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Sold out

Written By: - Date published: 11:58 am, April 20th, 2012 - 107 comments
Categories: capitalism, farming, International, national, overseas investment - Tags: , ,

As expected, the Nats kept on pushing until they got the answer that they wanted. A bit more of NZ is sold out:

Crafar China sale gets green light

Chinese firm Shanghai Pengxin’s controversial bid to buy 16 central North Island dairy farms has been approved by Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson and Associate Finance Minister Jonathan Coleman.

The ministers approved the Overseas Investment Office’s new recommendation to let holding company Milk New Zealand buy the Crafar family farms, after a High Court judgment sent it back to the bureaucrats in February. Williamson said the OIO sought advice from Crown Law and independent advice from David Goddard QC in making its recommendation.

“We are satisfied that on even the most conservative approach this application meets the criteria set out in the act and is consistent with the High Court’s judgment,” Williamson said in a statement.

107 comments on “Sold out”

  1. vto 2

    A few more New Zealanders just became tenants to foreign landlords…

    Our capital base just shrunk a little more …

    And these are good things how?

  2. Ben 3

    So what’s Michael Fay’s next move?

    • Fortran 3.1

      Ben

      With Fay’s NZ financial history we can expect anything – first thing ring Winston –
      then bitch it’s unfair – (like the bloke who hits you first).
      Fay should go home to Switzerland.

      • Robert M 3.1.1

        I regard Micheal Fay as a rather more impressive and tenacious graduate of St Pats Silverstream than the the leading Nat Cabinet Ministers English and Finnalyson who came from that establishment and never seemed to have thrown off the hypocritical alturism that such Catholics schools attempt to implant. Both seem guilt ridden.
        It is interesting to note that the Argentine govts decision to nationalise even in a sense confiscate a 51 % stake in YPF the local oil drillers was due to the fact the Spanish Oil Barrons were about to sell their stock to the Chinese Govts oil company- and therefore the clumsy acqusition makes a bit more sense that the reports on CNN in the hours afterwards that it was incomprehensibile and madness. As the Political Scientist , Bryce Edwards said the strategic trade strategy of MFAT and the Govt of getting into bed withe Chinese Peoples Republic will come into increasing conflict with our natural orientation and comfort zone of resting with the Yanks.

  3. As expected, the Nats kept on pushing until they got the answer that they wanted.

    Odd comment – the answer is the same as last time, when it was challenged.

    Williamson said the OIO sought advice from Crown Law and independent advice from David Goddard QC in making its recommendation.

    Should National not have followed the legal recommendations?

    • jpwood 4.1

      The advice sought of course would not have been what the Government’s obligations were under the OIO, it would have been advice on how to frame the decision in a manner which makes it unreviewable.

  4. Labour’s opposition to this sale is odd, because it was Labour who disestablished the Overseas Investment Commission replacing it with the OIO when the Overseas Investment Act 2005 was passed. Given the public and political interest in the sale, I am sure that the ministers will have followed the law to a T.

    http://www.linz.govt.nz/overseas-investment/about-oio/history-oio

    Is this the Law of Unintended Consequences?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1

      I2, labours opposition is because the government is milking the cows for the chinese -literally.

      Landcare , will depart from its normal role to become a share milker for Shanghai Pengxin.

      The chances of approval without ‘nanny state’ doing the milking/running the farm – zero

    • muzza 5.2

      “Is this the Law of Unintended Consequences?”

      – No its called continuity of agenda, they knew exactly what the consequence would be. Why on earth do people keep making excuses, or believing that government is going to stop this sinking ship..

      Surely people must realise this by now…how many years you been following politics people, cos its seems like about 6-12 months…

      Blind is what what I call it, blind faith, apathy and laziness….clutiching at straws is another!

  5. insider 6

    So Asutralian banks sold some farms they own to some Chinese fellow who likes farming. I can just feel my sovereignty being sucked out by that

    Would anyone have cared if the Australian banks that own the farms just quietly held onto them and contracted Landcorp to run them? I doubt it would have raised a ripple.

  6. WH 7

    From a progressive perspective John Moore writes well about this see John Moore: Leftwing Xenophopia in NZ http://liberation.typepad.com/liberation/2012/02/guest-blog-post-john-moore-leftwing-xenophobia-in-new-zealand.html

    • Carol 7.1

      The focus of the left should be on international solidarity between the workers, the exploited and the powerless. The international hierarchy of capitalism is another matter.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      It’s not xenophobia as we’ve constantly told you. It’s understanding that selling off the local economy to offshore owners is bad the people who depend upon that economy.

    • Bill 7.3

      Thanks for that link WH.

      The only complaint I’d have is that he refers to ‘the standard’ as pro-Labour rather than to some posters as being pro Labour. Still…that’s an aside in an otherwise good piece.

  7. Horizon 8

    I presume this would be fine if it was just Aussies? why does it make a difference if it is Chinese people? And the amount of land here is a small fraction of what is being sold to Americans, Australians, English etc. I like Chinese people.

    • McFlock 8.1

      Your presumption was foolish because it was so inaccurate. Therefore you must be a fool.  So the aspersions you cast just bounce off like hailstones off a house.

    • Craig Glen Eden 8.2

      Crafar owned the Farmers he was a Kiwi to say that the Australians owned them is pure National Party desperate spin. If your logic is they own them because the bank that held the mortgages is Australian owned then they own a shit load of homes in NZ and my 2 houses are not owned by me they are owned by Aussies. Fact is I have the property titles as would have Mr Crafar.

      Jenny Shipley’s Xenophobia line just does not stack up, National Party hacks will use any excuse to sell of what’s left of our amazing country for their own selfish greed. The truth is these people will crawl up anyones arse as long as they think they will be paid for it.

      • pdubyah 8.2.1

        “. Fact is I have the property titles as would have Mr Crafar ” who defaulted on his loans and under the terms of his mortgage (loan) to bank he has to make good the loan by sale of title, which the bank undertake. Same as they would if you didn’t pay your mortgage, a mortgagee sale

        • Craig Glen Eden 8.2.1.1

          Did the NZ Government have any control over that decision ARRRGGGH no.. So that was not A political decision to sell of NZ Land this is!!!!!! National have folded to the Chinese pressure.

          Personally I believe we need to look at keeping all Farmland now more than ever, and yes it is going to matter more and more and National have not woken up to that. NZ should not be for sale and neither should our Law.

      • insider 8.2.2

        Did the title transfer when the receivers took over? Effective ownership power certainly did. No-one complained when that happened, yet that was a transfer to a foreign bank. Standardistas only became interested when the Chinese became interested. Then all of a sudden it was selling the birthright and a threat to sovereignty.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.2.2.1

          I was always against selling off the country to the highest bidder. It quite simply doesn’t make any sense to do so as it removes our ability to look after ourselves.

          • insider 8.2.2.1.1

            So you have no qualms about selling to the second highest bidder (Michael Fay)?

            • McFlock 8.2.2.1.1.1

              Do you really think that one follows from the other?
                     
              Although in many situations it might be the wiser course of action to choose the lesser bid from two evils… 

            • Draco T Bastard 8.2.2.1.1.2

              My preferred option is that they should have been nationalised with the banks taking the loss that they signed up for.

            • rosy 8.2.2.1.1.3

              If not sold to Landcorp – the best option – my preference was that the farms were offered for sale individually – in New Zealand. If the banks took a hit, so be it – they’re the ones who made the bad loans.

        • Ed 8.2.2.2

          My understanding is that a bank operating in New Zealand has to keep assets in New Zealand to meet liabilities and statutory requirements as if they were a New Zealand Bank. That is why if the bank forecloses on a loan and takes ownership, it does not have to meet OIA requirements – it has not passed into foreign ownership. The receivers were selling from New Zealand ownership – I have seen no explanation of why they chose to make this group of unconnected farms less saleable by insisting that they be sold together – if sold separately some would have been very likely to have been purchased by New Zealanders. Who the foreign buyers were is of little importance – it is the selling to overseas owners that has always been the issue.

          Are you an ‘insider’ on the National party spin machine, “insider”?

    • weka 8.3

      “I like Chinese people.”

      What, all of them?

      I have a problem with all overseas ownership of NZ land. In this particular instance there are additional issues: China’s bad human rights record, and the connection between those buying the land and the Chinese govt. I also feel uncomfortable with the loop of the Chinese govt, Shanghai Pengxin, NZ govt/Landcare, Fonterra, and international trade agreements esp the ones that none of us know about and that undermine our sovereignty.

      • Mark L 8.3.1

        [Deleted. ‘Mark’ is clearly a sockpuppet for ‘Wayne’ who was permanently banned some time ago…RL]

        • McFlock 8.3.1.1

          Not getting into a big issue about the morality of defending an absolute theocratic monarchy, but Tibetans might be a bit concerned with your assertion that China doesn’t invade other countries.
              
          There were also issues with countries on other borders over the last 60 years or so, I seem to recall.

          • Mark 8.3.1.1.1

            [Deleted. ‘Mark’ is clearly a sockpuppet for ‘Wayne’ who was permanently banned some time ago…RL]

            • McFlock 8.3.1.1.1.1

              So if you win outright so realpolitik takes precedence, it doesn’t count as an invasion.
                  
               
               

              • Mark

                [Deleted. ‘Mark’ is clearly a sockpuppet for ‘Wayne’ who was permanently banned some time ago…RL]

          • Colonial Viper 8.3.1.1.2

            There were also issues with countries on other borders over the last 60 years or so, I seem to recall.

            Nah, China’s border conflicts have always tended to be small scale and lower intensity. You see, in the last 25 years they’ve decided that they can influence countries economically and industrially, without a shot being fired.

        • weka 8.3.1.2

          Mark, don’t be pathetic. Do you really believe that China and the US and the UK are all the same? Of course all countries do shit, but it’s useful to look at what the shit is and be able to differentiate. Where did I say that a UK or US company buying land here would never have govt links? Did I not preface my comment with having a problem with all foreign ownership?

          Plus what McFlock said.

          • Mark 8.3.1.2.1

            [Deleted. ‘Mark’ is clearly a sockpuppet for ‘Wayne’ who was permanently banned some time ago…RL]

            • weka 8.3.1.2.1.1

              So tell me how the dick measuring contest helps here? I’m not really following your argument except you seem to think that because China isn’t as bad as some other countries that’s alright then.

  8. Patrick Gower blogs about the reality of what’s required for New Zealand to lift it’s trade – and allow for better wages back here. Key’s love of nasi goreng shows why he likes Crafar sale.

    Indonesia’s population is increasing by 4m per year.

    Paddy’s blog is more about sheep milk than nasi goreng.

  9. deuto 10

    Peter Dune has put out an interesting press release following the sale calling for a review of NZ ownership of productive land – http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1204/S00267/dunne-review-needed-to-protect-new-zealand-ownership.htm

    As it is reasonably short, will quote it in full:

    Friday, 20 April 2012

    Dunne: review needed to protect New Zealand ownership

    UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne has called for a review of the Overseas Investment Act and a move to 99-year or similar long-term leases on productive farm land rather than allowing sales to overseas owners.

    Speaking after the ministerial decision announced today approving the Overseas Investment Office recommendation of the sale of the Crafar farms to Milk New Zealand Holding Ltd, Mr Dunne said New Zealanders rightly wanted a major rethink on the whole issue.

    “We only have the land that we have and once it is in foreign hands there is a high likelihood that we will never get it back.

    “You can only sell your birthright once, and it is not xenophobia or racism for a country to decide to look after the interests of its citizens – it is common sense and the duty of government,” Mr Dunne said.

    “Other countries – including China – jealously guard their own land and never allow it to be sold to foreigners.

    “We need to look as a nation at where we stand on holding our own land and we need to do so with a clear head.

    “We owe it to future generations to make sure – as the Prime Minister has said himself – that New Zealanders are not tenants in their own land,” Mr Dunne said.

    He said any review needed to focus on the sale of productive land rather than residential land for personal use. Ends

    I have difficulty reconciling his comments above with his probable support of (partial or full) asset sales of essential services (eg power).

    • Carol 10.1

      Within the global capitalist hierarchy, selling land to an overseas interests gives many of the local capitalist elite (like Dunne) less power and control.

    • fender 10.2

      Just Mr Dunne positioning himself for 2014.

      But if he has found his conscience can we assume he will no longer support selling our power companies I wonder.

      • Matt 10.2.1

        If he’d found a conscience he’d be rallying against this selling of NZ birthright instead of just “looking at” this sort of thing at some point in the future. Fuck you, hairdo.

    • Nick K 10.3

      Dunne’s statement is nonsense.

      “Other countries – including China – jealously guard their own land and never allow it to be sold to foreigners.

      China doesn’t even allow it’s own citizens to own land. Is that what Dunne thinks we should follow?

  10. Michael Bott 11

    This comes as no surprise. Anyway, we can’t buy their land, but they can buy ours. So now they get our land for dairying and we are left with the shit! National just talks a load of bull.

    • Nick C 11.1

      Actually, we are left with the $210 million that they paid for the land, which represents approximatly the net present value of the land.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_present_value

      Although if anything it could be more, as Fay was only prepared to pay $170 million.

      • Richard 11.1.1

        Technically the Australian banks get the $210 M, which is fair because they are their farms. Not yours, not mine: theirs.

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1

          Technically the Australian banks get the $210 M, which is fair because they are their farms. Not yours, not mine: theirs.

          Richard The Sell Out loves the fact that Australian banks own the mortgages on NZ farms

          Answer: time to own the NZ banking sector

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.2

        Money is nothing thus we get nothing.

  11. james 111 12

    When you sign a free trade agreement with China as Helen Clark did you have to do buisness with them.
    I believe national still has to sell another 300,000 hectares to catch up with Labour as thats what they sold to foreigners when they were in Office.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Yes, the FTAs should never have been signed – that includes the TPPA which NACT will probably get around to signing.

  12. TEA 13

    Great.
    We sold that lot to China.
    Now – how about 49% of Landcorp to China next month . . . .

    1

    2

    3

    4

  13. infused 14

    Why is this post “The Standard” with no author?

    You wonder why every speaks to “The Standard” when you have posts like this.

    Are you speaking on behalf of the Standard or what?

    [lprent: It is breaking news using someone else’s content (within copyright restrictions). Because it is one sentence with the rest quoted from a news article.

    Doing one liners on news articles might be a speciality of other people and sites. But usually we’d just put them up as “The Standard” aka “notices and features”.

    Now I suspect I may have explained this to you before. But anyway you have been around long enough to know the answer. Have a 2 week ban. But from here on anyone asking it will get a few months for wasting my time. ]

    • infused 14.1

      The authors should list their name then, to stop the confusion. A post as the standard, is posting as The Standard as a whole in my view.

      You might see different, but since this question comes up so often, it might pay to add some rules around posting to resolve this.

      [lprent: I just explicitly did. These are the same rules that we have had since the site came in. The updated policy now reads..

      See here for an explanation of who writes for the blog. The authors write for themselves with the following exceptions.

      1. If we are putting up material from a guest poster, then it will go up under “Guest Post” and may or may not have a name or pseudonym attached.
      2. If the site is reposting material from another site with no opinion or minimal opinion from an author, then it will go up under the name of “The Standard” (aka notices and features).
      3. There are some routine posts like the daily OpenMike that will also go up under the name of “The Standard” (aka notices and features) because they also offer no opinion.

      I also tidied up or made more explicit some of the other things in the policy. I rescind the ban on the basis that the rules weren’t clear enough (even though I suspect that you were just pushing the limits). ]

      • infused 14.1.1

        I actually wasn’t pushing the limits on purpose. I guess I haven’t read the updated policy.

        • r0b 14.1.1.1

          I put the post up, infused, if it matters. But as Lynn explained, if a post is mostly a quote of someone else’s work we tend not to claim “authorship”. You’ve been around here long enough to know that.

      • Lanthanide 14.1.2

        Glad to see this outlined in the policy, it’s been long overdue.

      • felix 14.1.3

        Not that it’s any of my business, but if “The Standard” as an author is aka “Notices and Features”, wouldn’t it be simpler and clearer and more consistent to just call that author “Notices and Features”?

        I mean I get how it works, but it does sort of seem like an invitation for people to refer to “The Standard” as an author, and quite unnecessarily.

        But like I said, none of my business.

        • lprent 14.1.3.1

          Yeah well, it was originally “notices and features” but that did nasty things to the layout because of its length (and still will even now because we shifted the names to caps – try “Rupert the bear” for instance). When trying to think of another name for it, we ran out of ideas for names pretty fast. Bearing in mind the number of people writing notices and features even in the early days, we didn’t and still don’t want any more choices than two for a editor. Ie KISS means we have fewer screwps. It is either their opinion or it is someone elses work* and goes under the catchall of Notices and Features.

          The Standard fitted the task because it was (just) short enough and clearly wasn’t an author offering opinions and everything else onsite was – for exactly the reasons it gets criticized. Any other name will have exactly the same criticism, and despite asking a number of times I have never heard of a better name.

          From now, I will just give people a Darwin and we will find out if evolution works….

          * putting up guest posts is reserved for just a few editors…

  14. Draco T Bastard 15

    And NACT have jumped on the racism wagon – again.

    Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson says people should not object to the sale of the Crafar farms simply because the purchasers are Chinese.

    It’s got nothing to do with them being Chinese but everything to do with selling off the economy being bad for NZ.

    • James N 15.1

      Somebody in this morning’s Press pointed to the nice irony of Maurice Williamson’s announcing the Crafar sale while wearing an ANZAC poppy made in China…

  15. Does anyone remember that before Crafar himself went under he was looking at selling all 16 farms to cover his debt? Does anyone remember who he was looking at selling too? Hint: It wasn’t anyone in NZ. In fact he actively refused to sell to NZers.

    No one made a fuss then. But now National are in the brig is no holds barred.

    • Te Reo Putake 16.1

      I wish National were in the brig, TC! Lock ’em and throw away the Key, I reckon.

      • TheContrarian 16.1.1

        Well, whatever. Fact remains that Allan Crafar was going to make the sale before the government even got involved. He said quite plainly he wasn’t intresting in selling to NZ concerns. Instead he defaulted to the Aussies who sold to the Chinese. This land was never “our” land.

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1

          Thanks for backing the foreigners. You’ll get your pieces of silver in due course.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      Got any proof of that?

      IMO, I think even if it had gone to sale before the receivership there would still have been the same reaction. People are getting pissed off with seeing NZ sold to overseas owners.

  16. lefty 17

    It was always a losing battle trying to prevent overseas ownership of any asset under existing legislation.

    The Crafur farms have served a useful purpose in terms of highlighting an issue that only a few of us have cared about in the past.

    What we need now is for political parties to make their position on this issue quite clear for the future.

    We need to know who will ban the overseas ownership of our land and critical parts of our infrastructure so we can vote accordingly in the future.

    • Carol 17.1

      +1

    • Bill 17.2

      I really wish people could get their heads around the fact that in ain’t our land; that it owned, run and controlled by private concerns, be they companies of whatever domicile, nz citizens or citizens of other nationalities.

      In other words the argument from many self professed leftists boils down to backing this private concern over that private concern…a bit like exhibiting fealty to a particular King or Queen and fighting their corner.

      SOE’s are a different matter insofar as they are under (very imperfect) public ownership rather than private ownership.

      And for those self professed leftists who have banged on about sovereignty over land they have no control over and yet, even when their lack of agency is pointed out to them, continue to bang on about sovereignty and how it will be lost…do you think Maori have sovereignty? I ask because the vast majority of Maori have the same control over land and resources as the vast majority of the rest of us…none. And whereas Maori sovereignty (the lack of) receives fairly widespread recognition on the left, it would appear that many on the left just cannot perceive the similarity of their own position.

      I’m curious as to why that is…

      • Carol 17.2.1

        Several of us have replied to that, re-the control issue that you dismiss… governance is still nationally and geographically located…. so we disagree…. some of us are wondering why you can’t “get your head around” that?

        • Bill 17.2.1.1

          Well Carol, on that stunning piece of reasoning (which simply dismisses what lies at the core of sovereignty) you’d be bemused at and not supportive of Maori issues around sovereignty then. (Along with the sveral peeps you speak on behalf of) Which is fine. Like I said, I wondered how leftists backing one private owner over another squared that with any recognition of Maori claims on sovereignty. You’ve answered. Thankyou.

          • Carol 17.2.1.1.1

            Eh, Bill? You may have a strong belief in your own reasoning, but it doesn’t mean it’s convincing to others. Sneering at me and putting me down isn’t likely to convince me either.

            Maori sovereignty is another and more complex issue, that involves more than, and not always, European-style ownership of land – a different kind of “ownership”. And it’s not one I addressed…. I only responded to your “stunning” confidence in your own “rightness” and, your unwillingness to accept that others consider we have very good reasons for taking a different position.

            As I understand it, many Maori are not that keen on another wave of foreign capitalists buying up of NZ land… a contemporary movement of empire building without settlement.

            Maori and non-Maori Kiwi have more chance of having some influence over NZ-based capitalist power-elites, than they do foreign ones – especially foreign ones backed by a more powerful foreign government.

            I’m also against the US style of contemporary empire-building, where the US government and powerful corporates plan to continue to undermine systems and institutions many Kiwis hold dear… through the TPP etc…. which also looks to be undermining our sovereignty.

            • Bill 17.2.1.1.1.1

              Why do you contend that questions of Maori sovereignty are more complex than any sovereignty anywhere else for anyone else? They’re not.

              If people of a particular location have control over the land and resources they have sovereignty. And if they haven’t then they don’t.

              Same applies to anyone anywhere irrespective of cultural mores. It really is very, very basic.

              And we live in a world where vast numbers of people have had their sovereignty usurped. And the resultant authorities, through various manifestations over many years and in some cases centuries ( be that as kings, popes or more abstract forms such as states or whatever) claim to excercise it legitimately on behalf and over those it disempowered. And some of the disempowered eventually believe that such an arrangement is rightful and proper and refer to the excercise of sovereignty by those authorities as though it was an expression of their very own sovereignty. And they potentially lend support to arguments, conflicts and wars to defend that authority’s sovereign right to dominion. And many, many millions have died and many, many millions have killed, maimed and tortured to defend an expression of what originally robbed them of their sovereignty.

              I’m not one of those people. You appear to be. Further, I want my sovereignty back whereas it appears that you don’t. And so we disagree on whether it matters a damn where the private owners of land might come from..

      • xtasy 17.2.2

        Bill: You are quite right. It is the main problem, that the NZ property owning “class” have a very opportunistic and cavalier approach, not only to the state they live under, the law they have to abide, but also to “patriotism”. I have seen it first hand, how too many “Kiwis” were taking their bets and opportunities in the real estate bubble time, sold with a great gain, got their stuff shipped over to Australia and moved there afterwards.

        Others just sold off their Auckland or other over valued properties, so they could “re-invest” in a nicer property down the line in Tauranga, Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa or Nelson area.

        NZ property owners are opportunists, and farmers are the same. They may hang in for a while, but when a nice, fat cheque gets signed and handed to them, they look up in glee, take it and run.

        That is the mentality of too many NZers, and even Maori corporates are in on the game, be this land, farming, horticulture and/or fishing. Why do you think so many accidents happen on certain fishing vessels? It is due to Maori holding companies selling out to overseas fishing vessels and operators to rip the shit out of the seas around NZ. Tha t is the bloody truth, my dear.

        The dollar bill rules, and that is John Key’s elixir.

        I am still waiting for an alternative from Shearer and the rest of Labour re-iginted, or for that sake other opposition pollies.

        At least Hone went to take a stand with the Housing NZ evicted lot in Glen Innes recently. I take my hat off for him. He at least stands up for principles and rights. Who else here does, but frivoulously indulge in sentimental or semi sentimental thoughts, not representing any solution at all for NZ!?

  17. Georgecom 18

    I was interested to hear the Government Minister (McCully?, Coleman?) on the radio driving home justifying the deal. He was asked about a possible law change to prevent the sale. Law changes apparently “take time” and there wouldn’t be time for the Government to put anything in place modifying overseas investment, if they wanted to do so.

    Funny, could have sworn the law change to help out Peter Jackson was passed in great haste. Sky City will get a law change as well.

    Guess laws get changed without proper process only when it suits Nationals interests to do so.

  18. xtasy 19

    So these are a few farms, poorly managed by a Mr Crafar before, who now has jumped on the bandwagon of “patriotism”, re-enhancing is “poorly treated” symphony, which now seem to have gone to a Mainland Chinese holding company.

    Tonight the Prime Minister enjoyed “prime time” interview opportunities on TV One and TV 3. He sold his story on the Crafar Farms sale and he added his spin on the SkyCity bid for building and running an leading convention centre in Auckland City.

    No surprises there, but he got quite “matey” with Campbell on TV3 in the end, chatting about going to “the rugby”.

    Spin Master does it again, all doubts and criticism is wiped off the table with smart alec talk, cheerful comments and a grin one has to work out somehow, but which is superficial at best.

    So while all this was going on, I remain to be explained, why was Sky City even considered as the best bidder, considering that the government wants to possibly change the law, so they can increase one armed bandit machines from a present 1,600 or thereabouts to another 500?

    That is a 30 odd percentage increase on their existing machine stock!

    Farrar did try to deceive readers in his Herald post today, that this is a tiny increase on the national total of gambling machines. But he did not mention that Sky City would itself gain enormously, by having their pokies increased by about a third, pendind a requested law change.

    I ask though, where is the supposed “leader of the opposition”?

    Where is David Shearer? He does not appear much, and I do not buy the excuse that the media would not ask him for an opinion. Maybe he fears the fact that Labour, when in government, actually indulged in a lot of land and farm sales themselves? Maybe he also is shy due to Labour having opened this shit casino in the heart of Auckland in 2004 or 2005?

    I smell too much rot and cowardice here. Why not show the electorate that Labour has learned, changed course and will make the difference in future?

    So far I will not bother voting Labour ever again, with this weak show continuing. There are two other parties in opposition, at least showing a clear line, a clear position, integrity and not being afraid to make their opposition known. Where is Labour and where is Shearer?

    Maybe get this sorted before the next general election?

  19. xtasy 20

    Honestly, I cannot understand the idiocy that has taken hold of this country. Here we have a one party dictatorship, Mainland China, taking over enterprises all over the world, raising concerns everywhere, yet little dumb NZ is happy to sell farms to a questionable company that has no direct experience in farming, is managed by persons that have links to a dictatorial regime, that do not at all contribute to the economic well being of this country, that is a business based in a country flouting laws of human rights, the rule of law, is not democratic, does not allow the same rights in it’s own territory for investors from NZ, puts pressure on the present government ministers (albeit “discretely”), and not too many take a bloody stand and simply carry on as if this is just like buying a burger at a burger bar.

    Where are the remaining brain cells, please? They do not exist, and this government is taking the country to the bloody cleaners.

    • Mark 20.1

      [Deleted. ‘Mark’ is clearly a sockpuppet for ‘Wayne’ who was permanently banned some time ago…RL]

      • yeshe 20.1.1

        “Westerners just go in and steal land, and resources, and people to enrich themselves.” Yes, Mark.

        Which is exactly what Han China did to Tibet, regardless of your ignorant blathering earlier. And they did it with brutal violence, killing more than 1.4 million Tibetans. Perhaps this isn’t the place to debate it, but the environmental destruction and denuding the forests of the Tibetan plateau, the bringing of starvation and famine when the Chinese decided to grow wheat instead of barley, the imprisonment of children and whole families, the destruction of the whole Tibetan education system where only Chinese may be learned in schools …. I’ve always wanted to ask the question – if indeed Tibet belonged to China ( yeah, right !) how come they decided to treat, and continue to to treat their ‘own’ people with such cruelty ?

        Worth noting that the Chinese exerted pressure on Key that he refused to meet with HH Dalai Lama on his most recent visit here, the first NZ PM not to do so in many, many years, I think as far back as Bolger.

        I can only imagine the subterranean pressures being applied in this Crafar sale … I do wonder how Jenny Shipley sleeps at night — greed keep you warm does it ?.

      • xtasy 20.1.2

        Dear “Mark” aka “Wayne Lo”: “And what the fuck are ‘human rights’ laws.”

        Yes, thanks for exposing your thoughts once again here. You do not really give a rat’s arse about human rights, democracy and law. I wonder what idiots are in charge at Immigration NZ these days, to allow migrants in from a dictatorship, who even support suppression of human rights, free opinion and more. It is most worrying what is happening in NZ. Seems this country is a free game for take overs from authoritarian regimes and their business operators.

        I take note also of Murray MCGully to have advised the minister in charge of the OIO that it would have dire consequences for NZ trade if the Shanghai Pengxin deal would be denied to go through. Is this still a land of freedom and democracy? No it is NOT!

  20. xtasy 21

    Labour has only ONE choice to disassociate themselves from past deed and hypocrisy! Take a bloody clear stand! Key is exactly exployting this, same as his ministers. It is time to clear up the party and get rid of a range of hypocrites from the front benches right NOW. Otherwise Labour will have NO future at all to ever lead this country again! That is my honest opinion. Shearer is a mellow, hollow, nice talking nobody who will NeVER get Labour out of the doldrums. Get rid of him!

    • Tombstone 21.1

      Agreed and I sent a email to them to that effect because I’m done with watching Key getting away with blue bloody murder while Labour continue to do … well … nothing really. Shearer is the wrong man to lead Labour into the next election – I’m convinced of that now.

    • M 21.2

      Hear, hear xstasy – I shall vote Mana if Shearer isn’t replaced with someone who can front up to that hustler Key. Hone is the only one empahtically stating what’s wrong in NZ.

  21. infused 22

    The TV1 and 3 interviews are great.

    Campbell gets shut down completely. http://ondemand.tv3.co.nz/Campbell-Live-Friday-April-20-2012/tabid/119/articleID/6262/MCat/73/Default.aspx

    Brings up some good points fellas.

    • Draco T Bastard 22.1

      Think I’ll go with Twitter – Key had been well trained with C/T lines and not actual points.

  22. xtasy 23

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfy18_J15rE&feature=endscreen&NR=1

    get the message, perhaps, El puelo unido jamas sera vencido. Viva Allende!

  23. xtasy 24

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBih0c689cI&feature=related\

    Other places prepare for revolution, Where is NZ??

    Viva Chile, viva Camilla!

    • Mark 24.1

      [Deleted. ‘Mark’ is clearly a sockpuppet for ‘Wayne’ who was permanently banned some time ago…RL]

      • xtasy 24.1.1

        Mark: You are not by co-incidence known also as “Wayne Lo”? The nationalistic Mainland Chinese migrant excusing Chinese national thought and looking for every peculiar way to rubbish NZ and “the west”?

        Your comments are so similar. He just wrote such stuff in the Herald recently. Are you sure your name is “Mark”? And are you sure you are not a mate of Don Keypone?

      • xtasy 24.1.2

        “Mark” clearly is known as “Wayne Lo”. The very same sentences and arguments were in a column thread on the Herald Online only a day or two ago. Watch this poster!

    • Mark 24.2

      [Deleted. ‘Mark’ is clearly a sockpuppet for ‘Wayne’ who was permanently banned some time ago…RL]

      • xtasy 24.2.1

        Fake “Mark”: I really look forward to deal to crap people like you! You have now exposed your false pretence and BS. We do not need people like you to immigrate to NZ and destroy this country from within. I would be most happy to sacrifice my life to fight the fraud and lies coming from people like you. There are many others also prepared for this. Do not take this lightly, dear saboteur.

      • xtasy 24.2.2

        At least you admit that todays China is anything but revolutionary and all so much more capitalist, state capitalist that is. Even exploiting its own people on slave wages to cater for corporates from US, Europe and Japan to work their guts out for nothing, just to get foreign currency for the government, so they can by up assets internationally.

        When it comes to revolutionary spirit, you have certainly abandoned it. Get lost!

        [This guy was permanently banned for a very good reason. Usually people only get one of them for fracking about with our psuedonym policy… but almost uniquely Wayne/Mark earned one for his racist gall and sheer vileness. No need to buy into it…RL]

  24. marsman 25

    One point that keeps being overlooked is that the Crafar farms were being offered for sale even individually in Singapore. It seems that Nact are adamant that the farms NOT stay in the hands of New Zealandrers, selling our country bit by bit the traitors.

  25. xy 26

    In short, I’d rather sell land to North Korea for nuclear waste disposal before Michael Fay.

  26. A Chinese friend 27

    Just a tip to the webmasters.

    Wayne Lo, aka Wayne, Mark Lau, Mongol Warrior and Yihetuan, is known for trolling English-language China-related blog posts. Some blogs delete selected comments, some block him entirely, but he’s been barred all over. He’s known for sockpuppeting, posting obscene comments under other people’s names, and using multiple IPs. He also sends threatening emails to webmasters. Wayne Lo happens to be the name of an ethnic Chinese murderer who attacked whites on an American school campus.

    I doubt he’s an immigrant to NZ. He pops up online when anyone criticizes China, writes racist stuff, then gets blocked. This has been going on for years.

    I’m not a New Zealander, but sorry to hear about your farms. It’s always hard to feel like you’ve lost something from your country.

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    2 days ago

  • Minister won’t fess up on wrong figures
    The Minister of Health was caught out telling porkies in Parliament today when he was asked about the number of people getting access to mental health and addiction services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. ...
    10 hours ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    11 hours ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    11 hours ago
  • Scrambled announcement policy on the hoof
    Paula Bennett’s scrambled desperate announcement that she will pay homeless people to move to the regions is just the latest evidence of the disarray this Government’s housing policy is in, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This is policy… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    12 hours ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    14 hours ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    1 day ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 days ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 days ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    3 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    3 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    4 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    6 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    6 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    6 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    7 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    7 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    7 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    7 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    1 week ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago

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