Shearer stunt backfiring

Alex Tarrant at does a good job exposing why David Shearer’s Bill on Land Sales is nothing more than a blatant publicity stunt:  For starters, you can’t even figure out what you want to call this law change.

Right at the top, in the space of eleven lines, you gave it two different names.
Overseas Investment (Owning our Own Rural Land) Amendment Bill is the initial title at the very top.
Then you decide that the new Act should be called the Overseas Investment (Owning our own Infrastructure) Amendment Act 2010

In the rush to get this Bill written before Shearer appeared on Q&A on Sunday, you managed to indicate that you would repeal all environmental, heritage, conservation and walking access requirements on foreign landowners for Ministers when making their decisions.

Now I know you didn’t mean to do this – you told me so this morning – but if you’re going to go on national television and announce you’re presenting a member’s Bill to change one of this country’s laws, then I for one would be hoping you’ve given it serious consideration, had a few people look over it, and had another look at the actual legislation to figure out what you’ll be repealing.

It’s interesting that Labour is now saying that erasing all environmental protections is a mistake, because David Shearer pretended on RadioLive this morning that the removal of all environmental safeguards was deliberate.

Tarrant finishes up his opinion piece:

So unless you’d like the Bill to remain as it is (and you’ve told me there are a few things you’ve got wrong), I’d expect you to withdraw the Bill in its present state and do a proper job of it. Either that or this was just a giant publicity stunt.

Kind regards,

Alex Tarrant


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  • Vlad

    Ignoring left or right and the quality or otherwise of the fundamental ideas it is simply not possible that a person with this inability to think quickly or articulate clearly can lead a major movement in NZ.   He was a nice guy, and a huge mistake. 

  • Blokeintakapuna

    Remember – this is the Labour Party that couldn’t even remember to get it’s advertising spend correct when they attempted to rort the 2008 election by over-spending almost $1,000,000 dollars of tax payer funds as they tried to rig the election – as the sitting government no less. Then they claimed they didn’t fully understand the law – that they had made themselves – so eventually needed to retrospectively change the law so as to avoid prosecuiting themselves…

    Have they paid the tax payer back that almost $1Million dollars they attempted to steal when rorting the system attempting to rig the election?

    If not – why are they even still registered as a political party? They shouldn’t be until they have paid the tax payer back every last cent… and only then could they register for a shot at creating credible, ethical laws and government for the rest of us to follow…

    • Adolf Fiinkensein

      My recollection is that they paid back the $830k or so which was involved.  I think the broken down brown arse from Herne Bay is the only outstanding debtor – to the tune of $158,000.

      Why don’t you write to him and ask him when he’s going to pay it back?


    of course its a publicity stunt – from what i can see the fags at Labour sold 600,000 + hectares of NZ land under there 9 years of rule, and to too date Nats have sold less than 100,000 hectares of land – fuck this muppet is dumb……. brainwave…. lets dribble some shit out and not check what we did.

  • Peter WIlson

    Surely that couldn’t be a serious name for a piece of legislation: “Owning our own rural land.” ?

  • nzd.gbp

    New Zealanders should own the land and lease it to foreigners. Foreign businesses don’t care whether they actually own the land. It’s a simple calculation. The Chinese aren’t doing this for property speculation purposes, they are doing this to produce food and will look for the most cost effective way of doing so. 

    This argument that you’ll have to settle for a lower local offer is bs. Land prices will follow the highest real offer, both local and international because all you have to do is structure a lease for the same value as the foreign offer. If there is a difference between the value of the lease and the value of outright purchase it’ll reflect the buyers preference to own and the credibility of the lessees rights. This difference will reduce if a lease is clear and the lessees rights are credibly protected – the costs are known up front. 

    Farming corporates don’t care if they own. They care that they are able to produce X units of food per dollar invested and that there are no hidden risks related to their lease.

    Kiwi’s love land ownership, rightly or wrongly. They don’t want to be priced out of the local market by foreigners who had economic opportunities to amass wealth that don’t exist in NZ. Fair enough. It’s sentimental and that’s why kiwis have generally used these low interest rates to push up local house prices rather than invest in businesses and generate new wealth but that’s what we’ve done. It may be wrong headed but we have a right to be wrong headed in our own country. We pay the price but it makes us think we are happier. Let’s try and make the best of this sentimental attachment to land ownership and reduce it’s cost. 
    Shearer’s bolloxed this up and ruined it for people like me who like the idea of local ownership. His jobs creation criteria is just so stupid. Does he forbid using foreign sourced technology to make a farm more productive? Would he rather have 100 labour voting peasants working the land instead of a machine?