I’ve so far managed to avoid posting about the Crafar farms buy-out. It’s a messy situation for sure. I’m still trying to string my thoughts on it together, but a few things stand out.
- The Chinese firm that has bought the farms, Oravida NZ, donated $55,000 to the National Party.
- David Farrar has fudged the numbers to make it look like Labour sold lots of productive land, and the poor innocent National Party have done no such thing. It’s a very liberal use of statistics, and I’ll be going into it further.
- We need to strike a balance between overseas investment, which we need given our feeble domestic capital market, and the ability to keep strategic assets in New Zealand hands. Then of course you would have to build a case for dairy farms being a strategic asset.
- As far as I can tell, the calls of xenophobia on the issue (“the opposition is only because they’re Chinese”) are non-existent. As we’ve seen in recent years, there is a strong opposition to the sale of New Zealand assets to international buyers, regardless of their nationality (remember the objections to the Canadian Pension scheme buying Auckland Airport?)
There are rumours floating around there have been all sorts of dodgy deals going on. I guess we’ll soon find out what’s been happening…