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Hang onto our land – it’s all we’ve got left

Written By: - Date published: 8:22 pm, August 2nd, 2014 - 77 comments
Categories: employment, overseas investment, Steven Joyce - Tags:

Steven Joyce says Labour’s opposition to the sale of 13,800ha Lochinver station to Shanghai Pengxin is based on “xenophobia.” The benefit from our land should stay here. Joyce’s open door  has seen rail wagons bought cheap and fixed dear, at the expense of good local jobs and crucial Kiwi skills. Labour is simply standing up for New Zealand. Good on them.

Kiwirail cut 70 jobs at Hillside  in Dunedin and Lower Hutt in Wellington in 2011. The Rail and Maritime Transport Union blames the cuts on KiwiRail’s decision not to tender for Auckland rail work and to send wagon contracts overseas.

“Four thousand to be built. That would have kept our railway wagons going for quite some time, given jobs to New Zealanders, helped actually dig this country out of the hole it’s in,” said Wayne Butson, the union’s general secretary. “The Transport Minister needs to front up and take responsibility for these proposed job losses. Inaction from Steven Joyce and KiwiRail has led to this situation,” he said.

Dunedin lobbied hard for the work and Mayor Dave Cull is angry.

“This is frankly a form of economic vandalism. What are we mounting here? An economic development strategy for China,” Cull said.

So what happened to all the wagons in  2012. Apparently their wheels are skidding, and  Chinese workers had to be imported recently to fix them in Picton.

Skidding wheels – sums up Steven Joyce’s economic development strategy.

I think a much better strategy is to use our land to value add to its produce, and use our skills to build fit for purpose on a whole-of-life strategy, and keep good jobs here. I don’t think that’s xenophobia.

 

77 comments on “Hang onto our land – it’s all we’ve got left ”

  1. srylands 1

    S what changes to the Overseas Investment Act will Labour make to stop farm sales? Is Labour planning to seek a mandate for such changes at the election?

    As for the rail thing – get over it – the local option was never competitive. There was no alternative to the Chinese tender. Do you think this is Muldoon circa 1982? It is 2014.

    • Weepus beard 1.1

      I’m not expert in economics, but you really appear to be an economic imbecile. What are your credentials?

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        Apparently he’s a working economist and policy wonk.

        In other words, he’s an ideological idiot who can’t see the forest for the trees.

      • greywarbler 1.1.2

        It seems that the main thing to know about economists is their tendency to posit theories and then make the world bend to fit inside the theories. The theory is paramount and not people.

        When people are mentioned in economic theory they will be presented as ruled by the grasping aspects or irrational of our nature yet the thories are based on us being perfectly rational, which is not supportable by actual evidence and observation. Again we are bent in economist’s minds to fit. And unfortunately, being people themselves who are in love with their own theories, they will bend themselves to fit their theories.

    • k j ross 1.2

      I think that if you take into account the tax that would of been collected on the work done on the wagons and the tax collected on the downstream jobs that would of been generated and supported by the work being done in Hillside, plus the GST on everything before mentioned and the government would of got a much cheaper price having a superior product manufactured here.To base the price on just the one factor rather than the total return of money to the govt and the price plus the overall effect on the economy is really unexplainable. Any private business would take into account all the factors when pricing a contract and every way that the sale or purchase could benefit the company. If the govt claims to be a business type operation what are they? the Monty Pythons of the business world?
      Real thinking person.

      • mickysavage 1.2.1

        Yep. Well put KJR. If only our supposed intellectual masters understood this as well.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1

          They do understand it – they don’t care. For National everything revolves around making things better for the rich and if that means cheap and nasty wagons forcing more subsidised truck use then cheap and nasty wagons it’ll be.

          • Liberal Realist 1.2.1.1.1

            “For National everything revolves around making things better for the rich”

            I’d go a bit further as to say that National’s plan since they got elected in 2008 is to reap as much damage to NZ’s economy, legislative framework and social cohesion as possible, for as long as possible – while reaping some sort of benefit themselves. Point being, to manufacture crises (long and slow) where possible, is instrumental in facilitating disaster & vulture capitalism. Where it’s not manufactured, it’s out there in your face.

            To name a few:

            2008 tax cuts
            Asset sales theft
            GCSB bill
            TICS bill
            retrospective legalization of illegal spying
            Christchurch
            ECAN
            Canterbury Irrigation
            Sky City

            IMO everything nAct do while in power is to weaken NZ in preparation of imperial corporate takeover. Key & Co’s paymasters demand nothing less.

    • Colonial Viper 1.3

      As for the rail thing – get over it – the local option was never competitive. There was no alternative to the Chinese tender. Do you think this is Muldoon circa 1982? It is 2014.

      All lies Shitlands.That crappy badly made Chinese rolling stock will have to be replaced within 25 years, and will cost a bomb to keep running in the mean time. You really are a dumb thoughtless schmuck.

      • Once was Tim 1.3.1

        +1
        One of the problems propping up the so-called ‘uneconomic’ argument against rail – as offered by the Natzis – revolves precisely around the type of rolling stock used.
        There are places in NZ (where lines have been closed or mothballed) that could sustain passenger traffic based around smaller/modular bus-on-rails type units both for tourism and commuter traffic. It might even contribute to the revival of regional NZ in places
        As for the Chinese made rolling stock – Srylands obviously prefers to defer to his ideology than look at the record since their introduction. Greywarbler (1.1.2) sums it up well: making the world bend to fit inside their theories – it’s become their raison d’etre – skidding the wheels; packing the bearings with thick grease, lacquering the asbestos. Firm foundations – solid bullshit and all that.

        • greywarbler 1.3.1.1

          @Once was Tim 8.40
          It would be a great resource if the crap that gets promulgated by the economists and pollies could be captured, consolidated and turned into solid bullshit! Then some useful, sustainable resource could be had, as it is never going to run out!

          And – brilliant idea. Got any links with pictures of it being used in more intelligent parts of the globe?
          There are places in NZ (where lines have been closed or mothballed) that could sustain passenger traffic based around smaller/modular bus-on-rails type units both for tourism and commuter traffic

          • Once was Tim 1.3.1.1.1

            Strange as it may seem – I’ve considered it in some detail over the past couple of years.

            • The Wairarapa to begin with uses ex Brit rolling stock only viable during peak hours – yet many traverse the Rimutakas – often at their peril. There’s also a lot of inter-town travel as well (i.e. Featherston – Geytown – Carterton – Masterton
            • The main centres don’t have rail to their airports despite rail lines running close by (with the exception of CHC). I mean – even Dunedin ffs!
            • The tourist destinations – Rotorua line mothballed (and bits being stolen for scrap), and
            • Tauranga
              (while tranzit and NakedBus regularly run near full buses over fucked up highways).
            • The traffic between Tauranga and Te Puke (and beyond)
            • New Plymouth – Stratford
            • Picton – CHC
            • CHC – West Coast
            • CHC – Lyttleton even (calling at stops such as Woolston)
            • AKL – Whangarei
            • actually the list is quite endless.
      • RedLogix 1.3.2

        There was no alternative to the Chinese tender.

        This does rather suggest a lack of imagination – or the hallmark thinking of a zealot incapable of critical thinking.

      • Chooky 1.3.3

        +100

    • Ergo Robertina 1.4

      You’re wrong; the local option was competitive, and shown to be so back in 2010 in the Berl report that found building the Kiwirail rolling stock in New Zealand made commercial sense.
      As events have shown the analysts were spot on that rolling stock from offshore would be lower quality and have operating issues; producing them here would have built skills, jobs, and industry.

      http://www.rmtunion.org.nz/documents/downloads/kiwirail-build-in-nz/BERL_Report-Economic_benefits_of_building_rolling_stock_in_New_Zealand_Final.pdf

    • Draco T Bastard 1.5

      Is Labour planning to seek a mandate for such changes at the election?

      Well, apparently, being in government does imply such a mandate.

      As for the rail thing – get over it – the local option was never competitive.

      They cost a little bit more but would have been built better saving in downtime costs.

      There was no alternative to the Chinese tender.

      There was the choice of doing it right by making them here.

  2. Saarbo 2

    I understand that the average age of the NZ dairy farm owner is in their late 50’s, there are going to be a lot of farm sales in the next 10 years or so. Farmers will take the highest price and unfortunately foreigners who invariably have much lower interest rates combined with easier access to capital will end up owning many of these farms. We will end up being tenants in our own land if we don’t do something about this.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Don’t fuss, land can always be compulsorily re-acquired or even expropriated.

      • Clemgeopin 2.1.1

        Not THAT easy or desirable in the modern world of commerce and global relations.
        The rules should be set intelligently in the beginning, not after the fact later.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Just sayin’ that’s all. Sometimes when you follow the rules set by the major powers, your own people starve and are dispossessed.

          • Kiwiri 2.1.1.1.1

            Neo-liberalism introduces neo-colonisation?
            This time round, it involves not just the indigenous peoples.
            And we’re left with neither blankets nor muskets. And no treaty.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2

          Not THAT easy or desirable in the modern world of commerce and global relations.

          Actually, it is that easy.

          The rules should be set intelligently in the beginning, not after the fact later.

          Of course they should be which is why I keep calling for a complete ban on foreign ownership in NZ. It really is the only intelligent option.

      • Steve Wrathall 2.1.2

        Worked for Mugabe

    • infused 2.2

      Farms are generally a family affair.

      • RedLogix 2.2.1

        While that may still be generally true infused – the trend over the last decade has been towards corporatised operations that bear little resemblance to the traditional family operation.

    • Ergo Robertina 2.3

      One trend is for retiring farmers to lease land to corporate dairy for huge money rather than sell – and that suits the grown-up children who get an income.

  3. Weepus beard 3

    Steven Joyce, the minister for economic development, sat on his hands for two years while competing countries raised incentives for major film production.

    Steven Joyce, the minister for economic development sat on his hands while the film production export industry withered under the heat of the high dollar.

    Steven Joyce, the minister for economic development then blamed local government and private individuals for not building infrastructure for film production in Auckland.

    This criticism came straight after signally loudly that this government was not the slightest bit interested, through their inaction, in investigating ways to support the industry.

    Then, a photo op with James Cameron. Two years too late but suddenly the incentive rules are changed overnight.

    That’s one out of three, Steven Joyce, minister for economic development. What about the other two?

  4. k j ross 4

    Every time we sell a piece of our productive farmland to an overseas owner we as a country become that much poorer. For John Key who lives in Hawaii it does not matter but to New Zealanders who live here and raise our kids here, we don’t have the option of buying farms in Iceland or Peru or Hawaii. The world market is fine for American bankers but kiwis want to live and farm in our own country. Very hard to compete with interest free loans from foreign govts when buying our own land.This is not fair in anybody’s world, we are a small country in size and one day we will wake up and find out that we are not welcome on our beaches,rivers or lakes.
    concerned citizen

    • mickysavage 4.1

      It is interesting that in Samoa and in Rarotonga the locals do not allow land to be owned by overseas interests. And they preserve their culture and their economic security. If only New Zealand would do the same …

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        You can’t buy land in Israel either. It is all leased from the government.

      • Steve Wrathall 4.1.2

        So NZ should model our economic performance on our Pacific Brethren

        • felix 4.1.2.1

          Yeah, that’s the obvious implication Steve. We want the country to be owned by the people who live here, therefore we want to model our ENTIRE ECONOMY on Samoa and Rarotonga.

          🙄

        • tricledrown 4.1.2.2

          Steve Wrathall Maybe your Exclusive Bretheren

    • Tamati 4.2

      You act like we are just giving it away. We lose the value of the land but gain the the cash that was paid for it. It’s not a loss or gain, just shuffling assets on a balance sheet.

      • Murray Olsen 4.2.1

        What about the value of stuff produced on the land during the subsequent years after the sale? That will be lost to the country. You might so it already is because it goes into private hands and one capitalist is as bad as another. I reject that view because we have more freedom to make laws governing land use and sale when rich foreigners with influence in their governments aren’t involved.

        • Saarbo 4.2.1.1

          Agree Murray Olson, given potential food shortage its even a bigger issue. Also Overseas ownership affects the community, owner operated farms are a typical kiwi thing…farmers tend to mix within their own areas discussing farming techniques at field days…and this co-operation/collaboration is probably the secret to our success…I doubt that this will carry on with overseas ownership plus of course the social side of owner operated farms/family farms.

          • Tamati 4.2.1.1.1

            Your opposition to foreign ownership is that it may undermine Field Days? Seriously, if you think Field Days is the secret to out agricultural success, then you’ve clearly not spent much time on a farm.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2

        Money isn’t an asset.

        • Tamati 4.2.2.1

          It is according to any accountant.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2.1.1

            That just means that the accountant is as delusional as most economists.

            • Tamati 4.2.2.1.1.1

              If cash isn’t an asset, would you mind giving me all of yours? Or do you only use gold bars to buy your groceries?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Money is a tool that is used to distribute resources but is not a resource itself. The land is a resource and, most importantly, a renewable resource but not extendable.

                • Tamati

                  So we could use this ‘tool’ to invest in other renewable resources and diversify our economy, rather than forcing everyone to invest in agriculture.

              • tricledrown

                Tamati pathetic comparison they are printing money every day but land arable land is becoming less Evey year coastal erosion ,drought, desert expansion, war torn unproductive land polluted land not suitable for agriculture is disappearing IDIOT!

                • Tamati

                  As I said before, the land ain’t going nowhere. All that changes is the name on the title.

      • dave 4.2.3

        china is printing $245 billion a month that is just paper worthless paper ,gold ,land,knowledge,resources is worth more than worthless paper

  5. local Kiwi. 5

    Sorry but the Chinese have already flooded many other counties with so called business opportunities and sadly when I travelled through Africa even back in 1970 I saw Chinese small traders flooding into Nairobi Kenya.

    An African Taxi driver said watch out there is a lot of local tension around Nairobi with these Chinese he called yellow maggots, they have taken over all our stalls and craft shops here and trouble is about to erupt.

    I left that country after a couple of weeks and made my way south and never saw any more Chinese until I went to Canada, and then in Vancouver there was a news article on Nairobi of social unrest in Nairobi and many shops were attacked and burnt, and in three months the Government evicted many of the Chinese from Kenya in a purge.

    Just a lesson in History when you think forward of where we are right now folks.

    A thought provoking reflection when the balance of ethnic diversity becomes a strain on the social economic fabric of the host country as business’s are transferred from ownership of one family of people to another .

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      You seem to think the ethnicity of the overseas investor has something to do with it.

      It doesn’t.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Not the ethnicity. The nationality. If something is occurring under the direction of the Chinese Government, or as part of a wider economic strategy put in place by the Chinese Government, that should be explicitly considered. It does no good to close our eyes and pretend that such trends are not happening.

        • RedBaronCV 5.1.1.1

          Similar to strategies used on the western border of China perhaps?

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1

            It’s a real physical resources grab. The Chinese are smart enough to know that electronically printed money has no real value. Its ability to access real physical resources is what has real value. And that may not always be the case in the future – so acquire the real physical resources right now while people are still foolish enough to hand them over for printed bank notes.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.1.1

              +1111

              That’s it exactly and it’s amazing that people just don’t get it. Too long of having governments telling us that we need money to do anything when what we really need are the resources and, generally speaking, we have them.

            • Chooky 5.1.1.1.1.2

              +1111 +1

  6. Clemgeopin 6

    I think that most countries will not allow foreign entities or non resident foreign citizens who have not lived in a country for a considerable time to buy land, business or property. If at all, it would be on a lease basis or on a 49%-51% partnership basis in favour of the local citizens.

    I am not sure why our governments over the years have been plain naive in this very important fundamental issue.

    The problem is, by allowing foreigners to be owners here, not only are the locals and the country is undermined but are put in a very disadvantageous position in the long run in many ways. Once the foreign person or entity gets a foot hold, they could, over time, easily acquire more and more land, property or business by leveraging through their original primary assets.

    It is not too late to wake up and change the rules. Labour and the progressive parties should address this public interest matter very promptly and urgently now. They will ignore this issue at their own political peril.

  7. infused 7

    Post about land sales

    Talks about train sets

    ok.

  8. Dialey 8

    “Modern capitalism is masterful at producing services people don’t need and in large part probably don’t want. It is brilliant at convincing people that they do need and want them. But it has difficulty turning itself to the production of those services which people really do need. Not only that, it often spends an enormous amount of time and effort convincing people that those services are either unrealistic, marginal or counterproductive.” John Ralston Saul
    Pretty much sums up National’s economic policy

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Capitalism likes to pay as little as possible for things that it can charge as much as possible for. The only things that meet that criteria are services which is why manufacturing is disappearing in developed countries. This is also why our governments over the last century or so have pushed agriculture as well – it’s cheap and easy and doesn’t require a lot of development.

      Making stuff costs too much as far as the capitalists are concerned.

  9. Chooky 9

    Great Post …and good for Labour !

    Nact have sold and are selling New Zealand and New Zealander’s rights and New Zealander’s dreams !

    …they are mercenary, venal, multinational traitors and traders without New Zealand Soul …they would sell our Soul

    ….this should be a major Election issue!

  10. ghostwhowalksnz 10

    Heres the words of the PM himself against selling dairying land to overseas ( Chinese) interests

    “More Chinese investment in New Zealand is being welcomed by the Prime Minister “as long as it’s the right type of investment”.

    John Key met with the new leader of China, Xi Jinping yesterday.

    He told the president we want Chinese money – but not to buy up precious land.

    http://www.farmingshow.com/industry/1082296713-john-key-says-china-won-t-buy-up-precious-kiwi-land

  11. Jrobin 11

    Lochinver is a sheep and beef property. This may be a swing towards other agricultural products by the market as dairy slumps, particularly the Fonterra brand of dairy. On Morning Report lasr week at 6 am approx there was an item on dairy that disappeared rapidly from sight. The International testing done on milk from landfarms in Taranaki did not come up with a clean result. The results will not be released and they would not state the levels of chemicals found just stated it was not a food safety issue. Ie it would not give you instant food poisoning to drink the milk but there were low levels of contamination. The effect of fracking on the production of safe food should be an Election issue along with other environmental concerns. Globalisation is threatening our livelihoods on so many fronts and this Government esp. its leader, may have been installed with the purpose of selling us to highest bidder. Get rid of them voters!

  12. Graham 12

    I know of 4 dairy farms nearby who have been sold to foreigners the combined value exceded this one
    The reason there wasn’t an outcry by labour was that the buyers were white
    Why do people hate Asians ?

    • thatguynz 12.1

      Or perhaps it just didn’t make the news?

      Personally I think it is economically derelict to sell them to ANY foreigners – irrespective of ethnicity, but perhaps my view differs from the MSM narrative..

    • raegun 12.2

      We only make a noise when we actually KNOW about something

  13. Poission 13

    Two response today on the foreign ownership debate.one from labour,and the second from federated farmers.

    The FF would like a register (alining us withe Australia ) of foreign farm ownership IE Facts.

    “The reality is that here, no one knows how much of our farmland or housing is foreign owned. To base critical economic policy decisions around a hunch is unacceptable.

    Maybe if Joyce had guessed a little less,he may have not been selectively culled from vetschool.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1408/S00032/joyces-bluster-distraction-from-land-sale-double-speak.htm

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1408/S00064/farmers-concerned-over-lochinver-sale.htm

  14. Dan1 14

    How is that Steven Joyce gets to comment on everything? I have given up watching TV1 news for its bias and TV3 is not much better. Somehow Joyce gets to comment on everything, especially new announcements by Labour. The guy is a cretin who has been trained in the art of putdown rather than economic analysis. Is he seriously the best option after Key? Team Joyce?? Yeh right!

  15. local Kiwi. 15

    Steven Joyce is very familiar to media, and perhaps that is why he was alleviated up the National ladder so early.

    Joyce was first a radio broadcaster and now he is a high profile National Government broadcaster that is there to push National Party Propaganda.

    We heard also that he has interests in other media Interests.

    He founded the former Radioworks radio network, and built it up by merging takeovers of regional radio stations.

    All this until he had the entire NZ wide network.

    This occurred from the 1970s, then he merged with another major broadcast media network to form Mediaworks a few years ago.

    Nobody knows whether he actually has hidden interests in Mediaworks now as he is very shadowy.

    But as Communications Minister he cleverly brokered a $40 million dollar deal low interest loan for Mediaworks to expand their licences for another long term period so he is another John Key clone.

    A wheeler dealer and a powerful influence on National Party hierarchy due to his media prowess, and knowledge who to get onside with him.

    He is clearly becoming to aggressive, domineering and bombastic, as many inform us that they are incensed by his overpowering manner seen all to clear on The Nation just today, he should let up and allow others to contribute also.

    Another contributor likened Joyce to Margret Thatcher and another to Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda Minister and if people continue to see this in Joyce he will actually become a liability to National and this perception may be his own undoing. I gave him the benefit of doubt after meeting him but now I am becoming somewhat saddened by his lack of control.

  16. Tanz 16

    Yeah, this is a real worry. New Zealanders being sold out.

  17. vto 17

    It is a truism of human history that a tenant community is a weak community. Even more so when the overlandlord lives in far off lands.

    A community is strongest when those that live, work and play on it own it for themselves.

    Just like in China, for one example.

    That wanker Joyce claimed land sales to foreigners are small, but they are not, they add up to around 7% each year and that is a significant number.

    That wanker Joyce also chimed “what are you gonna do? Make James Cameron sell his land?” The answer to that is bloody simple, and one which the deceiver Joyce would know himself …..

    … It is a bit difficult to force people to sell but the law can be made such that any future sale must be to NZ residents. Easy. Job Done. Buyer side reduces to match the supplier side i.e. NZ residents only. Buyer side drops from 6 billion people to 4 million people.

    The farmers will be shitting as they constantly claim only foreigners can afford their grand empires…………which is a claim frightening in its ignorance…… maybe other New Zealanders could afford to buy the farms then too…..it aint as if the income off the farms would drop, just the cost to buy them, which means less interest payable to bank loans too, which means more money in our back pockets.

    There is no benefit to foreigners owning our land and property. None.

  18. Shrubbery 18

    I’m no economist, and looking to play devil’s advocate here rather than actually be practical:

    What if we just declare that all that has been taken from us is owned by the NZ Government again? As in, all at once, repossess all the sold assets and all the foreign owned land?
    How huge would the backlash be?

  19. aerobubble 19

    They talk about competitive advantage, but really what hope do we have against the competitive advantage larger countries have to print money.

    • aerobubble 19.1

      We should own as much overseas, as overseas own of us. The growing imbalances harms us all.

  20. Dale 20

    Just wish bloody Fontera would stop buying all those overseas farms. Especially in China.

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