Home > Dollars & Sense, The Body Politic > Land Sales – a Sorry Saga of Sheer Stupidity

Land Sales – a Sorry Saga of Sheer Stupidity

That was then…

27 July 2010

John Key stating that he could not see how foreigners owning New Zealand farms would be in our best interests, and he would not want to see New Zealanders “tenants in their own country“…


[click on image]


This is now…

27 January 2012

John Key explaining why it is a good thing for overseas investors to be buying up New Zealand farmland – and hey, anyway, government is “powerless” to stop these buy-ups.


[click on image]


Which raises two important issues;

  1. Why should anyone trust a single word to escape from John Key’s mouth? That man has demonstrated on so many occassions that he simply cannot be trusted – he will say one thing, and then later, do the complete opposite.
  2. When did New Zealand cede sovereignty to overseas corporate interests? I can’t remember this ever being discussed or debated.

Have we actually signed away our sovereignty; our right to determine who we can or won’t sell to?



If  the NZ-China Free Trade Agreement – that John Key refers to – is constraining us from being unable to  stop the sale of the Crafar Farms to Shanghai Pengxin,  (and remember – this is John Key talking) – then we need to re-visit those Agreements.

Because, as sure as day follows nights – the Chinese do not permit their land to be sold to foreigners. So why are we being coerced into selling our land to them?!?!

Does anyone know the answer to this very simple question?

Because I sure as hell don’t.




In reply to Williamson & Key…

Much has been made of the nationality/ethnicity of the buyers of the Crafar Farms. National’s John Key, Maurice Willamson, et al, have played the “race card” in their favour, trying to paint criticism of the buy-up as somehow “racist”.

Yet, as media reports show, the gradual alienation of our land to foreigners has been carried out by various nationalities…



























And yet, as recently as April, 2010, the Real Estate Institute of NZ was warning us that “overseas investment would compete with young farmers“,



When even a very wealthy man such as Sir Michael Fay cannot outbid a Chinese-government backed buy-up of New Zealand farmland – then we are in very serious trouble. No young New Zealander can hope to compete with German corporations; American billionaires;  Chinese government-corporate proxies.

In effect, we are witnessing the forfeiting of our farming heritage to our children. And we are allowing it to happen. If this is not sheer stupidity, then I don’t know what it.

This is why the governments of Middle East oil-producing regions re-nationalised their oil fields. Allowing oil companies to own the oil fields; extract the oil; process it; and sell it, allowed companies like BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, etc, to reap billions in profits.

Meanwhile, the countries upon which the oil fields rested made only a small amount in “royalties”.

The Arabs wised up very quickly that they were being ripped off.

New Zealanders, it seems, still don’t understand what is happening.


The Law

Overseas Investment Act 2005

Section 16

Section 17

Section 18

The OIO Decision

Decision required under the Overseas Investment Act 2005: Milk New Zealand
Holding Limited

Previous Blog entries

The road to poverty?

The Great NZ Sell-Off Continues

How to lose $5.3 billion dollars without any effort at all

The second colonisation of New Zealand

The Crafar Farms – Why the delay from the OIO?

Farms, politicians, and emails

Competing against the Chinese Government…

Is this man a complete fool?

As predicted


NZ Herald: The $47 billion rural hangover

NZ Herald: For sale: The Kiwi farm

Tim Watkin: Crafar Farms deal ticks the boxes – but where does it end?

Tumeke:  Why we need to sell Crafar farms to China

Germans dominate small dairy buys

RNZ: 2% of pastoral sector land  sold to buyers from overseas

Email addresses

Prime Minister, John Key: john.key@parliament.govt.nz

Letters to Editor, Dominion Post:  letters@dompost.co.nz

Letters to Editor: Waikato Times: editor@waikatotimes.co.nz

Letters to Editor, NZ Herald: letters@herald.co.nz

Letters to Editor, The Press (ChCh): letters@press.co.nz

Letters to Editor, ODT: odt.editor@alliedpress.co.nz



  1. Gem
    29 January 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Bizarrely, today’s Herald on Sunday print edition does not include coverage about the Crafar farm issues. I have emailed the Herald on Sunday at the following link: http://dynamic.nzherald.co.nz/feedback/email.cfm?user=newsdesk

    Here is what I said:

    Dear Editor

    In today’s (29 January) print edition of the Herald on Sunday, there appears to be no coverage about the Crafar farms sale.

    I would like to know why a topic of national significance has been given no coverage. This is tantamount to lying by omission.

    Last night on Radio Live talkback, there were four hours of call after call about the Crafar farms and more generally about the issue of foreign ownership of New Zealand land. Clearly, there is immense public awareness and concern about New Zealanders becoming beholden to foreign interests.

    As a reputable media outlet, you have a responsibility not only to your readers but also to your profession to provide coverage of important issues. Sonny Bill Williams’ sex life isn’t important. The future of our country is.

    In the interests of journalistic integrity, professional conduct and public information, I ask that you give the Crafar farm issue the coverage it warrants.

    Clearly, much of the New Zealand media and associated organisations are in the pocket of John Key’s National Party. In recent weeks, NZ On Air has shown itself to be fond of political interference. TVNZ has previously screened and currently airs advertisements outside election time that feature National MPs (Bill English and Maggie Barry). On TVNZ and TV3, Guyon Espiner, Duncan Garner and Paul Holmes fawn over National MPs. Radio New Zealand National might as well rebrand itself as Radio New Zealand National Party.

    For the sake of media freedom, I sincerely hope that the New Zealand Herald/ Herald on Sunday do not go down the same biased track.

    Please cover the Crafar farms issue and demonstrate that your professionalism is still intact.

    With regards…

    I encourage anyone who values robust discussion and coverage, rather than deafening silence, to contact the Herald on Sunday at the above link.

  2. Gem
    29 January 2012 at 5:41 pm

    PS: Then again, given that we’re getting all nice and cosy with China (thanks Labour starting it and National for continuing it!), maybe the Herald is just trying to drag New Zealand down to compete with China’s less than glowing press freedom ranking: 174 out of 179 countries, according to the Press Freedom Index 2011-2012: http://en.rsf.org/spip.php?page=classement&id_rubrique=1043

    • 29 January 2012 at 9:43 pm

      Well done, Gem! I’ll post something on that Herald page as well. The more New Zealanders that make their views known, the better.

      This is an issue that all politicians – both National and Labour have to address!

  3. Wayne
    7 February 2012 at 1:53 am

    [Obscene comment deleted

    I refer you to Posting Rules]

  4. Wayne
    7 February 2012 at 2:07 am

    Interestingly when it comes to a matter of trust, in Africa, the seem to prefer the Chinese over Westerners. The 2011 BBC survey found that

    “The consensus prevails among African countries as well with regard to how they consider China’s fairness in the way it trades with its partners.On average, in the continent, China is considered the fairest partner, with an average fairness score of 7.02 on a 0-10 scale, ahead of the US (6.61) and the EU (6.52)”

    The original full report is here:

    I suppose that is hardly surprising. Western ‘values’ mean you just walk into other peoples countries uninvited and with guns. That is how white people ended up owning almost 100 percent of the productive land in Zimbabwe —until Robert Mugabe did the right thing and chased them out and kicked their backsides. But then you people are hypocrites…you don’t like Mugabe do you?

  5. Wayne
    7 February 2012 at 3:48 am

    In today’s (29 January) print edition of the Herald on Sunday, there appears to be no coverage about the Crafar farms sale.

    I would like to know why a topic of national significance has been given no coverage. This is tantamount to lying by omission.

    Gem….the Crafar farms have already been given far far far more attention than the issue deserves. At least when you consider the fact that the reporting on the other hundreds of thousands of hectares of land sold to whitey buyers has been basically off the radar.

    Now Gem Where is your equivalent email to the NZ Herald complaining about the lack of coverage of the Harvard sale. And if you did not write over the Harvard sale, why over the Crafar sales which are far smaller?

  6. 7 February 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Wayne :

    [Obscene comment deleted

    I refer you to Posting Rules]

    Wayne, your comments were offensive and uncalled for. Future posts will be placed in a moderation-queu.

  7. Alex B.
    10 February 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Youre kidding right Wayne? Youre bullshitting us right? Youre trying to justify the sale of these farms because you don’t think the media kicked up a stink on the other sales? Frank showed you plenty of examples and you’ve ignore them all. That’s the problem with you righties, you only see what you want and you have a go at some instead of dealing with the issues. I can imagine what Frank deleted from your other posts

  8. Sally S.
    10 February 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Wayne: that http://www.worldpublicopinion.org piece you linked to is dubious. How could a poll be conducted throughout a continent where they have fewer phones and internet than the West? That makes any such “poll” dubious in the extreme. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s pure fiction.

    Aside from which, information presented here: http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/19653 – contradicts the wildly “optimistic” viewpoint from your linked-piece. They refer also to American land-grabs on the continent: http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/19997

    What’s Mugarbe got to do with anything? Straw man argument?

    By the way: if you have to resort to personal abuse then you’ve obviously run out of ideas. After reading posts like yours on various blogs I think the anti-sale lobby makes better arguments than you and others like you. Sorry, but you’ve not only failed to persuade me, but have totally turned me of your viewpoint.

    Croydon, London
    (coming home to Dunedin soon)

  1. 1 February 2012 at 3:38 am

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