Overseas Investment Office

If foreign companies are so bad why does Labour take sponsorship from them?

in-your-business

Yesterday David Cunliffe announced as reported by the Herald that Labour has major problems with overseas companies.

Mr Cunliffe said foreign direct investment was poorly managed at present and New Zealanders were losing out.

“Overseas investors are buying up land, farms and good companies, then sending the profits and jobs offshore.”

He said Labour would revamp foreign direct investment to attract quality investors with credible business cases designed around creating jobs and providing new technology to New Zealand companies.

It would make changes to the Overseas Investment Office rules to ensure that investors brought access to leading-edge technology and new overseas markets.

Labour’s 2013 Conference was sponsored and endorsed by:

American Income Life Insurance Company - owned by of bunch of Texans living in Texas according to the Companies Office.   Read more »

When given the choice of telling the truth or telling a lie why does Winston Peters always choose to lie?

Winston Peters is now heaping more lies upon lies.

Yesterday he claimed Huka Lodge had been sold when the owner, A Dutchman, said it wasn’t for sale and the the Overseas Investment Office said it hasn’t been sold as it needs their approval and no approval has be sought.

Today he changes the lie and still insists it is for sale, again the the owner has said this is untrue.

Winston Peters is standing by his claim that one of New Zealand’s most famous tourist lodges is being sold, despite both the owner and the Government saying it is not.

During his state of the nation speech in Takapuna yesterday, Mr Peters claimed Huka Lodge, near Taupo, was being sold to Chinese interests, to gasps from some of the hundreds of North Shore Grey Power members listening.

Afterwards he cited real estate sources for his comments. “My informant says John Key has said to these people: ‘Don’t worry about it, we’ll smooth it through the Overseas Investment Office’.”

Later, Peters modified his claim to say the lodge was for sale.

But sale talk was quickly rejected by both the Beehive and lodge management.  Read more »

It’s OK. He’s not from China you see

via idealhomegarden.com

via idealhomegarden.com

Why aren’t the Wogistani Party, the Green Taliban and Labour highlighting this in Parliament?

Italy’s Barilla family, founders of the world’s largest pasta company, have paid $25 million to buy a South Island dairy farm from Federated Farmers dairy chairman Willy Leferink and his wife Jeanet.

New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office approved the purchase in a decision released yesterday, saying the buyers intend to make additional capital investment in the farm and develop significant indigenous biodiversity.   Read more »

What? Not a peep from Labour? Why not?

The Labour party opposes foreign ownership of our farms, they campaign to stop the chinks buying up the Crafar Farms. They used such examples in their campaigns about our land being stolen, sold off to foreigners and not being able to get it back.

Strangely though I can’t find a press release about the latest sale that has been announced. Why is that? Is it because it is Americans buying the land?

One of New Zealand’s biggest farms, described as being the size of Christchurch, has been sold to a North American investment group for an undisclosed sum.

The Overseas Investment Office has just given approval for the sale of Mt Pember station in the Lees Valley, about 85km north-west of Christchurch.

It is a massive 27,242 hectare (66,700 acre) property believed to be capable of carrying almost 53,000 stock units.  Read more »

Conservative?

ᔄ NZ Herald

David Fisher is very cosy with Kim Dotcom…he writes about it again today. But what is interesting is the involvement of Simon Power. One thing doesn’t ring true to me though:

Officials at Immigration NZ and the Overseas Investment Office investigated Megaupload, raising no concerns about its operation. They also investigated Dotcom’s wealth, saying it had been earned legitimately. Prime Minister John Key said Mr Power’s rejection of the application was simply because he was conservative and believed it did not have the right feel.

Unfortunately that statement bears no resemblance to the truth. Simon Power was and is a lily livered liberal panty-waist. He could never be, nor should he ever be referred to as “conservative”. I mean for goodness sake the Labour party waxed lyrical about Simon Power leaving like he was a lost friend…and given his shabby back-room deal with them over electoral finance law I can imagine why.

One thing that hasn’t happened yet is anyone drawing the link between all the failing Crown Law cases and the former Solicitor-General, Dr David Collins. He has been intimately involved in the Dotcom case, and also the Urewera trial, where he authorised the warrants and then scuppered the evidence some time later…the same Judge is also involved.

I’m not one prone to conspiracy theories but the recent cases where Crown Law has acted illegally, given poor or wrong advice to police and their appearance of those cases before the same Judge may well be pure coincidence, but now with the revealing of the close involvement of Simon Power in the Dotcom case, I do wonder if Simon Power was behind the appointment of David Collins to the bench of the High Court.

Then there is the same involvement of Simon Power in appointing close associates to the Board of the FMA…it is all starting to get a decidedly whiffy odor about it…no wonder Simon Power bolted for the corporate comfort of Westpac Private Banking.

Ryall gives Labour a history lesson, Ctd

ᔄ Scoop.co.nz

Tony Ryall continues to hand Labour a history lesson:

Remember when Labour sold 49 per cent of state owned Spring Creek Mine for millions of dollars to American multi-national Cargill Coal?

In 2007 Labour was happy to sell state owned businesses to foreign interests, now they even oppose everyday New Zealanders buying a share in these companies”, says State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall.

According to the Chairman of Solid Energy in a letter to the editor, the 2007 sale of Spring Creek Mine had approval from the Labour Government’s Minister of Finance, and Trevor Mallard, their Minister for State Owned Enterprises.

And, because it was sold to a foreign company, it needed Overseas Investment Office approval.

The National led Government has always been upfront about its minority share offer. We announced it in January 2011.

Crafar Farms Sale approved

ᔄ Stuff.co.nz

The government has approved the sale of the Westpac Farms formerly owned by the Crafar Family to Shanghai Pengxin. It looks like Coleman found his testicles after all:

Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson and Associate Finance Minister Jonathan Coleman this morning announced they had approved the new recommendation of the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) to grant consent to the Chinese-owned Milk New Zealand Holding Limited to acquire the 16 Crafar farms.

Fay said the decision was “wrong” and not good for the economy.

“It shows the Government has no commitment to the people who live and work in the rural sector. Sixteen dairy farms – an area the size of Hamilton – and a minimum $20 million per year of Fonterra milk payouts are lost to the Central North Island economy for good.

On the flip side, a Chinese official says Kiwis should “be happy” that foreigners want to buy land and invest here.

Good stuff…I imagine Fay will now spit the dummy and try and sue again so he can get a cheap deal.

Random Impertinent Question

If the Shanghai Pengxin bid for the Westpac farms formerly owned by the Crafar family doesn’t meet OIO requirements because it doesn’t add any value to New Zealand then presumably James Cameron’s purchase of a farm doesn’t either?

Shanghai Pengxin was going to spend $100 million upgrading the farms, it wouldn’t have been leveraged money wither like Fay’s bid…they were also going to open up markets in China and spend millions developing that as well for products other than milk powder.

Whereas Jame Cameron in his favour was going to live on the farm….looks like his little sale is rooted too now by this new interpretation of the law by an activist judge.

Facts about farm sales

The Sunday Star-Times has the facts on farm sales to foreigners:

Fears that China is gobbling up New Zealand land are misplaced, official figures show.

Americans, Canadians and even Liechtensteinians are buying far more land.

Figures released by the Overseas Investment Office show that of the 872,313 hectares of gross land sold to foreign interests over the past five years, only 223ha were sold to Chinese.

People from the landlocked principality of Liechtenstein had purchased 10 times more land than the Chinese - 2,144ha in the same period.

The top buyers were the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and Israel. The United States had 194 purchases for a total of 193,208ha.

Even when you add the Westpac farms formerly owned by the Crafars China is still lagging behind the round eyes in land investment in New Zealand.

Where was Labour’s concern as all the land sold in the previous 5 years to non-Chinese? Where was Winston Peters as seppos, canuks, poms, ockers and the evil Juice stole or birthright at market rates?

Oh that’s right…those sales are ok because they look like us.

The thing that galls me is that everyone opposed to these sales thought nothing of the fact that they were privately owned, and were like any other private sale sold to the highest bidder. I suspect that those who cried the loudest had the least.

Labour now has a bizarre policy that sales to foreigners are ok if they live here…and after all the racist outrage over the past month you have to wonder why any rich lister Chinese investor would even bother.

The missing component in all this is the fact that if a Kiwi buyer bought the farms…oh I don’t know…someone like Michael Fay…the purchase would be highly leveraged and the “profits”, such as they are, would flow offshore anyway to the Aussie banks that financed the purchase.

As for the facetious arguments that Chinese buyers of land won’t spend money in new Zealand…well just where are they supposing they are going to vet services from, or fencing supplies, or mechanics for their farm implements, or tankers to pick up the milk, or drivers to drive the tankers?

Trotter on Crafar

Chris Trotter has written about the Crafar Farms decision:

AT THE RISK of being branded a “traitor”, I’m declaring my support for the Crafar Farms sale. Not because I like seeing productive New Zealand farmland pass into the hands of foreigners, I don’t. The reason I’m in favour of the sale is because I believe New Zealanders should keep their promises and fulfil their undertakings.

In 2008 this country ratified a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the Peoples’ Republic of China. That agreement was hailed as the most important foreign policy and trade achievement of the Helen Clark-led government of 1999-2008. Not only was it the first such agreement to be signed between China and a western-style democracy, but it also offered New Zealand businesses immense economic opportunities.

Those opportunities were, of course, reciprocal. The Chinese have been merchants and traders for the best part of three thousand years. They needed no reminding that in this world you don’t get something without giving something in return. And what we gave China was “Most Favoured Nation” (MFN) status.

In the context of the Crafar Farms Sale, MFN means: “If it’s okay to sell New Zealand farmland to Americans, Englishmen, Germans and Indonesians, then it must also be okay to sell farmland to the Chinese.” Under the terms of the NZ-China FTA, the Peoples’ Republic is legally entitled to no lesser consideration than that shown to the most favoured of our trading partners.

That’s what Prime Minister John Key meant when he said “our hands are tied”. It’s what New Zealand’s leading critic of the NZ-China FTA, Professor Jane Kelsey, meant when she stated:

“If the New Zealand government had declined the Shanghai Pengxin purchase of the Crafar farm it could have faced an international law suit for breaching its free trade agreement with China [
] The government cannot treat applications from Chinese investors differently from similar applications from other countries’ investors under what is known as the ‘most-favoured-nation’ or MFN rule.”

And that’s not all. Had the application from Shanghai Pengxin been declined by the Overseas Investment Office that decision would almost certainly have been challenged in a New Zealand court. And rightly so. We’d have broken our own rules.

This is why I read and enjoy Chris Trotter’s writing. He is partisan but not so blinkered that he can actually see reality before him.