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It’s not racist to want self-determination

Written By: - Date published: 2:49 pm, January 28th, 2012 - 139 comments
Categories: overseas investment - Tags: ,

Danyl at Dimpost says it all succinctly on Crafar Farms: while China is a rising economic super-power and a close trade partner of New Zealand, it’s also a totalitarian military dictatorship. People are allowed to feel apprehensive about such a state building its own vertical supply chains within the New Zealand economy without being labeled xenophobic and racist.

139 comments on “It’s not racist to want self-determination”

  1. Nick K 1

    So selling them for the same price to a company from the USA, which is purportedly a large democracy, would have been okay?

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Labour has a simple policy – all land sales over 5 ha. would be turned down as the default decision. So, not OK.

      • spot 1.1.1

        …they have left wriggle-room in the policy though haven’t they, regards total package, new jobs and processing etc also weighing into the decision….admittedly, it seems (loosely) designed to give some pretty good measures to handle any bids case-by-case…

        In such an instance where the associated economic benefits were “significant”, would the “land sale” aspect still be a no-no in your view ?

        ….personally, in the instance of dairy, I can’t see where any significant or new capacity, capital or capability could (needs to) be bought into the NZ market and clearly benefit us…but then again, not my field….

      • Fortran 1.1.2

        Over 5 hectares

        Ok but you will have to change the OIC regulations in Parliament first.

    • aerobubble 1.2

      Clearly framing the debate like that makes it sound like NZ is racist even to consider the problem of capital independance. I mean, taking the US, they argue about oil independance for example and nobody calls them racist because China would love to buy out the Mexican Gulf oil reserves.

      So why are you so keen to chime in with the PM calling everyone in NZ racist?

      Is it because the disingenious little shate of a PM is so unavailable to discuss the subject of capital independence with any integrity.

  2. Wayne 2

    And what about selling to a country which has a history of illegally invading and occupying foreign lands on behalf of the interests of its multinational corporates.

    And have the Chinese killed 100000 to half a million innocent civilians these past 10 years?

    And anyone who has visited China, would laugh at your description of ‘totalitarian’. It is less ‘totalitarian’ than Singapore and South Korea.

    As for ‘military dictatorship’ I think you should look to the US where the government is in the pockets of their giant military industrial complex, which continually seeks new enemies abroad to justify its existance.

  3. tsmithfield 3

    Ludicrous.

    Firstly, the land isn’t being sold to the Chinese government. It is being sold to a company from China.

    [ Penxgin made its money carrying out large public works projects. Do you think you get those contacts without right government links in China? And what about all the farms it operates in China? All Chinese rural land is publicly owned through the collective economic organisation. So getting rights to start new farms on large tracts of it again implies government links. Eddie]

    Secondly, the Chinese owners will pay taxes in NZ, and be subject to NZ laws, so there is no loss in sovereignty for NZ.

    Thirdly, if we are concerned about profits going overseas then we should also ban all overseas banks from operating in NZ, because that is precisely what happens there. Good luck when you want a mortgage though.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Secondly, the Chinese owners will pay taxes in NZ, and be subject to NZ laws, so there is no loss in sovereignty for NZ.

      You’re thinking from a narrow financialised perspective. You’re not thinking of the shareholder profits which will be expatriated instead of staying with NZ farmers.

      You’re not thinking of NZ produced milk now under Chinese control which they can use to bid against our own farmers on world markets.

      Are you thinking?

      Thirdly, if we are concerned about profits going overseas then we should also ban all overseas banks from operating in NZ, because that is precisely what happens there. Good luck when you want a mortgage though.

      This is exactly what we should do. Home mortgage lending should be under the direct control of KiwiBank and done in a way to make housing affordable, prevent asset price bubbles and encourage the building of affordable quality social housing.

      By the way, the NZ Govt can also access funds more cheaply than the private Australian banks can, which NZ consumers would benefit from.

      So at last you have come up with a good idea.

    • RedLogix 3.2

      Firstly, the land isn’t being sold to the Chinese government. It is being sold to a company from China.

      Being strategically financed by very cheap capital from the Chinese government owned banking system.

      Secondly, the Chinese owners will pay taxes in NZ, and be subject to NZ laws, so there is no loss in sovereignty for NZ.

      Oh even you don’t believe that. As much profit will be transfer priced out of IRD’s reach as possible.

      Thirdly, if we are concerned about profits going overseas then we should also ban all overseas banks from operating in NZ, because that is precisely what happens there.

      A balance would be acceptable. And exactly how much market share does KiwiBank have in Australia?

      And maybe actually owning and tightly controlling ALL of our banking sector exactly as the Chinese do is a smart thing. After all they are the ones cashed up here.. not the other way around.

      • tsmithfield 3.2.1

        So, lets consider how things happen with entities, foreign owned or not.

        1. They invest in their asset to make it profitable. The Chinese company will be investing a lot of money in the land to make it viable. All spin-offs for NZ owned companies who will be doing the work.

        2. They pay taxes on the profits.

        3. What they have left over, they are free to do whatever they want with. They can send the money overseas if they want to, buy overseas assets, whatever. There is no requirement for anyone to keep their money in NZ whether they are NZ citizens or not. Do you want to legislate for
        companies to keep their tax-paid money in NZ?

        • RedLogix 3.2.1.1

          They invest in their asset to make it profitable. The Chinese company will be investing a lot of money in the land to make it viable.

          First of all in this instance the $210m purchase price simply goes to the Aussie banks who hold the Crafar mortgage. Secondly it’s an already developed asset, and while it needs some work… that’s miniscule (in the order of $10-20m) compared to what it’s already worth. New Zealand will see sod all of that.

          The amount of new employment will be almost nothing.

          They pay taxes on the profits.

          Don’t insult us ts. You know how that works. This is all about setting up a vertical supply chain in which all the real value add happens back in China and almost completely locks New Zealand out of the picture.

          • tsmithfield 3.2.1.1.1

            “First of all in this instance the $210m purchase price simply goes to the Aussie banks who hold the Crafar mortgage.”

            Correct. So its not a NZ owned asset at all, is it?

            “Secondly it’s an already developed asset, and while it needs some work… that’s miniscule (in the order of $10-20m) compared to what it’s already worth. New Zealand will see sod all of that.”

            But there will be a lot of ongoing servicing, maintenance, supplies etc that will be purchased from NZ businesses.

            “Don’t insult us ts. You know how that works. This is all about setting up a vertical supply chain in which all the real value add happens back in China and almost completely locks New Zealand out of the picture.”

            Untrue. The production side is happening in NZ by NZ owned companies. So the value added part happens here in NZ.

            • RedLogix 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Correct. So its not a NZ owned asset at all, is it?

              But once upon a time it was. Now it isn’t.

              The production side is happening in NZ by NZ owned companies. So the value added part happens here in NZ.

              But there will be a lot of ongoing servicing, maintenance, supplies etc that will be purchased from NZ businesses.

              No more or less than if it were owned locally. And again… small beer compared to the value of the asset.

              Untrue. The production side is happening in NZ by NZ owned companies. So the value added part happens here in NZ.

              What Pengxin are suddenly doing all this from the goodness of their hearts for nothing? Don’t feed us this dreck ts; you set up a vertical supply chain in order to extract maximum value and to ensure that the real profits are made in the tax jurisdiction that suits you best.

              And while there is some modest merit in the presence of NZ partners it’s a piffling thing compared to say Pengxin being compelled to JV with Fonterra as the NZ based asset owner/manufacturer. There is absolutely no need for Pengxin to actually own land here in NZ to achieve a good result for both countries.

              • tsmithfield

                “Don’t feed us this dreck ts; you set up a vertical supply chain in order to extract maximum value and to ensure that the real profits are made in the tax jurisdiction that suits you best.”

                You need to think a bit better than that RL. Don’t you think that IRD might have already considered the possibility that a foreign owned NZ entity might transfer its goods back to the parent company to take advantage of beneficial tax rates? Well, they have.

                From the brochure:

                New Zealand’s transfer pricing regime seeks to protect the integrity of the New Zealand tax base by ensuring that all cross-border transactions with
                associated persons are priced, for tax Doing business in New Zealand 24
                purposes, on an arm’s-length basis. There are various methods available
                for determining the arm’s-length amount of consideration. Generally,
                New Zealand’s rules follow OECD guidelines.

                So, your concept of a vertical supply chain that allows Penxing to repatriate effectively untaxed profits to China is incorrect.

                So, since what seems to be your major objection is overcome, are you happy now about the arrangement. After all, it appears that the Chinese entity is going to be treated in every respect the same as a NZ one, and pay taxes here. They will be left with tax free profit which is their money to do what they like with, just as with everyone else including you and me.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Profits will be expatriated out of this country (where with the NZ govt as the owner of the land it would be kept here), and decisions around what is done with the farm’s production will be made by foreign owners.

                  Looks like this country is currently filled with economic traitors like tsmithfield. The Right complain about dole bludgers while selling off the silverware to make a quick buck themselves and claiming that it is for our own good.

                  • tsmithfield

                    Are you a moron???

                    I have just shown that NZ tax law requires that profits are properly taxed in NZ for overseas owned entities. After that, anyone can do what they want with their money. They can gamble it at the Casino, or send it overseas to invest in foreign markets. There is absolutely no guarantee that just because an entity is owned by NZers that the tax paid profit will stay here in NZ.

                    CV, I hope you don’t ever go on overseas holidays because you will be taking profits out of the country as well.

                    • bbfloyd

                      tissss…..now that you’ve resorted to indulging in irrelevant semantics, isn’t it about time you grew a pair and just admit you don’t have a good argument? maybe if you could get over your love affair with self indulgence you could see things clearer, and there wouldn’t be so much space wasted trying to elucidate reality for you…

                  • Hami Shearlie

                    Wish we could expatriate John Key out of the country CV!!

                • RedLogix

                  If that was the case then Pengxin would be better off saving it’s money and simply going into a JV with Fonterra and concentrating on adding value in China.That is where all the real profit is to be made. Why bother footling about with relatively low value commodity farming and manufacturing here in NZ?

                  For one simple reason; by gaining control of the relatively low value manufacturing process here in NZ, they create security for their high-value business in China.

                  But all this is a diversion from the simple fact that the presence of a Chinese competitor to Fonterra …regardless of any tax issues… simply diverts cash away from New Zealanders and into Chinese pockets.

                  Off our farmland.

                  • tsmithfield

                    “Why bother footling about with relatively low value commodity farming and manufacturing here in NZ?”

                    Well, tax avoidance can’t be a reason as you seemed to be asserting earlier because the government already has that sussed, as I showed.

                    “For one simple reason; by gaining control of the relatively low value manufacturing process here in NZ, they create security for their high-value business in China.”

                    Yes. Security of supply is a valid strategic objective for any company. So this is wrong in this case because….?

                    “But all this is a diversion from the simple fact that the presence of a Chinese competitor to Fonterra …regardless of any tax issues… simply diverts cash away from New Zealanders and into Chinese pockets.”

                    They have to use a NZ owned entity to do the processing. Why shouldn’t that be Fonterra? Why do you assume that Fonterra will necessarily be disadvantaged by this move? You are deluded if you think the Pengxin will be a competitor for Fonterra in the Chinese market. The Chinese market could swallow our entire milk production multiple times over, so there is plenty of market for both organisations.

                    • tsmithfield

                      RL “…simply diverts cash away from New Zealanders and into Chinese pockets.”

                      Ahhh. I just picked this up. You really don’t like the Chinese, do you? Why should it be any worse that Chinese people would get the profits, compared to say, Australian Banks who profit from the interest they charge?

                    • RedLogix

                      Why should it be any worse that Chinese people would get the profits, compared to say, Australian Banks who profit from the interest they charge

                      Whatever happened to “ambitious for New Zealand”?

                    • RedLogix

                      Yes. Security of supply is a valid strategic objective for any company. So this is wrong in this case because….?

                      Think about it ts. What lies at the heart of this matter is embedded in your own question.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “Whatever happened to “ambitious for New Zealand”?”

                      Weak. International investment both by NZ entities overseas and foreign entities in NZ is part of international business that makes the economy viable. You need to explain why you think that Chinese investment is any worse than from anywhere else.

                      All I have seen so far is implications of shadowy links to the Chinese government, of which I have seen no evidence provided. And the fact China is more controlling of its people than NZ. Well, if we didn’t do business with countries behaved poorly towards their citizens, we probably wouldn’t do business with Australia given their treatment of the aborigines.

                      “Think about it ts. What lies at the heart of this matter is embedded in your own question.”

                      As I said, security of supply is a valid objective for any organisation. Why should the objections you raise about China not apply equally to anyone from any other foreign company wanting to invest in the dairying industry in NZ?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      ah ts, selling us out, advocating for the security of supply to a Chinese company while taking it away from your own country.

                      You’re all class you Right Wing traitors.

                      Weak. International investment both by NZ entities overseas and foreign entities in NZ is part of international business that makes the economy viable. You need to explain why you think that Chinese investment is any worse than from anywhere else.

                      1) A viable economy which exports financial capital out of our communities to foreign owners? That kind of “viable”? Who exactly is it viable for? Oh yes of course, the top 0.1% of the global ownership elite.

                      2) Bullshit question from you, any land deal with leads to the expatriation of profits and the loss of control of the productivity of the land is bad for this country and you reveal yourself by advocating for it.

                      3) You’re a waste of time, hope your children and grandchildren like being indentured servants to foreign masters. I’ll tell them that their Daddy was a little short sighted sell out.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Why should it be any worse that Chinese people would get the profits, compared to say, Australian Banks who profit from the interest they charge?

                      I can answer this since I’ve repeatedly stated that the Australian banks are simply financiallty raping this country to the tune of nearly $2B p.a.

                      They’re one and the same, and you are a traitor for giving both the thumbs up.

                      Hope your kids like being renters to foreign landlords.

                    • RedLogix

                      As you say ts, the potential demand for high value milk products in China greatly exceeds our ability to supply. This is because there are only so many cows we can milk in this country. With a limited total milk supply this industry is therefore a zero-sum game.

                      If you owned a successful business based on a unique, but limited, asset base, would you simply allow a competitor unrestricted access to that resource simply in order to let them set up in competition with you? That would be just idiotic naivity.

                      You need to explain why you think that Chinese investment is any worse than from anywhere else.

                      This isn’t an investment. Nothing new is being created by this purchase. It is simply a diversion of opportunity from New Zealander’s pockets into Chinese ones. Why do you think that is a good thing?

                      And how is that “ambitious for New Zealand’?

                      As I said, security of supply is a valid objective for any organisation.

                      I invited you to think about it… and you missed the point utterly. “Security of supply” means in practise ‘the power and control to make decisions in your own interests’.

                      Which simply means as Pengxin gain more and more control over New Zealand land and our dairy industry, which is their stated aim… New Zealanders lose control. However it plays out, ultimately we are the losers in that game.

                    • tsmithfield

                      RL “With a limited total milk supply this industry is therefore a zero-sum game.”

                      CV “selling us out, advocating for the security of supply to a Chinese company while taking it away from your own country.”

                      Similar point from both of you.

                      This is a problem that arises due to exporting whether the company is NZ owned or foreign owned. When milk is exported, it impacts on the local price, so long as local prices reflect the export prices. So, it doesn’t really matter whether it is NZ or Chinese owned so far as it effects local supply and prices. So, you can’t blame the Chinese for this.

                      CV “I can answer this since I’ve repeatedly stated that the Australian banks are simply financiallty raping this country to the tune of nearly $2B p.a.”

                      They’re one and the same, and you are a traitor for giving both the thumbs up.

                      I have to admit, CV, that at least you are consistent, although deluded, in wanting to do away with all foreign ownership.

                      RL seems to seems to have a problem with the Chinese specifically for some reason.

                      RL “I invited you to think about it… and you missed the point utterly. “Security of supply” means in practise ‘the power and control to make decisions in your own interests’.”

                      No I didn’t. I asked you why this is a problem specifically with Chinese interests. It is a potential problem that can arise from any foreign purchase, which is why we have the OIO.

                      “Which simply means as Pengxin gain more and more control over New Zealand land and our dairy industry, which is their stated aim… New Zealanders lose control. However it plays out, ultimately we are the losers in that game.”

                      Good grief. You’ve been watching too many James Bond movies.

                    • RedLogix

                      RL seems to seems to have a problem with the Chinese specifically for some reason.

                      In general I have no problem with overseas investors where there is a mutual benefit and a balance of power.

                      For instance about 20 years ago Jukken Nissho (a Japanese timber company) came to NZ and built two major mills specialised to make products unique to the Japanese market. They also purchased significant cutting rights to various forests.

                      In this case JNL created a new asset base that New Zealand on it’s own was very unlikely to replicate. JNL also brought a specific market expertise and access that New Zealand was also unlikely to replicate.

                      JNL also ensured it’s mills and forests were staffed and operated with almost 100% local people and has been as far as I am aware a good employer. (Although I’m aware their H&S practises left a lot to be desired in the early days…thankfully much improved.)

                      All in all it has proven a succesful investment because it met these two important conditions. The Pengxin investment by contrast falls woefully short….for goodness sake they’ve no prior experience with dairy at all.

                      In the wider macro context the other problem is the gross imbalance of overseas investment. We export almost 10% of our GDP annually as profit to overseas owners; while our own investment income from overseas is a tiny miserable fraction of that.

                      Every serious analysis of this country’s economic position points to this as our most persistent and fatal structural weakness. Therefore the Pengxin investment .. and more particularly the stated intention to greatly ramp up this investment over time… also fails any rational self-interest test at the macro level as well.

                      And finally there is a specific problem with the Chinese. It’s simple and I’m surprised no-one has named it before. We don’t really trust them all that much.

                      Lots of us still recall the Sanlu debacle with shame. And you have to be a complete dolt not to have heard the many stories of the Chinese government and businesses cynically ripping off overseas investors with no legal recourse. And far too many of the cheap goods they sell us fall well short of expectation in terms of quality or fitness for purpose. (The KiwiRail experience with their shiny new Chinese DL locos is another tale yet to be told…)

                      It’s not racist or xenophobic to point to these bad experiences… and say that they do have a credibility problem. Not to mention the totalitarian military, non-democratic, dictatorship thing they have going on.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “And finally there is a specific problem with the Chinese. It’s simple and I’m surprised no-one has named it before. We don’t really trust them all that much.”

                      Isn’t this the nub of it? You seem to be generalising the Sanlu debacle to a whole people. That my friend, by definition, is prejudice.

                      [ I indicated a number of areas of concern. The comment was long enough as it was. Prejudice is by definition “pre” judging without evidence. Only a complete dolt is unaware of the many reasons why Chinese political and business practise stands in many ways in contrast to what is acceptable in the West. Not that we have all that much moral high ground to stand on these days given the greed and hubris that has wracked our economies this last decade or so. ..but no it’s not the ‘nub’ of the issue, it’s part of the mix. ..RL]

    • tsmithfield 3.3

      Eddie, unless you can prove such links, you are engaging in mere speculation. The company has been examined quite carefully before the decision was made, so I am sure if there was anything of concern it would have been found out.

      • McFlock 3.3.1

        Lol.
          
        God forbid the citizenry should imagine to have an opinion on such things, or put 2 and 2 together. Let us lie back and have faith in the government’s competence and care for us – as long as it’s Key.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.4

      Secondly, the Chinese owners will pay taxes in NZ

      Whatever gives you that idea? They’re talking vertical integration which means that it will probably be run at a loss and thus have no taxes to pay (except rates).

      …so there is no loss in sovereignty for NZ.

      It gives them leverage over our government.

      Thirdly, if we are concerned about profits going overseas then we should also ban all overseas banks from operating in NZ, because that is precisely what happens there.

      Yes, correct, we should.

      Good luck when you want a mortgage though.

      Won’t be a problem – house and land prices will just come down to meet the market.

    • Rosie 3.5

      Well Mr, theres those of us that DO bank with a NZ owned bank. I’m getting my first mortgage through Kiwibank, who I’ve been with since they opened, Why on earth would I get a mortgage from an overseas bank? I’m sitting here with my “Are you serious?” meme face on.

    • aerobubble 3.6

      So the PM says its about Chinese racism? You are saying its not about racism toward China but an individual investors who happens to reside in China (or have Chinese citizenship) and if only they came and lived here they’d been welcomed to buy the farms.

      Selling the farms means they will be held by foriegners and stop our own farmers from buying them, selling the farms means the profits go overseas and make it even harder to pay our way in the world.

      We need a real debate and I welcome you snide attack on the PM who is clearly yellowwashing the issue.

  4. Roflcopter 4

    If self-determination is the message, then whether it’s a totalitarian military dictatorship is completely irrelevant… what would be the excuse if it was Australia had put the offer in? Or if it was a group of businessmen in Tahiti?

    • ropata 4.1

      There is no excuse for failing to protect the sovereignty of the country you swore to uphold when you entered Parliament.
      Stop prevaricating.

      • Roflcopter 4.1.1

        So how does “totalitarian military dictatorship” fit into that protection of sovereignty? It’s irrelevant.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          ROFL has a good point.

          TPTB sold their message of a globalised world to try and undermine feelings of nationalism and nationhood which would simply get in their way of having free access to labour and capital anywhere and everywhere in the world.

          Which is why the RWNJs here have to pretend they don’t understand concepts like “sovereignty” or being in charge of your own nation’s destiny without having to answer to foreign powers or foreign banksters.

        • ropata 4.1.1.2

          @rofl, Last time I checked, NZ was a democracy not a vassal of foreign states or corporations. Wars are commonly fought over sovereign territory. It is somehow unfair to point out that China is a military dictatorship? Are you still trying for the racist framing angle?

          • Populuxe1 4.1.1.2.1

            While China is very authoritarian, even totalitarian, one party, and it’s human rights record is bloody awful, it is not a military dictatorship any moreso than, say, I dunno, traditional Maori society. It is run by a civilian party committee. Democracy is a Western invention.

      • Gosman 4.1.2

        How is NZ sovereignty threatened here exactly?

        Have you examples of the Chinese usurping the sovereignty of Western nations that Chinese businesses have invested in?

        Is this only restricted to the Chinese or does all foreign investment come with this risk?

        Does this mean when we invest overseas, e.g. via something like our Superannuation funds or Fonterra, we are usurping the sovereignty of the nations we invest in?

        • ropata 4.1.2.1

          *Unregulated* foreign investment carries this risk, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTKn17uZRAE

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.2.2

          Does this mean when we invest overseas, e.g. via something like our Superannuation funds or Fonterra, we are usurping the sovereignty of the nations we invest in?

          Potentially.

          Which is why China very carefully regulates who and how foreigners can invest in their country. And you’ll never get access to their power stations, transport systems or their land.

          Too bad greedy short term focussed NZers are too naive to protect themselves, the Chinese on the other hand are showing strategic long term thinking.

  5. Wayne 5

    Do you really think there would have been less outcry if the buyers were Japanese or South Koreans?

    But at least you now admit, albeit implicitly, that the opposition to the Chinese buyers is far louder than had the buyers been American or European.

  6. Gosman 6

    It isn’t racist but it is xenophobic. Especially considering our contry was built largely via foreign capital. Indeed it is one of the reasons the Maori were attracted to signing the Treaty of Waitangi. They liked having a couple of Pakeha’s around who attracted goods and services and capital from offshore.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      It isn’t racist but it is xenophobic.

      Nah…xenophobic is just being used here as a multisyllabic code word for racist. I’ve no objection to a Chinese company investing and working with New Zealanders where there is a mutual balance of power and benefit in the relationship.

      But in any relationship there are boundaries. I might invite guests for dinner and we might mutally enjoy each other’s company, but I’d be pissed to find one of them snooping uninvited through my documents and books in my private office.

      Buying our best farmland is one of those boundaries. They wouldn’t let Fonterra do it in China… we don’t let them do it here. Simple.

      They liked having a couple of Pakeha’s around who attracted goods and services and capital from offshore.

      Yeah and look how that worked out for them.

    • ropata 6.2

      Few would disagree that international commerce and exchange have made substantial contributions to human well-being over the nearly six hundred years since the onset of the commercial revolution. The processes of deregulation and the removal of economic borders that define Friedman’s beloved globalization, however, are largely a phenomenon of the past twenty years. While this twenty-year period has produced impressive economic growth and swelled the ranks of the world’s billionaires, for most people it has brought absolute declines in real living standards, unconscionable inequality, environmental devastation, and social breakdown — contributions most of us could easily live without.

      Most of the positive accomplishments of capitalism came during the period from the end of World War II through the 1970s when national borders were strong, national economies were regulated, and international trade and finance were managed to serve national interests. Edward Luttwak calls it the period of “controlled capitalism” and documents how for most people the prosperity it brought is now being destroyed by the unrestrained “turbo capitalism” of the 1980s and 1990s that Friedman so adores. The nearest historical equivalent to the capitalism of the 1990s, as Friedman himself notes, is the capitalism of the 1920s — which brought us the Great Depression and World War II.

      http://www.ratical.org/co-globalize/capitalists.html

    • “Indeed it is one of the reasons the Maori were attracted to signing the Treaty of Waitangi. They liked having a couple of Pakeha’s around who attracted goods and services and capital from offshore.”

      What a load of rubbish gossy – what do you know about the treaty and the motivations of rangatira that did sign? – stick to your boring troll games.

      • marty mars 6.3.1

        Shit i wish this thing would allow edits again

        Sorry gossy i just noticed the ‘one of the reasons’ bit at the start and that is harder to argue against because in the pusuit of mana and protecting their way of life, some rangatira did form that view.

      • Colonial Viper 6.3.2

        Next he’ll say they signed to get their hands on a few more beads and whisky.

        • marty mars 6.3.2.1

          Indeed.

          Just to clarify what I was trying to say above – they were lied to, taken advantage of and too trusting – much like the current situation.

          In fact, to indulge a little bit, I wrote a poem slightly related to it a while ago 🙂

          Sci fi colonisation

          the first one arrived all
          sun-spill and screaming
          like a God. Somewhere
          a parchment of pixels
          was signed and they don’t
          talk to us anymore.

          What have we loved?

          To make ours into
          theirs they came in numbers.

    • Hateatea 6.4

      “Indeed it is one of the reasons the Maori were attracted to signing the Treaty of Waitangi. They liked having a couple of Pakeha’s around who attracted goods and services and capital from offshore.”

      That is a totally incorrect reason for the writing and the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and I find it difficult to believe that you don’t know that.

      The British wanted to forestall French and US interest and iwi wanted the British to make their citizens resident here behave themselves. 

      You may get away with making such canards elsewhere but you surely cannot expect to go unchallenged here 

      • Fortran 6.4.1

        Hateatea

        Like you, I was not around at the time of the signing of the treaty, so I, like you, have no idea what was in the minds or intentions of anybody party to the signing.

        Its all hearsay.

        • Hateatea 6.4.1.1

          No, I wasn’t around but members of my immediate family were. Plus, I am possibly more widely read on Te Tiriti than the average New Zealander.

    • mik e 6.5

      Goosestepper Your saying Xenophobia is not racism.Are you trying to Con us like like the Maori were by the triti.
      Contry good Freudian slip groseman.
      Time to go back to troll school.
      you should take up faming

  7. randal 7

    milton friedman was a fool with a bee in his bonnet.
    in combination with a senile president and a vacillating chairman of the Fed his theories brought the US to its knees.
    a postion from which it took years to recover from.
    and it should be noted that you dont need an economist to tell you when you are broke.
    idiots abound in every walk of life and at every level.

  8. Salsy 8

    Asked about opposition to the Crafar farms deal in 2010, John Key said there was public resistance to foreign investment in New Zealand’s primary export base.

    “And that is probably less related to the country involved – in this case China – and more around the fact that there is a genuine concern that we shouldn’t sell out the golden goose.”

    • In fact, it’s quite interesting to see the two videos, from July 2010, to January this year, and his conflicting messages; http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/land-sales-a-sorry-saga-of-sheer-stupidity/

      By the way, I notice that the term “racist” and “xenophobic” is being tossed around by proponants of farm sales to overseas investors.

      Interesting how “racism” and “xenophobia” are suddrenly issues of great importance – when applied to fiscal, free market matters.

      But when it comes to tino rangatiratanga issues and Treaty grievances – well, I think we know where thr Right Wing are on such matters?

      Ironic really… the Right think nothing of letting Chinese, Germans, Americans, Klingons, etc, buy up our farmland…

      But those same Right wing folk get mighty hostile when it comes to Maori regaining land that was taken from them illegally…

      Just a thought.

      Now, what were you folks saying about racism?

      • Carol 8.1.1

        Yes, it’s curious how the anti-pc brigade are suddenly being VERY pc.

      • Populuxe1 8.1.2

        That’s a straw man – of course Maori should be compensated and recognised as the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, but they are not a foreign country, and they were actually invaded and land was stolen from them illegally. The situations are not similar, and I have seen nothing to suggest the Righties on here believe otherwise (they may, they may not, but I’m not going to make assumptions).
        Racism and Xenophobia are not the same thing at all. Racism a belief that race or ethnicity determines human traits and capacities resulting in an inherent superiority of a particular race and the related discrimination. Xenophobia is the fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign. Maori are victims of racism – they are hardly “strange or foreign”. The tone of some of the posts here, especially in their inflammatory use of martial terms like “invasion” and “colonisation” in reference to the Chinese, have a decidedly xenophobic aftertaste.

  9. Hateatea 9

    I totally agree with the header to this post but, in my view, it does not truly reflect the generally held public opinion.

    I am old enough to have seen and heard the response when Iwi have asked for any form of self determination.

    Of course, when the people asking for self determination are the colonisers themselves, the response is bound to be different.

    I find myself a little bemused by the premise being argued except that we have been recolonised by stealth through free trade agreements, television and now, sales of our most productive farmlands to foreign owned and controlled COMPANIES, not foreign individuals, a slightly lesser, in my opinion, evil 

    • RedLogix 9.1

      Yes this is an irony I’ve long anticipated….

    • Akldnut 9.2

      ++++1

    • Draco T Bastard 9.3

      I am old enough to have seen and heard the response when Iwi have asked for any form of self determination.

      You can only have one set of rules within a geographic area/society. Iwi self-determination is contained within the democratic system as they have a say about what those rules are.

      Trying to have multiple sets of rules and nations will result in civil war.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    Here is a summary of the various points raised with respect to the Pengxin purchase of the Crafer farms.

    Objection 1. China has a terrible human rights record and centralised control of their people. Therefore, we shouldn’t let their companies buy properties here.

    Answer: If we are not going to deal with countries on the basis of the way they treat their people, then we probably wouldn’t deal with Australia, for their record with the Aborigine people, and who knows, some countries might not deal with us either for similar reasons. Doing business with a country doesn’t mean that we have to accept their human rights behaviours.

    Objection 2. Pengxin has secret links back to the Chinese government and this somehow taints them.

    Answer: Firstly they have been checked out thoroughly by the OIO. Secondly, evidence of such links has not been offered here. Just speculation. Thirdly, why should it matter anyway?

    Objection 3. The profits will go out of the country.

    Answer: Firstly, there are lots of foreign owned companies in NZ that are able to send their profits back to their parent body. Whether they will or not depends on where they will get the best return. Secondly, once profits are tax-paid people can do what they want with them. Even NZ owned businesses can send their profits overseas to invest in various ways. So, just because a business is NZ owned is no guarantee that the profits will say in NZ, and there is no guarantee that profits for foreign companies will leave the country.

    Objection 4. Pengxin will be sneaky and avoid paying tax in NZ by selling back to their parent company at cost so their profits can be taxed in China at a better rate.

    I have already shown thatthe IRD has rules and regulations in this respect.

    From the article:

    New Zealand’s transfer pricing regime seeks to protect the integrity of the New Zealand tax base by ensuring that all cross-border transactions with associated persons are priced, for tax Doing business in New Zealand on an arm’s-length basis. There are various methods available for determining the arm’s-length amount of consideration. Generally, New Zealand’s rules follow OECD guidelines.

    So, NZ benefits from the tax on profits from Pengxin.

    Objection 5. New Zealand gets little out of the deal.

    Untrue. It is required that processing is done by a NZ entity, thus we get to profit from added value. Also, NZ industries will be involved in service, construction to activities, and the farms will be managed by NZers, generating jobs. Also, as mentioned above, we benefit from the tax on profits, and the PAYE paid on wages to employees.

    Objection 6. This affects our ability to control our own destiny by affecting the supply of milk to NZ.

    This is a problem whether a NZ companies or foreign owned companies export milk since this affects local prices and supply. Our local prices reflect the international prices and hence rise and fall with those. So long as our local prices match the international ones there will be no problem with local supply. So this objection is really a reflection of the problems associated with being an export oriented nation rather than specifically with respect to Pengxin.

    Perhaps someone can let me know if there is something I have missed.

    • RedLogix 10.1

      You’ve missed everything.

      1. “Dealing with a country” is not the same as selling them your own land. And certainly not the same as letting them set up a vertically integrated supply chain in direct competition with your own most important industry.

      Total miss

      2. The links between Pengxin and the CCP government are not secret. The CCP banking system gives them preferential access to very cheap capital at a price no local bidder could hope to match. And of course the Chinese system of doing business is completely different to how it is done in the West. To suggest that Pengxin became a large and powerful company with no personal links into the CCP is plainly risible.

      Total miss.

      3. Of course profits will leave the country. That IS the problem. Too much profit already leaves… this_will_only_make_it_worse.

      Total miss.

      4. In any supply chain the highest value is always added at the end closest to the consumer. That is what Pengxin will inherently capture in China… even without any attempt at finangling the system.

      Total miss.

      5. And when international prices simply become too high for New Zealanders to afford? Forgotten the $16 block of cheese already? And how National attacked Labour over it?

      Total miss.

      Still “ambitious for New Zealand” are we? Cos that seems to be missing in action as well.

      • tsmithfield 10.1.1

        ““Dealing with a country” is not the same as selling them your own land. And certainly not the same as letting them set up a vertically integrated supply chain in direct competition with your own most important industry.”

        You keep going on about a “vertically integrated supply chain” as if its a huge problem. Its not. Also, Fonterra already has competition from local providers. For instance, Westland Dairy who are one of my largest customers. Competition isn’t a bad thing. Why do you assert it is? Many are arguing Fonterra needs more competition, not less.

        “And of course the Chinese system of doing business is completely different to how it is done in the West.”

        You’ve got your prejudice showing through again. Firstly you imply different=worse than ours. In some ways that might be true. In other ways we could learn from the Chinese.

        “Of course profits will leave the country. That IS the problem. Too much profit already leaves… this_will_only_make_it_worse.”

        No more necessarilly than with NZ businesses that can also send profits overseas. It depends on the return they can get by leaving profits in NZ.

        “In any supply chain the highest value is always added at the end closest to the consumer. That is what Pengxin will inherently capture in China… even without any attempt at finangling the system.”

        As I said before, the market is so large it doesn’t matter. There is plenty for everyone.

        “And when international prices simply become too high for New Zealanders to afford? Forgotten the $16 block of cheese already? And how National attacked Labour over it?”

        This is definitely a problem. But it is a different argument.

        • RedLogix 10.1.1.1

          You keep going on about a “vertically integrated supply chain” as if its a huge problem

          Of course it is. The effect is to cut New Zealand businesses from participating. While at this early stage there is some degree of local partnership the same business outcome could have been achieved with a JV. There is simply no business need for Pengxin to actually own New Zealand farmland.

          You’ve got your prejudice showing through again.

          Warning. Do not try to imply that I am a racist again.

          No more necessarilly than with NZ businesses that can also send profits overseas. It depends on the return they can get by leaving profits in NZ.

          But of course ultimately the New Zealand resident owner will want to spend or reinvest most of that profit in New Zealand. An overseas owner will ultimately want to export most of it. Arguing otherwise is pure futility.

          As I said before, the market is so large it doesn’t matter. There is plenty for everyone.

          While the market may be very large… the supply is not. There are only so many cows we can milk and therefore this is a zero-sum game where Pengxin’s gain will eventually have to come at Fonterra’s loss.

          This is definitely a problem. But it is a different argument.

          It was exactly the argument.

          • tsmithfield 10.1.1.1.1

            RL “Warning. Do not try to imply that I am a racist again.”

            I didn’t intend to mean racism specifically. Prejudice is a broader concept than that. I think we all have subconcious prejudices that we let slip from time to time. It is part of the human condition. So, I wasn’t meaning to be critical towards you. Just letting you know how it appeared to me.

            “But of course ultimately the New Zealand resident owner will want to spend or reinvest most of that profit in New Zealand. An overseas owner will ultimately want to export most of it. Arguing otherwise is pure futility.”

            Again, I have to disagree. Take banks for example. They leave vast amounts of capital in NZ in the form of loans. Other businesses leave profit in NZ when they want to expand their businesses, invest in new plant etc. If an entity has plenty of cash, they have no reason to withdraw their profits if they are getting the best return their. Many international companies will set up a NZ entity that eventually becomes self sufficient and may pay a dividend back to the parent entity. The same can operate in reverse for NZ owned entities overseas.

            “While the market may be very large… the supply is not. There are only so many cows we can milk and therefore this is a zero-sum game where Pengxin’s gain will eventually have to come at Fonterra’s loss.”

            But the Crafer farms aren’t producing, or if they are, at a very marginal level. Hence, Fonterra isn’t disadvantaged to any significant degree since it isn’t benefiting from the Crafer farms at the moment. Therefore, they lose nothing if the farms start producing more.

            “It was exactly the argument.”

            Exports will increase whoever owns the dairy industry. The problem of local prices being linked to international prices is nothing to do with ownership. It is international demand having an effect on local prices.

            • McFlock 10.1.1.1.1.1

              I didn’t intend to mean racism specifically. Prejudice is a broader concept than that.
                        
              Not the way you just used it.

            • muzza 10.1.1.1.1.2

              ‘Again, I have to disagree. Take banks for example. They leave vast amounts of capital in NZ in the form of loans’

              They leave vast amounts of debt is what they leave..

              Its not the same thing by a long way.

            • RedLogix 10.1.1.1.1.3

              If an entity has plenty of cash, they have no reason to withdraw their profits if they are getting the best return there.

              So what is the point in making a profit if it is never returned to the owners? Are you suggesting that all the profit Pengxin ever makes in this country will be spent here in NZ? Of course not; even you know that eventually the dividend will be paid back to the parent company…in China.

              That’s the whole point of money, sitting in a bank account it’s useless. It’s only when it’s spent that has any value… and where it’s spent determines who gets the benefit. Pengxin’s operations here in this country will ultimately benefit the Chinese economy at the expense of the New Zealand one. Suggesting otherwise is lala-land.

              But the Crafer farms aren’t producing, or if they are, at a very marginal level.

              Actually they are. What made you think they were not? In fact given the current nice high dairy prices the receiver/banks have been in no particular hurry to sell… the cash flow is a nice little earner thank you. The local industry is operating these farms exactly as they always did and could do in the future.

              Besides the Crafar farms themselves are only the beginning on Pengxin’s planned colonisation of our dairy industry. O’Sullivan herself described this purchase as just a ‘toehold’.

              At the same time, no matter how much land they acquire, Pegnxin’s involvement will not add one single litre to the total dairy supply; and certainly not more than could have been readily, routinely achieved by the local established industry. They bring nothing to the table.

              Exports will increase whoever owns the dairy industry.

              No they cannot. There are strict environmental limits on how many more cows we can cope with, and only just so much productive pasture land. Not to mention just how much more cow shit our rivers can cope with.

              The problem of local prices being linked to international prices is nothing to do with ownership.

              Colonised Third World countries have repeatedly had the experience of seeing their own local resources and products priced out of the reach of locals … by abstentee owners who exported everything for higher profits elsewhere. Essentially the local political system loses control over their own economic sovereignty..

              It’s hard enough getting some degree of political accountability over Fonterra; if and when Pengxin grows to become a dominant player in the industry… the problem becomes impossible.

              And it’s not at all difficult to imagine the potential political problems arising when a Regional Council attempting to prosecute yet another discharge transgression, gets a quiet phone call from the 9th floor explaining that the Chinese Embassy isn’t pleased. That’s called a power imbalance.

              So yes ownership has everything to do with it.

              • tsmithfield

                “So what is the point in making a profit if it is never returned to the owners? Are you suggesting that all the profit Pengxin ever makes in this country will be spent here in NZ?”

                If they have set up a NZ owned entity, then keeping their profits here can be just as worthwhile as repatriating them. From the owner’s point of view, they own both the NZ and parent entities, so the profits are theirs either way. It depends on the strategic objectives of the organisation and their current need for cash. A lot of foreign owned NZ entities effectively run as a stand-alone business.

                Anyway, the amount of profit going back to the owners is a lot less than what you think. Firstly, they must pay wages and PAYE to local employees. Then they must pay for all the expenses of operating a business, mainly going to NZ service providers. Then they get taxed at 30% on the rest. Some of the profit is then retained for future operating costs, developments, replacing depreciating plant etc. After all this, what is left to go back to the parent company, assuming they repatriate it all, is a relatively small percentage of the total. Try running a business and see what percentage your profit is once all costs etc are deducted.

                “What made you think they were not?”

                Because the new owners are going to have to spend substantial amounts of money to get them back up to optimal productive capacity.

                “No they cannot. There are strict environmental limits on how many more cows we can cope with, and only just so much productive pasture land. Not to mention just how much more cow shit our rivers can cope with.”

                There is technology coming on the market now that is highly effective in dealing with the effluent problem. Once this is sold, the productive capacity can increase.

                “Colonised Third World countries have repeatedly had the experience of seeing their own local resources and products priced out of the reach of locals … by abstentee owners who exported everything for higher profits elsewhere.”

                NZ owners are also seeking higher profits elsewhere. As I said, this problem is nothing to do with who owns the farms and all to do with local prices reflecting international prices.

                • RedLogix

                  If they have set up a NZ owned entity, then keeping their profits here can be just as worthwhile as repatriating them. From the owner’s point of view, they own both the NZ and parent entities, so the profits are theirs either way.

                  Really if you want to fantasise that a Chinese company will never export its profits back to China… like the Aussie owned banks here in New Zealand never export dividends back to Australia eh… go right ahead. It’s your life, you waste it however charms you.

                  Try running a business and see what percentage your profit is once all costs etc are deducted.

                  Oh dear. So little profit all of a sudden. Why on earth are Pengxin so stupid to be spending $210m on a business that according to you has such very low returns? And here was me imagining the Chinese were smart traders.

                  And the estimated number of new employees is about 10. As for all the other costs that they will spend in the local economy… so what.. it’s pretty much exactly the same as what would be spent when the Crafars ran it, or any other local owner.

                  Because the new owners are going to have to spend substantial amounts of money to get them back up to optimal productive capacity.

                  Substantial in this case is estimated to be in the range of $15m. Thats just a bit of catchup and development and a small fraction of the value of the asset. In the meantime the grass is growing, there are cows eating it, and milk tankers arriving twice a day.

                  There is technology coming on the market now that is highly effective in dealing with the effluent problem. Once this is sold, the productive capacity can increase.

                  Only the effluent from the milking facilities and hardstands. Nothing deals with the shit in the paddocks. Or the nitrogen from all the fertiliser.

                  And whatever Pengxin do… they cannot ever make any new farmland. However you cut it there is an upper limit on how many cows we can accomodate. But if you want to fantasise that there isn’t such a limit.. go right ahead. Have fun.

                  • tsmithfield

                    “Why on earth are Pengxin so stupid to be spending $210m on a business that according to you has such very low returns? And here was me imagining the Chinese were smart traders.”

                    Lets see here. I suspect that Pengxin would be lucky to get tax-paid 4% on $200000 for a risk-free rate of return. Consequently, 10-15% on $200,000,000 would be a very good tax-paid rate of return for them. On an investment of $200,000,000 that would equate to a ROI of $20mil to $30mil per annum. That is a minute amount in the context of total GDP for the country, and hardly loss of sovereignty stuff, even if they did expatriate it all back to China. So I think you are really making a mountain out of a mole-hill to be honest.

                    • RedLogix

                      Gee it was you who originally brought up the issue of how much loverly tax Pengxin was going to be paying to our IRD as a good corporate citizen…. now you tell us it’s just small beer.

                      I merely chased it down to this feeble end.

                      At the same time you keep ignoring the elephant in the fridge.. that this one transaction while small in the current context of overseas ownership… represents just a ‘toehold’ in Pengxin’s plans for expansion.

                      Given that there is now a firm precedent for them to buy land here, and that they effectively have access to unlimited cheap capital from the CCP controlled banking sector… they can not only outbid ANY other buyer… they can do so without limit. See where that takes you?

                      And even if we set that scenario aside, as you quite correctly state… there is still an awful lot of farmland owned overseas.And that has to be seen in the context of a whole bunch of other business assets we have already lost. In total something like 8-10% of our total GDP is exported every year as profits and dividends. You simply cannot magic that harsh fact away.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “…now you tell us it’s just small beer.”

                      Its small beer because the NZ Government and NZ companies will get to clip the ticket in many and varied ways before tax paid profit is established. I suspect this would outweigh by a considerable margin the tax-paid profit that is left over.

                      “…they effectively have access to unlimited cheap capital from the CCP controlled banking sector… they can not only outbid ANY other buyer… they can do so without limit. See where that takes you?”

                      I think you’re completely wrong about that. The Chinese central bank has interest rates at 6.5% at the moment, considerably higher than our rate of 2.5%. So, interest rate advantages should be on the side of NZ businesses. In fact, Pengxin is probably better to borrow money here. Who knows. Maybe they are.

                    • tsmithfield

                      The other point you have completely missed is that its not a one way street. I don’t know the figures, but I suspect that since we are a small fish in a very large pond, there is a lot more opportunity for our own industries to establish in other countries and return profits back to NZ. You have been focussing on the profits leaving NZ to foreign countries, but have completely ignored money flowing the opposite way. I see absolutely no reason why that flow shouldn’t be net positive for us.

                      I know for a fact that foreign owned companies are establishing in China. So, having a closer economic relationship with them and their business provides many opportunities for our own.

                    • RedLogix

                      I’ve lost the linky ts… but in all the reading around this I came across several articles strongly suggesting that Pengxin had special access to discounted interest rates and terms.

                      That 6.5% number is likely that high at present because the CCP is attempting to control high internal inflation. But for a strategic external purchase like this… with a Party controlled banking system anything is possible. And that’s what is being said.

                      You have been focussing on the profits leaving NZ to foreign countries, but have completely ignored money flowing the opposite way. I see absolutely no reason why that flow shouldn’t be net positive for us.

                      Its been a while since I banged around the Treasury website but last I looked the actual numbers in terms of “investment income” were about $15b or so negative (ie money flowing overseas) and much less than $1b coming back in.

                      It may have changed somewhat with the advent of the Super Fund… but essentially NZ is too capital starved at present (because too much of it is exported overseas) to change this picture in a hurry.

                      Of course I agree with your sentiments.. at least one of my biggest objections would be neutered if in fact NZ did already have a net positive investment income. But we don’t and we’re way short of it.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “I’ve lost the linky ts… but in all the reading around this I came across several articles strongly suggesting that Pengxin had special access to discounted interest rates and terms.”

                      Not saying you’re wrong, RL. However, I would be surprised if Pengxin could borrow at cheaper than the Central Bank rate, because that is the rate they lend to other banks.

                      “Its been a while since I banged around the Treasury website but last I looked the actual numbers in terms of “investment income” were about $15b or so negative (ie money flowing overseas) and much less than $1b coming back in.”

                      I suspect a lot of that money going out would be repayment of loans. That is, banks repaying finance they have borrowed from overseas to lend out. This would capture finance from mortgages people are repaying etc. Because we heavily finance from overseas, it is not really comparing apples with apples. It would be interesting to know what the differential was excluding finance, because that could paint a different picture altogether.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Not saying you’re wrong, RL. However, I would be surprised if Pengxin could borrow at cheaper than the Central Bank rate, because that is the rate they lend to other banks.

                      The Chinese Govt lends the US Gov money at a real interest rate of less than 1% pa. The US Fed lends money to the primary dealers at 0.25% pa or less (under ZIRP).

                      So that money could be very very cheap indeed.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I suspect a lot of that money going out would be repayment of loans. That is, banks repaying finance they have borrowed from overseas to lend out. This would capture finance from mortgages people are repaying etc. Because we heavily finance from overseas, it is not really comparing apples with apples. It would be interesting to know what the differential was excluding finance, because that could paint a different picture altogether.

                      No no no that’s all wrong. You can’t exclude finance payments as if its not hard currency being moved out of the local economy (which it is).

                    • tsmithfield

                      CV: “The Chinese Govt lends the US Gov money at a real interest rate of less than 1% pa. The US Fed lends money to the primary dealers at 0.25% pa or less (under ZIRP).”

                      Yawn. You need to do better than that. US Treasury bonds have very low yields on a short-term basis. However, longer term yields are higher. And US Treasury bonds are considered about as risk-free as there can be because the US can always print more dollars to pay its bills.

                      It is well known that the Fed is keeping rates exceptionally low in the US because their economy is stuffed. If you can find a bank that will lend to you, you can get a 30 year mortgage for under 4% now, I think.

                      “No no no that’s all wrong. You can’t exclude finance payments as if its not hard currency being moved out of the local economy (which it is).”

                      For the point of comparison, anything can be excluded, so long as it is excluded from both sides of the equation. No problem with that at all.

                    • McFlock

                      Um – has TS actually managed to derail a discussion about national sovreignty and self determination into an analysis of US treasury bond yields?
                        
                      The dark side is strong in this one.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “Um – has TS actually managed to derail a discussion about national sovreignty and self determination into an analysis of US treasury bond yields?

                      The dark side is strong in this one.”

                      Why are you blaming me? It was CV who bought up China’s lending to the US, which is through treasury bonds.

                    • McFlock

                      Simply because you’re the common factor from comment 10 to comment 10.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.xxx

                    • tsmithfield

                      So is Red Logix. We have been having a discussion in case you haven’t noticed.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      For the point of comparison, anything can be excluded, so long as it is excluded from both sides of the equation. No problem with that at all.

                      Nope. The selective elimination of data can turn a broad measure such as the balance of payments useless and unrepresentative.

            • Frank Macskasy 10.1.1.1.1.4

              Not exactly sound, economic arguments, TSmithfield.

              If the “Crafar farms aren’t producing, or if they are, at a very marginal level” then what do offshore investors want with them?

              If they’re not profitable, then what would be the purpose of offshotre investors spending $200+ million to by them?

              Especially when Streve Bignell from the Fay -led consortium stated,

              “Our offer is at a price we firmly believe makes sense it that we are paying the right price for the long-term farming future of these properties. Over a certain price level, these farms don’t work.” – http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/5688311/Fay-group-sticks-with-Crafar-farms-bid

              Perhaps because the buy-up of arable farmland in New Zealand, Africa, and elsewhere is not about making short-term profits. It is more about long-term gain by securing sources of food, as the planet’s population has hit 7 billion, and is estimated to reach 9 billion by 2050AD.

              Just as Americans sought to secure oilfields in the middle east for their economic well-being, corporations and governments are now doing likewise for farmland.

              Which does not bode well for our economic wellbeing in the decades to come.

              It astounds me that many on the Right are so fixated on their ideological need to support the “free market” at any cost, that they are blind to the consequences of some agendas.

              The word “denial” comes to mind.

              “Stupidity” is another.

              http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2011/10/01/the-second-colonisation-of-new-zealand/

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      Perhaps someone can let me know if there is something I have missed.

      yeah the money the Chinese pay go straight to Australian banks, we don’t see a cent of it, further profits are expatriated offshore whereas with a NZ owner profits would stay on shore.

      What part of “losing out” do you not understand?

      • Fortran 10.2.1

        CV

        Any funds may not go to the Australian Banks.

        There are two new very large Japanese Banks recently registered.
        We already have two large Indian Banks trading.

        • Colonial Viper 10.2.1.1

          What are you talking about

          Indian banks aren’t owed money on Crafar Farms are they?

    • mik e 10.3

      Straight from the CCP{ local branch National party]

  11. Barry 11

    I do see a lot of xenophobia in this issue. Which is not to say that all opposing the sale are being xenophobic.

    We get people like Murray Horton of Campaign Against Foreign Control in Aotearoa who have been on about land sales to foreigners forever.

    However sales of land to foreigners has been happening for a long time so what makes this different? Is it the size of the lot or is it the fact that the buyers are Chinese? Were North Americans buying Cape Kidnappers or Motatapu different? Some opposed them too, but nowhere near the same level of opposition.

    What about NZers owning land who emigrate? Are they a problem too?

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      “What makes this different”?

      Kiwis are allowed to grow tired of being fucked over mate, we are allowed to grow tired of seeing our country turned into a landlord’s lot with our children and grandchildren all facing futures of renters and sharemilkers.

      • Wayne 11.1.1

        Come on Colonial Viper. How did NZ get rich in the first place?

        How could we afford milk for kids and all that welfare before the 80s?

        The answer is obvious. Great Britain subsidised New Zealand.

        Thus New Zealand benefitted from a full century of Great Britain going around and fucking up the rest of the world – including China.

        So maybe what goes round comes round (although in fact the purchase of a few piddling farms cannot compare to the looting of Asia by the West).

        Or can you prove me wrong?

        • Frank Macskasy 11.1.1.1

          Come on Colonial Viper. How did NZ get rich in the first place?

          How could we afford milk for kids and all that welfare before the 80s?

          The answer is obvious. Great Britain subsidised New Zealand.

          Wrong.

          New Zealand had strict import controls at the time, and strict controls as to how much cash we could take out of the country. Which means that we exported our goods overseas to Australia, UK, and elsewhere – but had limited imports. Importing cars was difficult.

          We made our own clothes, shoes, etc. (Which also meant near full employment through the 1950s and 1960s.) So of course we built up good reserves and our Balance of Payments was always in the black.

          It was only when the two oil shocks hit the West, and the UK joined the EEC, that our reserves dried up.

          • Barry 11.1.1.1.1

            Frank,

            Wayne is only partly wrong.

            The UK did not exactly subsidise NZ, but they did buy practically anything we could produce at good prices. When they went into Europe they had to buy subsidised European food which was more expensive. This of course cost us our biggest market.

            We also did make lots of our own stuff here (with currency controls and import controls to stop imports). This is of course heresy now, and we think countries like China are unfair for doing the same thing.

            Foreigners (in this case Chinese) have the money to buy into NZ because we want to buy the stuff they produce in preference to anything made in NZ. The answer is not to bag the Chinese, but to start buying things made in NZ.

            There are still shoes made in NZ (e.g. McKinleys) at high quality and reasonable price. Yes they can’t compete with the $20 imports. However there are a lot of inferior imported products on sale at similar or higher prices. There are lots of good NZ made clothes available.

            We don’t make cars or TVs in NZ any more, and it will probably never be competitive to make these just for NZ’s market. We would have to export (e.g. Rakon, F&P) to be able to compete. But do we need this consumer stuff? Are we selling our birthright, family silver, productive base or whatever, to become tenants in our own land, just for some baubles that don’t make us happy.

            So there are things the government can do to make selling land overseas harder. Mostly it is in our own hands. We have to have better business management to make things that NZers want to buy, but they also have to be supported by NZers buying what they make. Every time we buy imported stuff then we have to think about what we are exporting to pay for it. If not then it will be SOEs, land or mortgages that are sold instead.

            But lets leave the ethnicity and politics of the buyers out of the analysis. Otherwise you can’t help but be seen as racist or xenophobic. Chinese buyers on the whole will be no better or worse for the country than those from any other country.

            • Frank Macskasy 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Good post, Barry – I think you’ve sussed it reasonably well.

              And I agree that nationality is irrelevant. The point is that whichever offshore investor buys land, we stand to lose profits. That will not help out standard of living, nor our Balance of Payments.

              It will most certainly profit investors from Beijing, Boston, to Berlin, et al.

            • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1.1.2

              We would have to export (e.g. Rakon, F&P) to be able to compete.

              We don’t need to be able to compete, we just need to be efficient with our own resources and produce solely what we need. Unfortunately, the profit driven ‘free-market’ forces us to produce far more than we need and far beyond what is sustainable.

        • muzza 11.1.1.2

          So you are saying that NZ, its current and future generations should be allowed to be fucked over because of the history of colonialisation!

          You mate are a total fuck wit!

          • Wayne 11.1.1.2.1

            Dude, New Zealand basically was part of imperialist Great Britain and the West —at least up to the 1970s. It fought in all the imperialist wars, in fact even out helping Uncle Sam in the Vietnam war, killing Vietnamese who were fighting for her national independence.

            By being a party of Western imperialism, New Zealand had a very high standard of living. The average New Zealander of course was no more intelligent than the average African, the average Chinese or the average Indian. It was just the average New Zealander (white ones that is) were the direct beneficiaries of Western imperialism, while the Africans, Chinese and Indians were the victims.

            Bear in mind that China and India together accounted for well over half of world in 1800.

            China herself was richer than the whole of Europe and Russia and the US put together. That is why they were magnets for an expansionary West, with the Anglo Saxons at the head of the pack.

            By 1950, their combined GDP was down to about about 6 or 7% of the world total..

            In the case of China she had dropped from 33% in 1800 to about 4% of the world total.

            Now it is about 12 to 15% of the world total.

            The interesting thing is when China was certainly more rich and more powerful than the West, she did not attack anyone, but rather closed herself off to the outside world. Unlike the West, especially the Anglo Saxon part China is not an expansionist civilization. And she certainly is not a missionising civilization (except for perhaps a relatively brief period during the Maoist era).

            So all this China threat nonsense put out by the likes of Colonial Viper and RedLogix is just plain old rubbish.

            Again. Look to history. It is the Anglo Saxons who are the most ruthless and acquisitive race in history of mankind.

            Oppose farm sales. Fine. Oppose all sales of farm land. But if you speak of civilizational ‘values’ you have more to fear from Anglo Saxon buyers than Chinese buyers.

            • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.2.1.1

              Again. Look to history. It is the Anglo Saxons who are the most ruthless and acquisitive race in history of mankind.

              Wow. Here’s a clue buddy. Past performance does not predict future performance.

              And unlike the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, the West are not the powerbrokers of the 21st century, the East is.

              And I have no idea why you keep characterising Americans and Europeans as Anglo Saxons.

              • Wayne

                And I have no idea why you keep characterising Americans and Europeans as Anglo Saxons.

                Anglo Saxon countries: UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand.

                Of course most of Western Europe was heavily involved in fucking up Asia and Africa. But the Anglo Saxons were probably the worst. And they occupy the largest area of land of all the European colonialists (Spanish descended people give them a close run for their money – but South America is mainly a mish mash of people).

                The most ruthless of the European imperialists, at least to the Chinese and Indians, were the Anglo Saxons – the UK and then the US.

                The Anglo Saxons even gave away chunks of China to the Japanese after WWI, as reward for Japan supporting the allies. Thus the Anglo Saxons, as well as being aggressors themselves, also aided and abetted Japanese imperialism in China (they were also on the same side during the Boxer rebellion).

                This of course was the main reason why the Chinese turned to the Soviet Union and communism.

                Here’s a clue buddy. Past performance does not predict future performance.

                Of course it is not a perfect predictor. But just as there is positive correlation between the likelihood of future criminal activity and past criminal activity, there surely could also apply for nations as well. Especially those who do not face up to past wrong doing and still think they are gods gift to the world. And who now still actively take part in aggression against Third World peoples?

                New Zealand probably has more troops on overseas territory than China. It is the Anglo Saxon mentality to try and fuck other people up around the world. China does not lecture other countries on human rights. It is largely Anglo Saxons who do this.

                • Populuxe1

                  Bullshit Wayne. The Spanish, the Portuguese and the Romans – all Latins. The French aren’t Anglosaxon. Neither are the Germans or the Austrians are Anglosaxon, and both did a fair bit of empire building. Japan’s Co-Prosperity Sphere (shudder). The Aztecs, the Mayans… Blah blah blah etc

        • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.3

          The answer is obvious. Great Britain subsidised New Zealand.

          Nope, having closed borders meant that the over supply of food produced in NZ could easily be used to feed everyone.

          We have enough resources in NZ that, if we made exclusively for ourselves and imported nothing, we could have a living standard that would be in the top few of the world. Unfortunately, we went all neo-liberal and sold the resources for a few magic beans (money).

    • thatguynz 11.2

      Perhaps this particular scenario is the proverbial “straw that broke the camels back” and people have finally woken up to the asset transferral to foreign entities and don’t like it?  Just another alternative 🙂

    • So basically, Barry, what you’re trying to tell us is that we cannot control who we sell to, in case it’s labelled “xenophobic”?

      And yet, part of the argument isn;’t just the loss of potential farmland to our children – but the fiscal impact of having pofits lost overseas.

      That’s not xenophobic, that’s sound economic concerns.

      The whole issue of “xenophobia” appears to have emanated from the Beehive Ninth Floor. It is a product of spin. And it seems that Naytional supporters are only to happy to parrot the line.

      It is the only defence that National has to allow the sale to proceed.

      Because they’ve lost the economic argument, that’s for sure.And it deflects from seeing John Key as the liar that he is.

  12. Wayne 12

    It is Anglo Saxons who are the most greedy motherfuckers when it comes to land.

    The Chinese come here and pay top dollar for the Crafar farms. The poms came and swapped land for a few dirty blankets and a couple of axes, at best, or just stole the rest.

    Look at Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand, and before parts of Africa. All stolen.

    And the Anglo Saxons enjoyed dominion over India, and China for over a century emptying those places of their wealth.

    Think of it this way. Asians own about 7% of 1% of NZ farmland. That is 0.07%

    The poms went into Zimbabwe (and Kenya) after the war and stole fucking 60% of farmland and simply drove the local inhabitants off the land. They paid nothing for it.

    And yet when Mugabe wants to rid himself of these white thieves, people like Jack5 would come down on him like a ton of bricks.

    In other words it is OK for whites to own 60% of the land in a black African country (for free) but not Asians 0.07% (for which they paid top dollar).

    And of course how did New Zealand get its high standard of living? From being smarter than the Chinese, Indians, and Africans? Or was it from sucking the tit of British imperialism for well over a century —-ie enjoying that Britain was sucking from the rest of the world?

    • Populuxe1 12.1

      Actually Julius Vogel’s massive state loans from the UK and US in the 1870s, some gold rushes, and the invention of meat refrigeration all had a lot to do with it. Britain did it’s fair share of sucking back, especially in WW1 and WW2.

    • Colonial Viper 12.2

      It seems you know lots about history but are completely unable to draw relevant lessons and conclusions for the present and the future of this country.

  13. wetfootmammal 13

    Wayne,

    What the fuck is ‘Anglo Saxon mentality’ supposed to mean?

    There isn’t some biologically determined collective belief system which is imparted to all those of European descent by mere virtue of their ancestry. Ethnic/cultural identities are formed in accordance with the historical, social, political and economic variables found within in a particular locality. They are not immutable categories that remain static. Rather, they are fluid, negotiable, and sit under a evolutionary process whereby they are constantly transformed by the shifts which occur in the aforementioned variables. Moreover, you simply cannot ascribe the type of ‘mentality’ you have described to all of the members of a specific ethnicity.

  14. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 14

    I have a question.

    Was Brash’s Orewa speech racist?

  15. Hateatea 15

    Why was it racist? Surely you jest? Of course, you might just be dog whistling or trolling. Either way, if you don’t already know why, I am sure that nothing I say will convince you

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 15.1

      Why don’t you just tell me why you consider it was racist?

      • As Carol pointed out on Tumeke; I wonder how much committment the supporters of the Crafar sale really have toward anti-racism?

        None, I suspect.

        I suspect they are the same ones who engage in maori-bashing and deride the Treaty, with monotonous regularity.

        Nice to see the Tories supporting anti-racism (even if it’s only to suit their neo-liberal ideology.)

        • Wayne 15.1.1.1

          Well when they do engage in ‘maori-bashing and deride the Treaty’, bash them back….as they would deserve to be bashed back.

          But more to the point. I wonder how many of those who are the most vehement in opposing the Chinese buying the Crafar farms, also engage in maori-bashing and deriding the Treaty.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 15.1.1.1.1

            So, no answer, then?

            • Hateatea 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Dear Gormless
              You are not the centre of my universe and I do not spend all my life online.

              I perceived the Orewa speech to be rascist as I have thought other pronouncements from Don Brash to be also. I choose not to explain why I hold my opinion but feel free to tell us why you obviously disagree,

          • felix 15.1.1.1.2

            “opposing the Chinese buying the Crafar farms”

            You mean opposing any non-citizen/resident buying any NZ land. Nothing special about the Chinese, nothing special about the Crafar farms.

            • Frank Macskasy 15.1.1.1.2.1

              Precisely.

              The whole racism/xenophobia things seems to have emanated from the Beehive’s Ninth Floor – judging by the simultaneous usage of the phrases by Messrs Key, Williamson, and Farrar.

              The recognised early on that they have lost the economic argument.

              So resort to Plan B: deride and dismiss critics of sales to overseas investors as “xenophobic” and “racist”. Keep repeating, until it gains currency and forces critics to stay silent (no one like to be labelled “racist”).

              It’s a cynical ploy to silence criticism.

              Luckily though, it’s a ploy that can be easily shot down. Especially when we understand the origins of the propaganda.

              • Gosman

                Wow Frank! I also used the term Xenophobic. Perhaps I am being given orders from the 9th Floor. Or perhaps, (and this might be a strecth for you to grasp admittedly), it might be because it seems to be Xenophobic to people who see no difference between an Australian Company buying TradeMe and a Chinese compnay buying a farming business.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The real reason is that you’re an idiot who follows the party line while explaining that you don’t follow the party line.

              • Gosman

                By the way Frank what are your thoughts on this piece by one of the bloggers you seem to support on many issues http://tumeke.blogspot.com/2012/01/crafar-farms-racism-or-economic.html ? Phoebe at least thinks there might be a bit of dog whistling to the racist tendency of NZers in the opposition to the sale for the farms?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Sounds like someone who thinks she knows what everyone else is thinking based upon reading of non-representative responses in the NZHerald opinions.

          • The Voice of Reason 15.1.1.1.3

            “I wonder how many of those who are the most vehement in opposing the Chinese buying the Crafar farms, also engage in maori-bashing and deriding the Treaty.”
             
            No need to slander Sir Michael Fay in that way, Wayne, even if he does have Don Brash on speed dial.

        • Rosie 15.1.1.2

          And once again, succinct. Thank you Frank

      • Or.. you could simply tell us why you thought it wasn’t?

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 15.1.2.1

          Don’t remember saying I thought it wasn’t.

          I am just not sure why the same people who claimed it was racist for Brash to highlight special privilege given on the basis of race can now claim it is not racist to be against the sale of land to people of a certain race.

          Surely, either both are racist or neither.

          • Hateatea 15.1.2.1.1

            As tangata whenua I oppose all land sales to people who don’t live in this country. Their ethnicity, religion, skin colour and political persuasion are not the issue.

            BTW Funny how Korda Mentha couldn’t bring themselves to sell to a NZ consortium with iwi involved. Maybe they are racist?

            Certainly it would seem that the land area involved wasn’t the issue as the receivers for South Canterbury Finance have apparently managed to find NZ buyers for a much larger area. 

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 15.1.2.1.1.1

              I think Korda Mentha had about 40 million reasons to prefer the Chinese bid.

  16. Damn, my 1.32 post was meant as a reply at The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 12.16 post.

    The “delete” function seems to be munted.

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