Crafarms

The benefits of foreign investment

There were campaigns trying to prevent Shanghai Pengxin from acquiring the Crafar farms. Politiciand from David Shearer and Phil Goff to Winston Peters interfered as well. Then there were the legal battles from people trying to prevent the sale of the decrepit Crafar farms to Chinese company Shanghai Pengxin.

Winston Peters also famously slurred their name in one presumably drunken rant in parliament.

But all the naysayers are being proved wrong as Shanghai Pengxin has literally plowed millions of dollars in to the farms to turn them from dogs to diamonds.

ONE OF the biggest achievements of the Shanghai Pengxin renovation of a former Crafar dairy farm near Hamilton is peace with the neighbours and community.

A while back, Jason Colebourn who manages the Collins Rd property for Pengxin’s sharemilker Landcorp, says he wondered if the local customary wave was a one-fingered salute, so often did he get one when working on the farm whose environmental calamities helped spur the collapse of the 16-farm Crafar dairying empire six years ago.

Colebourn moved onto the farm one year into the receivership of the Crafar farm estate and for two more years until the sale to the Chinese company was finalised, the Collins Rd property would remain an eyesore.

Pengxin has bankrolled the Collins Rd farm resurrection for $1.72 million and counting.

Colebourn and his five staff have supplied the brains and brawn to turn what was by all accounts a train wreck into an operation which this season will produce 365,000kg milk solids and is  turning a profit for its owner.

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 »

Has Labour just lost Auckland? #chanban

A reader emails about Labour’s “Chan Ban”.

I work closely with the local Chinese community as part of my export work.  What I have learnt is they are very loyal people.  Politically they supported Helen Clark as a reward for liberalising the immigration policies early in her term.  My perception is this has been changing as John Key has performed well and Labour has been in disarray.

With Labours anti-Chinese housing policy I would guess overnight most, if not all of the 250,000 Chinese in New Zealand have shifted their allegiance to National.  Then we have the Koreans, Indians, Malaysians,  Americans, English, South Africans, the list goes on…  Read more »

Crafar Farms deal settled

The Crafar Farms deal settled yesterday. Shanghai Pengxin issued the following statement:

Two years after it made a successful bid for the 16 North Island Crafar farms, Chinese company Shanghai Pengxin has withstood all legal challenges and finally been able to settle on the properties and take possession.

The properties, have been purchased in the name of a subsidiary company, Pengxin New Zealand Farm Group. They will be managed by a new joint venture company, Pengxin New Zealand Farm Management Ltd, a 50/50 joint venture with Government-owned Landcorp, which will be the managing partner, and which is increasing staff numbers to run the 16 farms.

The 13 dairy farms and three dry stock farms total almost 8,000 hectares and currently carry some 16,000 cows. The company is committed to investing $15.7 million in the next three years to upgrade the properties and increase milk production, which will initially be sold to Fonterra.

Great stuff, now we can get on with the other aspects of the deal opening up new access and markets in China.

Opportunists given the arse card

Michael Fay’s opportunist Maori mates have been given the arse card by the courts:

Chinese company Shanghai Pengxin hopes to settle its purchase of the 16 North Island Crafar farms before early December, after the Supreme Court threw out the last obstacle to the deal, an appeal by Maori trusts.

Pengxin, preferred bidder of KordaMentha, receivers for the dairy farming estate, has had to wait through 18 months of legal challenges and protests against the purchase, which ended today when the court refused to allow a further legal appeal by central North Island iwi.

Tiroa E and Te Hape B Trusts, which have been negotiating unsuccessfully to buy two of the Crafar farms at Benneydale, considered ancestral land, had asked the Supreme Court for leave to appeal Pengxin’s purchase consents by the Overseas Investment Office and the Government, upheld by the High Court and Court of Appeal.

Labour’s Land Hypocrisy

When David Shearer stood at the gate of one of the clapped out Crafar Farms did he consider for even a minute that the farms were already owned by an overseas company and were ever since Alan Crafar defaulted on his loans to Westpac Bank, which correct me if I am mistaken, but I thought they were Australian.

But as long as they aren’t Chinee, Labour is fine with selling rural land:

During its nine years in power, Labour allowed 650,000ha to be sold; in 20 months National has approved the sale of 31,000ha.

Trevor Mallard thinks that Shearer gets a free pass though because he wasn’t an MP and so Labour’s past misdeeds don’t carry through.

Fran O’Sullivan schools Shearer and Mallard hard:

Labour’s Trevor Mallard has joined the fray opposing the Chinese bid. But it’s notable that he has not challenged any of the successful “Anglo Saxon” bidders for NZ farm land such as German investors, US and Australian investors. No dairy farms have yet to be sold to Chinese buyers. Penqxin also has extensive agriculture investments in South America and elsewhere.

Something Mallard omits to say is the Crafar farms are diddley squat in size and value compared to the amount of farm land that was sold offshore during the Clark reign. The Real Estate Institute said yesterday that rural property sales had a strong finish in 2011, reflecting good growing conditions across the country.

The institute pointed to the emergence of offshore buyers, mainly from Europe, acquiring properties in both Canterbury and other regions, although “this comes after extensive due diligence and securing OIO approvals in the six to 12 months prior”.