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No SOE saviour for Key over Crafar farms

Written By: - Date published: 4:28 pm, July 13th, 2010 - 36 comments
Categories: Environment, farming, Politics - Tags: ,

Just spotted in the NZ Herald that receivers for the Crafar dairy farm empire have announced that state-owned farmer Landcorp has been unsuccessful in its attempt to buy the properties:

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said the failure of the Landcorp bid now meant Prime Minister John Key had to “back up some of his statements”. Norman said that it now meant the Government “hadn’t been let off the hook – it looked like there might have been an opportunity for the Government to have been let off the hook by Landcorp buying them.”

Key made comments to The Dominion Post saying he “wouldn’t want to see a wholesale sale of New Zealand’s land productive sector”. So what is he going to do now?

According to RadioNZ, Landcorp chief executive Chris Kelly says the failure of its bid is disappointing, but it put in what it considered was a realistic offer, based on current farm values. Does that imply overseas interests are willing to pay more to get access to the land? I’d rather see it locally (and state) owned even if the taxpayers have to pay a bit more.

36 comments on “No SOE saviour for Key over Crafar farms ”

  1. michaeljsavage 1

    Here we go … im off to learn Mandarin …phrases like “use rots of rube big boy” and “butta is too fruking expensive dude” and “how far you wanna me to ben ova big guy” and “i suppose a brow job is outa da question bro?” spring to mind.

    No guessing games as to who will be successful.

    • OleOlebiscuitBarrell 1.1


      What an amusing little accent? Do you do a maori one too? Can we hear it?

  2. Kevin Welsh 2

    If it goes to an overseas owner, then then the farming fan base of NACT are not going to be happy.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Interesting angle.

    • loota 2.2

      I really think the farming fan base would be fine with it. This is the fan base which owns the farms obviously, not the ordinary labourers who *work* the farms. Sell their businesses off to foreigners willing to pay over the odds for the farms, the former owners can live the high life ever after while the rest of the country gets cluster***ked to the poor house.

  3. OleOlebiscuitBarrell 3

    I’d rather see it locally (and state) owned even if the taxpayers have to pay a bit more.

    ‘ course you would. While we are at it, the taxpayer should shell out to pay the employees more than the market rate. That’d be nice. And then we should think of lots of other things for the owner of the business to lavish money on, because they’d be nice too.

    This is how we got into this mess the last time. Well meaning people being profligate with other people’s money.

    • loota 3.1

      OleBiscuit there are little wee benefits for the country to keeping the farms in NZ ownership, you know things like keeping hard foreign currency profits on shore, helping to reduce not increase the balance of payments deficit, things like that.

      And no, “well meaning people being profligate with other people’s money” is no explanation for why NZ is sliding backwards in the OECD rankings.

      Our inability to generate large sums of foreign income through the activity of high value added industries and services and then hold those proceeds on shore is.

  4. michaeljsavage 4

    Biscuitbarrell … your political philosophies wont matter a tinkers toss if your country is controlled by a foreign power. First thing to go will be the right to comment freely on a blog.

    What will you do then …. Lodge a protest with party central?

    rotorua taupo – taihape taumarunui – taupo otorohanga – and other rude japanese words. Well – you wanted maori so im giving it out for you to appreciate.


  5. michaeljsavage 5

    It actually amazes me how commenters on the right (or the deluded) seem to have so much faith in New Zealand – that they never contemplate the downside of erosion of culture, mores, values, etc etc and of course – of the downside of kowtowing to other nations with a less than democratic set to their jib?

    Then they willingly allow the crafar possibilities to happen – its like the world economic meltdown – everyone is freemarket, let the market find its own way … and when the brown stuff hits the fan they come running back to socialist mummy and use intervention and centralised planning?

    • Bored 5.1

      The reason for all your issues is because for the last 30 years or more debate has been focused around a limited vocabulary that is designed to give accountancy answers, no values other than money have been allowed to intrude. Nobody asks what the overall good is, for whom and why, is this just, is this desirable or is this sustainable etc etc? Only what does the bottom line of this one thin defined transaction look like? What f***king debate?

      For yet another time get the picture everybody, its about the language: frame the language if you want to frame the debate.

  6. michaeljsavage 6

    most importantly – the allowing of foreign investors to buy up portions of New Zealand ….they will be the first to come bleating when they lose their nation… too late

  7. eye saw 7

    How long before chinese troops turn up to protect their lands?

    • OleOlebiscuitBarrell 7.1

      The nut jobs really are out today. So, in summary, if this woman who happens to be Chinese, buys the Crafar farms you guys are seriously worried that:

      a. the blogs will be shut down; and
      b. Chinese troops will invade.

      • loota 7.1.1

        The Chinese have never been afraid to use their economic muscle to influence local politics throughout the Pacific, but I have to say, I don’t think that the PLA has the capability to land an amphibious force here.

        Notwithstanding any of that, any country losing ownership of its main income earning assets is on the way to being cluster***ked to the poorhouse.

        Just watch NZ continue its slide to number 30+ in the OECD if this shenanigans continues.

      • loota 7.1.2

        Also I think its accurate to say that this woman doesn’t just happen to ‘be’ Chinese, she ‘represents’ Chinese Government business interests in the Crafar farms. Slightly different again.

        • Armchair Critic

          The receivers had more than just the two well-publicised bids from Landcorp and a chinese consortium. Let’s assume that, with Landcorp out of the running, the receivers will sell to the chinese consortium. In her last adventure in the world of business, the woman fronting the bid took $20million and turned it into less than $1million. With skills like that, imagine what she could do with $200million.

      • felix 7.1.3

        Actually I think what he’s saying is that if this company – which happens to be the Chinese govt – buys a lot of farms then the most powerful authoritarian dictatorship, one of the most violent, repressive and controlling in the world, will own a whole lot of NZ land and business and productive assets and therefore have a real interest to protect in the direction our society takes, our political decisions etc.

        You don’t want to discuss this reality though so carry on with your stupid distractions.

        • loota

          Even so Felix, I don’t think the Chinese would send their own troops here to protect their land, they could hire the Mob for instance. Cheaper and faster to outsource this kind of work to the locals who know the ground. Yeah ok I’m (half) kidding.

        • OleOlebiscuitBarrell

          Why didn’t they say this then, instead of saying:

          “First thing to go will be the right to comment freely on a blog.”


          “How long before chinese troops turn up to protect their lands?”

          Silly me for thinking these things meant what they said. And when michaeljsavage and eyesaw say them, why is my repeating them verbatim a distraction?

          • felix

            Because you know what they meant whether you care to admit it or not but you’d rather argue semantics than address the issues.

            *cue semantic bullshit about why semantic isn’t the exact word to use here.

        • comedy

          According to the herald piece

          “This purchase of Crafars farms is just 8615 hectares out of more than 2 million hectares of dairy farmland and …. involves only 25,000 cows in a national herd of around 5 million cows”

          I’m a bit ambiguous about the whole thing trying to balance nationalism vs liking to see a bit more competition in the diary industry which led to lower prices for milk, butter and cheese.

          • loota

            There’s no real competition is tehre? Baseline prices are set by international markets, if the NZ local price goes lower than that produce will be shipped overseas instead and not enter local stores because that’s where the higher prices will be.

  8. michaeljsavage 8

    Frankly – by the time some of them realise whats happened – it will be too late. its not about chinese or obi wan kenobi for that matter. Its about sovereignty and national integrity.

    If you or anyone else wants the pervasive influence of a one party state that squashes dissent at the point of a gun, to be controlling elements of our infrastructure good luck to you.

    We are being colonised – and some people who have supposedly come to live here as NZ citizens are in fact quite nationalistic about their country of birth … including at least one Labour and one National Elected MP … Key said he saw no advantage to NZ in foreign ownership of farms.

    A Chinese trade group was caught some 5 years ago trying to smuggle KiwiFruit cuttings out of the country after a visit to a research station. Their approach is one eyed and xenophobic. They regard anything as allowable if they win. Winning is all that counts. Welcome to what the new right espouse for all of you and your children. Its a wonderful world of dog eat dog – like “Robocop – the extended version” complete with sex and violence – and not one ounce of compassion” – much like a hip hop vid actually. Key and Hide would sell their grandmothers if they thought there was a political point in it for them and their perverted approach to government.

    Churchill was called a warmonger (and he was a tory – after changing parties at least once) – but he was right.

    Some people may be laughing on the other side of their faces one day..

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    We really need to ban foreign ownership outright. It’s bad for our economy and bad for our sovereignty.

  10. tc 10

    Yet another example of what crap pours out of Sideshows mouth as he just says whatever he thinks is good PR…….taking a leaders perspective and actually considering the response is way too hard.

    Never mind he’ll be comfortable and relaxed like the flexible moral vacum he represents in this NACT gov’t.

    I don’t really care about the actual farms it’s just another example of what a bufoon we have as a PM.

  11. eye saw 11

    I have a concern with our land being owned by foreigners fullstop.
    If that makes me a nut job then good.
    Already we have the chinese interfering in our democracy with the protest of a documentary being screened by mtv and normans protest,what else do you think they will attempt to control when they own land etc here?
    I think maybe your biscuits are a little crumbly.

  12. Lew 12

    So much for the conspiracy theory that the Landcorp bid was a jack-up to force the Chinese bid to fail and nationalise the land by stealth.


  13. Rex Widerstrom 13

    I’d rather see it locally (and state) owned even if the taxpayers have to pay a bit more.

    Me too, but I was quite enamoured of the idea advanced by calendar_girl whent this was raised on Kiwiblog:

    To me, if Landcorp feels a need to get involved in the Crafer farms (a poor precedent in my view) then facilitating early ownership of those farms by capable young NZ farmers in the private sector seems like a pragmatic “public practice’. It doesn’t require a wider debate on the rights and wrongs of world economics such as you have in mind.

    Considering it could have been done by way of vendor finance rather than actual loans I thought it a particularly good idea. Where’s creative thinking like that at government level?

  14. Irascible 14

    If Key hadn’t turned the Trade mission to the ME into a farce but scuttling and running from a situation he was out of his depth in he could have done some serious speculation in NZ property rights with the sovereign funds being invested by the oil rich ME states.
    The ME states have bought up Harrods, the US Embassy building, Canary Wharf, Raffles Hotels and lots of other real estate at premium prices recently. A pity the speculator couldn’t see a better partnership and profit than the group he seems to have curried favour with.

  15. millsy 15

    I bet you anything that the Chinese government leaned on the recievers to turn down the bid from Landcorp.

    Personally, I would rather the Chinese use the PLA to take over this country. At least that would be the honest way.

  16. Jum 16

    You don’t have to invade to own a country. You just buy and control its land, food supplies, communications, defence, labour resources, water resources, power…

    This government has no loyalty to New Zealanders, only loyalty to their private (overseas?) bank accounts and their cheap labour source (that’s New Zealanders by the way). If they have money and power they believe no country is worth their loyalty.

    New Zealand’s wealth is being given away for NAct members’ personal greed. Crafar farms, foreignors taking New Zealanders’ jobs in building rail coaches, are important in that they represent the line in the sand which NAct has crossed.

    We need to make them regret doing so.

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