Home > The Body Politic > Labour on farm sales – NOT good enough!

Labour on farm sales – NOT good enough!


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Labour has stated that,

A Labour government would ensure sales were declined unless potential foreign buyers of farm or forestry land also invested in new processing or other related jobs.Source

Sorry, Mr Goff, but that is totally unacceptable and is merely ‘tinkering’ with the problem.

The sale (or leasing) of our productive farmland means that we lose profits to overseas investors. It means that a foreign owned farm will (a) export their produce (b) make a profit (c) remit much of that profit back to overseas investors, who look for returns on their investment.

It means that New Zealand farmland is priced out of reach of our own people, who cannot hope to compete with Americans, Germans, Chinese, etc. The purchase of the Crafar  farms by Shanghai Pengxin’s over a Michael Fay-led local consortium should ring alarm bells in our heads.  (More here)

Labour needs to lift it’s game on this issue.

There has to be a total ban on the sale/lease of farmland to anyone who is not a New Zealand citizen.  Anything less will ultimately undermine our long term prospects for wealth-generation and prosperity.

We would end up tenants in our own country.



  1. 23 October 2011 at 10:06 am


    I think Labour is on the right track with their response. However, they definitely have not gone far enough. I suspect that they are trying to avoid accusations of xenophobia. Many left-wingers would go to great lengths to avoid allegations of bigotry. However, those who make such accusations are doing so cynically to advance their own shady agendas. They don’t actually care about harmony amongst different ethnic and cultural groups – they just recognise the pragmatism of undermining someone by labeling that person xenophobic.

    I recall Phil Goff saying some time ago that foreign ownership of farmland is OK because we are all immigrants anyway. Trotting out that kind of fatuous comment is as ignorant as calling people who question foreign ownership of farmland racist and xenophobic. An immigrant is, as I understand, someone who moves to another country during his or her lifetime. If you are born in a country, by definition you are not an immigrant to that country. It is irrelevant that your ancestors moved to your country of birth. Someone who has moved here from overseas during his or her lifetime is an immigrant. I was born in New Zealand. Therefore, I am not an immigrant. When my European ancestors moved to New Zealand, they were immigrants. It is quite straightforward really.

    I am fed up with the banal statements that are made about foreign ownership of farmland. A serious topic warrants in-depth, intelligent debate. By reverting to potshots about xenophobia and by stretching the definition of immigrant so far that no one has the right to claim special connection to a country due to having been born in that country, politicians across the political spectrum are choosing to undermine the seriousness of this matter.

    This website might be of interest: http://www.savethefarms.org.nz/about.html

    One more thing: as the French say, cherchez la femme. In this case, Jenny Shipley – she has her tentacles everywhere and she has an undue influence with regard to foreign (Chinese) interests buying our farmland, amongst other things:


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