Labour goes back to the future on asset sales
15 Nov, 2019
From Chris Leitch, Leader
The party that sold off the BNZ, NZ Rail, Petrocorp, Postbank, the Shipping Corporation, Air New Zealand, the State Insurance Office, the Tourist Hotel Corporation and a host of other New Zealand assets is at it again – with the assistance of its coalition partners NZ First and the Greens.
Despite a commitment in its policy to “keep forestry in New Zealand hands by requiring the sale of logging rights on land over 50 hectares to be approved by the Overseas Investment Office for overseas purchasers”, Labour is facilitating the sale of thousands of hectares of farmland to overseas forestry companies and by-passing the Overseas Investment Office in the process.
50 Shades of Green is right to protest against that hypocrisy and the country’s urban community should join farmers on the front line protesting as well.
In what appeared to be a ‘turnaround in thinking’ in the 2011/2014 period, Labour’s Annette King wrote in a post on the Labour Party website on November 3rd 2014 under the heading “An asset sale is an asset sale is……”. In the post she says “Dressing it up as anything other than an asset sale is duplicitous.”
And Auckland Mayor Phil Goff told a campaign rally in central Auckland just 5 days before the 2011 general election “Selling assets did nothing to prepare for the future.
Then Leader of the Labour Party, Mr Goff told the rally “Two words - asset sales - had defined the election campaign”
"It simply doesn't work. It's just dumb to sell them. Only a Labour government can save our assets from being flogged off to foreign owners”.
But now Labour’s gone back to the future, allowing one foreign investor to become the country’s third biggest private landowner in just four years.
Even more stupidly it’s allowed another recent overseas purchaser that describes its core business as ‘a supplier of bulk carbon credits to large energy and oil companies’ to purchase significant farmland. Planting trees for this company is just incidental to it making big profits by facilitating corporate pollution of the atmosphere.
Land Information Minister and Green MP Eugenie Sage has again proven that the Greens are the dinosaurs of the international green movement by justifying the sale approvals which she personally signed off on by saying New Zealand needed foreign investment in forestry to meet its billion trees programme and climate change targets.
Ms Sage clearly doesn’t know that government investment starting in the 1920’s is what facilitated thousands of hectares of New Zealand forest and it could and should be doing it now.
A Social Credit government would put an immediate stop to the sale of farmland to overseas buyers, progressively return to New Zealand ownership land already sold, and radically re-write the Overseas Investment Office rules.
It would invest in land-appropriate forestry planting and scrap the Emissions Trading Scheme which is just another financial fraud, and is costing taxpayers billions of dollars. The climate has now been monetised, opened up to speculation, and that has not contributed one iota to reduction in emissions.
Instead of penalising our wealth producers we will make Reserve Bank credit available to assist businesses, territorial authorities and other groups in making the transition towards a carbon neutral New Zealand.
“There’s a tidal wave of applications from overseas entities that want to snap up New Zealand’s best agricultural land and agricultural and horticultural businesses”.
“Our view is that’s not good for the long term future of New Zealanders so we’re putting a stake in the ground”.
Social Credit is putting its money where its mouth is and on October 4th filed papers in the High Court in Wellington to seek judicial review of the Overseas Investment Office decision to grant approval for the takeover of Westland Milk Products by Chinese conglomerate Inner Mongolian Yili.
Donations to assist with the High Court action can be made on the Give-A-Little page set up for the legal challenge (Westland Milk Sale Judicial Review).
Donations will only be used for this case or any other subsequent actions the party may take to oppose overseas entities buying up the country.