Coddington on Shearer

NZ Herald

Deborah Coddington gives David Shearer’s silly members bill a flailing:

Right now, the politics of choice seem to be those which would take us back to what David Lange famously called the Polish shipyard.

Take Labour leader David Shearer’s new Member’s Bill, which would make it harder for foreigners to buy rural land. Only the most wide-eyed ingenue would claim this had absolutely nothing to do with the sale of the so-called Crafar farms to the Chinese-based Shanghai Pengxin. It begs the question: why didn’t Labour introduce this when rural land was being sold to Germans, British and Americans?

Perhaps because Labour was in government?

It is difficult to escape the fact this backlash is anti-Asian sentiment by New Zealanders. It’s not as if foreign owners can dig up the land and ship it offshore.

Labour wants foreign owners to prove they’ll bring substantial benefits to New Zealand that would not otherwise occur if the land was sold to New Zealanders. This raises the bar considerably – how can you prove that in advance?

Precisely, this is why the court judgment was so flawed. The Judge ignored the access to new Chinese markets, and still strangely sai that the Crafar farm deal didn’t add anything to New Zealand. It was an egregious piece of judicial activism and Labour shamelessly took advantage of it.

More seriously for New Zealanders, it potentially lowers the value of all our land. We’re not just talking dairy farms here, think of all the vineyards on the market. Few in New Zealand have the millions to buy them, let alone spend on them annually to keep them running (and it’s eye-watering). Why shouldn’t these Kiwi vendors get the best possible prices for their property?

Why should a bunch of politicians, swayed by the emotional rhetoric of the electorate, dictate what we should accept for our property after we’ve sweated blood improving its value?

I don’t tell every Labour MP who they can or can’t sell their houses or farms to – it’s none of my business.

We need foreign investment in this country and at present there are only 41 overseas investors asking to buy land, hardly a takeover.

Labour’s proposals have ensured that provincial New Zealand will continue to Blue flags.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.