner?

        Two metrics I would look at are effect on our balance of payments, and control of the real productive food output of the farm.

        • Bill 34.1.2.1

          Wouldn’t Landcorp have effectively controlled the ‘productive food output’ under the previous deal?

          And okay, you want to look at balance of payments or whatever, presumably because that indicates what is ‘good for NZ’. As I’ve said previously, I don’t really give a rats arse for what is ‘good for NZ’ because it does not necessarily translate into anything good for you or me or the vast majority of people.

          eg (Purely theoretical btw, I have no idea of the capacity of the Crafar Farms) But what if a foreign buyer committed itself to selling milk on the domestic market at a price below that which Fontera currently charges and had enough volume to precipitate a price war? That might not be ‘good for NZ’ using economic indicators, but it sure as hell would be good for those of us who can’t afford milk.

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    Labour | 26-08
  • Labour embraces the rainbow
    Labour will work hard to ensure all New Zealanders enjoy the freedom to grow up and live their lives in dignity and security. Labour’s Rainbow policy, released tonight in Wellington, focuses on International Relations, Human Rights and Education....
    Labour | 26-08
  • National gets fast and loose with the facts
    In their desperation to make it look as though they are doing something about the housing crisis, National is playing fast and loose with the facts, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 26-08
  • Labour will drop power prices for Kiwi families
    New Zealanders will get cheaper power prices under NZ Power, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The electricity market is clearly broken. With falling demand for electricity, prices should be going down. Instead prices are going up and companies are extracting...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Labour: Promoting sustainable tourism
    Ensuring New Zealand’s clean, green status continues to be an international tourism benchmark and reviewing MBIE’s oversight of the tourism sector will be on the radar under a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Tourism policy today, spokesperson Darien Fenton said tourism...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Skills shortage a result of National’s complacency
    The fact that there is still a severe shortage of skilled tradespeople, despite a growth in the number of apprentices, is a result of National’s failure to plan and develop the workforce, Grant Robertson, Labour Employment, Skills and TrainingSpokesperson says."The...
    Labour | 26-08
  • How much tax does John Key pay compared to a minimum wage worker?? – Mint...
    MANA Movement Economic Justice spokesperson John Minto is calling for a radical overhaul of New Zealand’s taxation system with calculations showing that a minimum wage worker pays a ten times higher tax rate than the Prime Minister. o Minimum wage...
    Mana | 25-08
  • Labour’s culture of science and innovation
    Labour will create a culture of science and innovation in New Zealand that will be the envy of the world, says Labour’s Innovation, Research and Development spokesperson Megan Woods. “Labour believes that good science lies at the heart of a...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Improving life for our new New Zealanders
    New Zealand’s international standing as a community that encourages and fosters all cultures will be bolstered under a Labour Government with an upgrade of the present Office of Ethnic Affairs to a Ministry. Releasing Labour’s Ethnic Affairs policy, spokesperson Phil...
    Labour | 25-08
  • South Auckland housing crisis
    National’s HomeStart package is nothing more than a political stunt designed to beguile South Auckland voters, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. “Few working Pasifika and Maori workers in South Auckland will be able to buy their own...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Home buyer subsidy discredited in Oz
    Treasury advised against National’s policy of ramping up home buyer subsidies after it was discredited in Australia because it pushed house prices even higher, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Documents released under the OIA (attached) show Treasury advised the...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Nursing hours explain turnover and high-stress culture
    A staff survey supports concerns nursing staff at Dunedin Hospital are under increasing pressure and that the emergency department is in a critical state, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson David Clark.  “An ED nursing survey at Dunedin found that 80...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Underhand tactics prove case for axing donations
    Revelations that schools are using underhand tactics to coerce donations from cash-strapped parents further highlights the need for Labour's plan to increase funding so they aren't dependent on contributions from parents, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “By law New...
    Labour | 24-08
  • National applies band-aid to housing crisis
    The Government’s flagship housing announcement is a band-aid approach that will push up prices rather than solve the housing crisis, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “House sales to first home buyers have collapsed as a direct result of the Government’s...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Climate change focus on the now for the future
    A Labour Governmentwill put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on bothmitigation and adaptation, establish an independent Climate Commission andimplement carbon budgeting, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson MoanaMackey."This is about future-proofing our economy. Making the transition to alow-carbon...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Labour’s 21st century transport pledge
    The next Labour-led Government will create a 21st century transport system for New Zealand that promotes the most efficient and sustainable combination of transport options, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour will rebalance the Government's transport spending away from...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Housing under National: the facts
    1.       House prices in Auckland Council valuations indicate Auckland house prices have gone up by one-third over the last three years. (Auckland Council) The average Auckland house price has gone up by nearly $225,000 since 2008, up over $75,000 in...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Labour irons out low income tax issue
    The increasing casualisation of work has led to many New Zealand families being disadvantaged through the tax they pay, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. "Many low paid workers are having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Cornered Government comes out swinging
    The National Government is so desperate to keep its dead-in-the-water expert teachers policy alive, it has refused to rule out forcing schools to participate through legislation, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “John Key today attacked the Educational Institute for...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Pacific people continue to go backwards under National
    A report from Victoria University highlights the fact that Pacific people are continuing to go backwards under a National Government, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The report shows the largest inequality increases were in smoking, obesity, tertiary...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Wellington transport plan needs to keep moving
    The failure of the Transport Agency to properly look at alternatives to the Basin Reserve flyover is not a good reason for further delays to improving transport in Wellington, Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Annette King say. “The Board of...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Labour’s focus on inequality, kids and better job prospects
    Tackling child poverty and removing barriers to people working part time to enhance their prospects of moving into a fulltime job are highlights of Labour’s Social Development policy. Releasing the policy today, spokesperson Sue Moroney said while part-time work was...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Political staff should give answers under oath
    The Inspector General of Security and Intelligence should use her full statutory powers to question witnesses under oath about the leak of SIS information, says Labour MP Phil Goff. “Leakage of confidential information from the SIS for political purposes is...
    Labour | 21-08
  • High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue
    The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale community, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The company’s inability to compete in international markets...
    Labour | 21-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Soz Cam – PaknSave boycott of whaleoil continues – time to start a boyc...
    Cam is so carcinogenic now, not even his mates in the Tobacco Industry are talking to him any longer. I suspect only the Israeli Defence Force propaganda department are paying for content on whaleoil now. Cam says that PaknSave have dropped their problems...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • The Rock Fuels NZ Roastbuster Rape Culture
    This is making me feel pretty uncomfortable. Here we have an instance of Jono and Ben posing like “exposed celebrities”. But do you know what I’m seeing? I’m seeing two dudes who basically “roasted” a woman online (exposed pictures of...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – Why beneficiaries need advocacy
    There are times when I am wrong. I was wrong recently when someone suggested to me that AAAP should be eligible for government funding to continues its advocacy work. That was before. Before dealing with advocacy on a weekly basis...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • TheDailyBlog September Political Poll Has Been Kicked Off
    The Daily Blog’s August poll has concluded and the September poll has been kicked off, asking readers: What party will you likely vote for at this year’s General Election? You will see this month’s poll in the right-hand sidebar of...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Jamie Whyte, leave that poor seal alone!
    Worse than showing mere lip service to Rainbow inclusion, ACT leader Jamie Whyte showed stunning arrogance when appeared at a candidates debate on rainbow issues hosted by the Auckland University Students’ Association last Thursday. The stunning hypocrisy was evident as...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Right wing can’t help but use scum
    Some people have been shocked that the traditional right wing party in New Zealand politics is so deeply embedded with scum like the blogger Whale Oil. We need not be so surprised. It takes a certain type to support the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: National’s Ohariu candidate admits contact by Simon Lusk
    . . Wellington, NZ, 31  August – At a meet-the-candidates public meeting in the Rongotai Electorate, National’s Ohariu candidate, Brett Hudson, confirmed that he had been approached by “a mate”, who passed on a message from  National Party operative, Simon...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014
    Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Petition for Governor General of New Zealand to Investigate all the allegat...
      Now we see the inquiry will be a whitewash, that is secret, won’t be consulted with the Opposition, will have limited scope and will ignore Nicky Hager’s book, we must demand the Governor General step in and demand an...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Ashburton, 1 September 2014
    I NEVER WENT BACK to Aramoana after the killing. I had been a frequent visitor to the tiny seaside village back in the late 1970s and throughout the 80s. Its tall cliffs and broad beaches providing a colourful backdrop to...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Checkmate in 1 move – how could Slater have known what was in OIA request...
    And now we get down to the final few moves before checkmate. If the following investigation is right, how could Slater and Collins have known what was in the Secret Intelligence Service Official Information Act request that hadn’t been released...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • The Edge Posts Naked Photos Of Jennifer Lawrence Without Consent
    Today the Edge website – owned by Media Works – published fully naked photographs of Jennifer Lawrence without her consent. It is not OK to publish naked media of any woman without her consent, full stop. It is absolutely disgusting...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Bomber, Laila and Maggie – a highlight from Auckland Broadcasting Debate ...
    Bomber, Laila and Maggie – a highlight from Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, how good was I i...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Maggie Barry slags Laila Harre & blogger, audience erupt
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting held their public meeting in Auckland last night and it became a fiery shouting match when Maggie Barry decided to slag Laila Harre and me off. 250 people packed into the Pioneer Hall off High...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • It has to be a full independent public inquiry and Key MUST front
      You know things are bad when images like this start appearing in the media.  It isn’t a ‘left wing conspiracy’ to point out the over whelming evidence of what is clearly a right wing conspiracy! If it looks like a conspiracy, sounds like a conspiracy...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Political Party social media stats – National playing Dirty Politics on s...
    Interesting data from friend of the blog, Marty Stewart, on social media likes and it shows an interesting question that post Dirty Politics should probably get asked…   …it’s interesting that Key has so many personal followers.  One wonders if...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • The depth of the National rot and the compliance of our news media
    I’m so tired. Aren’t you? I don’t want to read the news anymore. It’s awful and I feel ashamed of it. We live in a country that people all over the world would give an arm, a leg; their life...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Conservative Party candidate links smacking ban with suicide, sexually tran...
    If Chemtrails, faked moon landings and climate change denial weren’t enough, welcome to your new Minister for Spanking,  Edward Saafi... The anti-smacking law is to blame for youth suicide, youth prostitution and even sexually-transmitted infections, a leading Conservative party candidate...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word on the canonisation of Matthew Hooton
    Before we all start the canonisation of Matthew Hooton, let’s consider some home truths here shall we? While the Wellington Ruminator Blog, the blog who was previously mates with Judith Collins, now seems to have a crush on Matthew Hooton… …I...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word on undercover cops in bars
    Dunedin police booze operation labelled ‘creepy’ Undercover police officers drank in Dunedin bars as part of an operation targeting liquor licensing offences. While police said the inaugural operation was a success — with most bars found compliant — the Hospitality...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Judith Collins press conference
    Judith Collins press conference...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Angry Lawyer – Collins, Odgers, Williams and legal ethics
    We deserve better lawyers than Judith Collins Three of the worst offenders exposed in Dirty Politics are lawyers: Judith Collins, Cathy Odgers, and Jordan Williams. What Nicky Hager exposed them doing would be out of line for anyone, but from...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Necessary Defence
    Increasingly climate change is becoming the main fracture line between political parties. Where political parties stand on climate change defines political parties and movements like no other issue. The Mana Movement like the Maori Party it sprang from, came out...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Why it is all over for John Key
    Image: Melanie D I’ve been confident that National will lose this election and that our focus should be on what a progressive Government needs to establish as its agenda in the first 100 days. Past that point, the establishment pushes back...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word to everyone who voted National in 2011
    I received this interesting email from a National Party supporter today… …let me say this to anyone who voted National last election – you should be ashamed by what has been revealed and what your vote ended up enabling but...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • EXCLUSIVE: Déjà Vu All Over Again: John Ansell confirms his participation...
      THE MAN BEHIND the Iwi-Kiwi billboards that very nearly won the 2005 election for Don Brash and the National Party has confirmed his involvement in businessman John Third’s and former Act MP Owen Jennings’ campaign to drive down the...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Public Broadcasting Auckland debate 6.30pm tonight now with Colin Craig &am...
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting debate on public broadcasting happens tonight at 6.30pm in Auckland at the Pioneer Women’s Hall, High Street, Auckland City.  In the light of Dirty Politics and the manipulation of the media, public broadcasting is more important for...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Winners & Losers in Collins sacking plus what’s the latest on Slater...
      Make no mistake, there was no way this was a resignation, it’s a face saving way out for Collins, she was sacked.  My understanding is that National internal polls are haemorrhaging and that the powers that be within National...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Third party propaganda attacks incoming Labour-led government
    . . Further to a report by Daily Blogger, Chris Trotter, on receiving information regarding planned attack-billboards, the following billboard is highly visible to traffic on the southbound lane of the Wellington motorway, just prior to the Murphy St turn-off....
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Labour wins the Internet
    I’m sure I’m not the only one who tried to vote online for the leaders debate and couldn’t because the website was down. The next option was the txt vote, 75c a pop of course. So I’m not surprised that...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Rotherham and the need to challenge willful bl...
    I haven’t been following the events in Rotterham too closely.  I’ve read about the basic issues and the culture of silence that stopped action been taken even after complaints were made.  That culture of silence is incredibly familiar, and described...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Review: Hairspray
      Oh Hairspray! What fun! Somehow I managed to miss the movie when it came out, I had no idea really what it was about though I felt it had a vague relation to High School Musical. In retrospect, that...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Mounting global pressure against Timor-Leste’s ‘death sentence’ media...
    East Timor’s José Belo … courageous fight against ‘unconstitutional’ media law.Image: © Ted McDonnell 2014 CAFÉ PACIFIC and the Pacific Media Centre Online posted challenges to the controversial ‘press law’ nine months ago when it emerged how dangerous this draft...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Spies, Lies and When Campaigns Are Fried
    Like most of the rest of the nation’s political classes, I was eagerly affixed to TV One from 12:30 on Saturday afternoon to witness the downfall of Judith Collins.Whenever we witness the crumbling of a titan of the political landscape...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Whaleoil crushes Crusher
    Judith ends up shooting herself A new email has been released suggesting that Collins was attempting to undermine the head of Serious Fraud Office with the help of far right hate speech merchant Cameron Slater. Unbelievable!   She has been forced...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Rumours Judith Collins gone at lunchtime
    Brook Sabin first of the mark with rumours Judith Collins is about to resign – PM announcing a statement at 12.30pm… …Paddy follows… …Vance confirms..   …if Collins is gone by lunchtime, it will be because the PM understands the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • BREAKING: UPDATE on DIRT ALERT!
    Thanks to the information passed to Chris Trotter by “Idiot/Savant” from No Right Turn it is now possible to identify at least some of the persons involved in this latest example of attack politics. What follows is Chris’s response to Idiot/Savant’s timely assistance: Well done...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Comparing burning puppets, hip hop lyrics and drunk student chants to black...
    Watching the mainstream media try and obscure Cunliffe’s surprise win in the leaders debate  is a reminder the Press Gallery is in depressed shock. The current spin line from the Wellington bubble media in the wake of Dirty Politics is that...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Why has it all gone quiet on Charter Schools?
    They’re one of ACT’s flagship policies and the National Party have been gung ho in supporting them. So how come we’re not hearing Hekia Parata, Jamie Whyte, Catherine Isaac, et al singing from the rafters about what a resounding success charter...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall
    Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • EXCLUSIVE: Dirt Alert! Are the Greens and Labour about to become the target...
    WE’VE SEEN IT ALL BEFORE. In 2005 pamphlets began appearing all over New Zealand attacking Labour and the Greens. For a couple of days both the parties targeted and the news media were flummoxed. Who was behind such an obviously...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: the Press Council’s decision
    . . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The difference between Cunliffe & Key in the debate
    It was with much interest that I watched the leaders debate on Thursday night.  I watched with an open mind, always happy to have my opinion changed.  Maybe John Key is all the wonderful things that many say about him,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – When Did We Agree To Our Data Being Shared with ...
    New shocking evidence has emerged from Edward Snowden’s trove of documents about a program called ICREACH under which data collected by the GCSB is shared with 23 US spy agencies. Under new sharing agreements which appear to have commenced immediately after...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Why Internet MANA are the best political friends the Greens could ever get
    Metiria at last nights #GreenRoomNZ: standing on the shoulders and camera cases of giants  NZers, regardless of political spectrum or apathy level, have a wonderful beach cricket egalitarianism about us. If we can objectively conclude a winner, then that person...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Sick of the Sleaze? Protest against National’s dirty politics THIS SATURD...
    Sick of the Sleaze? Protest now dammit! Three weeks before the election, action is being taken across the country voicing a rejection of the National Government’s track record and direction. Rallies are being held in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Sir Edmund Thomas – Address at Nicky Hager public meeting
    I regard it as privilege to chair this public meeting. I have long had the greatest admiration for Nicky Hager’s work, and nothing I have read or heard in the media over the past week or so has caused me...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Labour and New Zealand Superannuation
    The kerfuffle in the wake of Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics has had a detrimental impact on our discussion of economic policies. Signs are that the main beneficiaries of the dirty politics revelations will be Winston Peters and Colin Craig; certainly National suffered...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Mike Hosking and the Leader’s Debat...
    A few weeks ago I blogged that Mike Hosking was a terrible choice as moderator for the TV One Party Leader’s Debate, because he is so embarrassingly biased in favour of John Key. So I watched the show with curiosity,...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Greens policy to restore link between effort and reward
    The Green Party’s new workers policy articulates an alternative to wage repression and job insecurity based on restoring the link between effort and reward, according to FIRST Union. The core tenets of the policy include implementing an $18 minimum...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Greens workers policy supported by union movement
    The CTU is supporting the Green Party’s policy launched today focused on improving life for working New Zealanders. “This policy shows the Greens commitment to collective bargaining as the best and fairest way to improve workers terms and conditions. It...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Research Scholarships for Cannabis Treatments
    Medical cannabis research will be boosted by $140 million if the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party is elected on September 20. Pediatric epilepsy treatment will be one of the main priorities for the research scholarships....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Ngai Te Rangi Change to Tribal Elections
    Ngai Te Rangi has begun a postal vote of beneficiaries to change the way representatives are elected to the two Ngai Te Rangi tribal organisations....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Greens’ commitment to pay equity welcomed by workers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the 58,000 workers they represent will benefit from the announcement by the Green Party of a commitment to pay equity and to a living wage for core public servants and contractors....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Real People Powering Real Policy
    New Zealanders from all walks of life have helped the Internet Party create a full platform of strong, progressive and realistic policies that will create a better future for everyone, says leader Laila Harré....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • University of Canterbury to help with forestry safety
    The University of Canterbury is to launch a new research project to make sure New Zealand’s new forestry roads are safe and are established with minimal environmental impact....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Time to get serious about ending homelessness!
    New Zealand needs a comprehensive set of policies that address the housing and support needs of homeless people as well as significantly increasing the supply of affordable, good quality houses and flats....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Hundreds to join domestic, sexual violence march
    Several social service providers from across New Zealand have come together to call for an end to the epidemic level of domestic and sexual violence in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Students helped with debt repayments
    New Zealand students now living in Australia are being reminded not to ignore their student loan debt as Inland Revenue expands its latest tool to help with repayments....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Launch of GenderNeutral.co.nz website
    GenderNeutral.co.nz are excited to announce the launch of their new website, GenderNeutral.co.nz ....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Factory farming debaters to look chicken in the eye
    MPs participating in a panel discussion about factory farming will come face-to-face with a real live hen, rescued from the claws of the intensive farming industry. Hettie the Hen will demonstrate to the MPs what little space is afforded to...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Personal Statement by Matthew Hooton
    Personal Statement by Matthew Hooton 1 September 2014 For Immediate Release “This morning I made comments on Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon programme about an attempt by staff in the Prime Minister’s Office to interfere in the appointment...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Worm turns down for John Key
    John Key struggled to coax The Worm above the line in Thursday’s Leaders Debate, according to Roy Morgan’s Reactor, the original Worm. John Key struggled to coax The Worm above the line in Thursday’s Leaders Debate, according to Roy Morgan’s...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Edge Posts Naked Photos Without Consent
    The Edge website, owned by Media Works have published fully naked photographs of Jennifer Lawrence without her consent....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Statement from the Governor-General on Ashburton Shootings
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, has expressed his deep shock following the shooting of three people in Ashburton today....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Update on IGIS inquiry into release of NZSIS information
    In recognition of the public interest, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, took the unusual step of providing an update during the course of an inquiry and confirmed today that she would be summoning a number of individuals...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • An Open Government Plan developed in secrecy
    The State Services Commission sent NZ’s Open Government Action Plan to the international Open Government Partnership (OGP) Secretariat on 31 July. The countries involved in the OGP since its inception - from the UK and US to Indonesia and Brazil...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • KiwiRail; another year older and deeper in debt
    That is a lot of money and there are lessons that need to be learnt before we pour in another $1 billion....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Fonterra China Deal Demands Safe Supply Chain
    The future success of Fonterra’s deal to sell infant formula in China [1] requires all milk it uses be safe and for Fonterra to secure its supply chain from contamination by GE DNA and pesticide residues. There is now significant...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • HRC praises Auckland mum for speaking out
    Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy has praised an Auckland mother of four who went public after humiliating treatment by staff at The Warehouse....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Southern DHB refers disputed issue to Serious Fraud Office
    Following advice from forensic investigation firm Beattie Varley Limited, Southern District Health Board has referred the expenditure at the centre of its long running dispute with South Link Health to the Serious Fraud Office. The parties have been...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Letter 1 September 2014
    Last night’s TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll puts the left and right 60 MPs each. United and the Maori Party say they will go with the side that gets to 61 MPs. ACT just needs just 1.3% or 28 thousand Party...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Shopping Giveaway Harmless Fun For Kids
    Family First NZ is rubbishing claims by critics including Gareth Morgan that the New World ‘Little Shop’ promotion is harmful for kids, and says that kids should be allowed to be kids. “Children love acting like their parents and pretending...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Red Cross launches employment service for former refugees
    New Zealand Red Cross is encouraging employers to give refugees a fresh startwith the launch of Pathways to Employment, a nationwide work assistance service....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • EDS welcomes Labour’s Conservation Policy
    The Environmental Defence Society has welcomed Labour’s Conservation Policy including the key objective of halting the current pattern of indigenous biodiversity decline within ten years....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Poverty is falling and income inequality is not rising
    “A Roy Morgan poll shows that the issue people are most concerned about is income inequality. This just goes to show how the persistent repetition of a lie bewilders the public. Income inequality is not in fact rising. And the...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Rotary NZ responding to Fiji water and sanitation issues
    Clean water and sanitation are vital to health. In Fiji Rotary New Zealand have been targeting 22 communities that are experiencing severe hardship mainly because they don’t have access to clean water for their drinking, cleaning and cooking needs....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Work & Income shooting a Tragedy
    Kay Brereton speaking on behalf of the National Beneficiary Advocacy Consultancy group says; “Two people shot and another wounded, this is a tragedy and our deepest sympathy goes out to the family and whanau of the victims, as well as...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • 1080 Poison Deer Repellent not Effective – Farmers
    Four deer have been found dead within a farmer's bush block, after an aerial 1080 poison drop applied with deer repellent. The drop was part of a 30,000 hectare drop across the Northern Pureora Forest Park....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Employment Charter will strengthen migrants’ rights
    Establishing an Employment Charter for construction companies is a critical step to strengthening the rights of migrant workers that are fast becoming the face of the Christchurch rebuild, according to an alliance of union groups. The charter has...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Global March For Elephants and Rhino
    It’s a trans-national business that funds terrorist organisations, fuels conflict in Africa, and poses environmental, development and security challenges. The illegal wildlife trade is also a lucrative business, generating an estimated USD$20 billion...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • New series of videos aimed at disengaged youth
    From the people who brought you 'NZ Idle' (NZ's favourite web series about an artist on the dole) comes a new series about election time: Choice Lolz....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Picket Of Leaders Christchurch Debate
    KEEP OUR ASSETS PICKET OF LEADERS CHRISTCHURCH DEBATE TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 2nd, 6 p.m. ST MARGARETS COLLEGE, SHREWSBURY STREET, MERIVALE...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Vega Auriga should be detained in NZ until problems fixed
    Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Joe Fleetwood says that the ship Vega Auriga should be detained in a New Zealand port until it is deemed seaworthy and crew issues have been fixed....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Minor Parties Added to Election ‘Bribe-O-Meter’
    The Taxpayers’ Union have added the Green, ACT, United Future and Conservative Parties to the ‘ Bribe-O-Meter ’ hosted at taxpayers.org.nz . Excluding ACT and New Zealand First, the total election ‘bribes’ - that is new spending not already...
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Fiery Broadcasting Debate in Auckland
    Over 250 people turned out for the Auckland Broadcasting and Media Debate in Auckland City last night to hear politicians give their solutions to NZ’s media and broadcasting woes....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Independent Epsom Candidate: Adam Holland
    Today I am very proud to have been nominated to run as an independent candidate by the people of Epsom in order to work hard for the people of Epsom, Mount Eden, Newmarket and Remuera....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Voters favour parties with factory farming policies
    A Horizon Research poll shows that 64.7% of adults are more likely to vote for a political party with a policy against factory farming....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Collins And Dirty Politics Drive The #nzpol Wordcloud
    After Judith Collins' resignation as Minister from Cabinet on Saturday, the data insight organisation Qrious collected all tweets that used the hashtag #nzpol and for approximately the 24 hours since the announcement to produced this wordcloud....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Bill English: allegations against Judith Collins are serious
    Deputy Prime Minister Bill English told TV1’s Q+A programme that the allegations against Judith Collins are serious and that’s why an inquiry is needed....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Culture Change Required
    "There are serious issues raised in an Employment Relations Authority judgement released this week. The culture within the Whangarei District Council (WDC) organisation must change. The culture of any organisation is defined by its leadership starting...
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Reducing Reoffending Statistic Challenged
    In Rethinking’s latest blog, http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/08/th-bps-reducing-crime-and-reoffending.html it closely examines the current claim that reoffending in New Zealand has reduced by 12.5% since June 2011, and reveals how that figure has been achieved. It argues...
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • University economics team studying workers’ comparing wages
    A University of Canterbury economics research team is looking at fairness of the job assignments and whether workers are sensitive to the wages of their co-workers....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Statement by State Services Commissioner
    30 August 2014 "The State Services Commission was contacted by the Prime Minister's Office over the last 24 hours on this issue." “Any activity that undermines, or has the potential to undermine, the trust and confidence in the public service...
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Christchurch Council Circus … Continued
    In 2010 the UK Daily Mail investigated the antics of a major bureaucratically bloated London Local Authority and reported with THE GREAT INERTIA SECTOR ....
    Scoop politics | 30-08
  • The Nation Housing Debate
    Patrick It's the great Kiwi dream, but is owning the roof over your head now just a pipe dream for many Kiwis? Homeownership is at the lowest level in half a century. National's answer is to double subsidies to first-home...
    Scoop politics | 30-08
  • Time to Shine Light on Shadowy Spies
    Internet MANA has promised to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry into New Zealand’s intelligence agencies, with a view to transferring oversight of spying operations to a new, independent authority....
    Scoop politics | 30-08
  • New Zealand’s biggest problems are Economic Issues
    New Zealand’s biggest problems are Economic Issues (41%) while the World’s most important problems are War & Terrorism (35%) just three weeks before NZ Election...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
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