Chinese visit likely to put NZ under pressure on Crafar farms deal - RePress

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Friday, June 18

Chinese visit likely to put NZ under pressure on Crafar farms deal

Chinese Vice-president Xi Jinping’s visit is likely to see our Overseas Investment Office put under even more pressure over the Crafar farms deal, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

At present the Overseas Investment Office is considering a proposal by a Hong Kong based bidder to buy up the formerly Crafar family owned farms.

Recent decisions by the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) have shown 'improved relations' with foreign powers being given as a reason for allowing foreign investment in New Zealand. New Zealand’s image overseas has also been cited in recent OIO decisions as a reason not to turn down applications.

"Improved relations with countries we have, or are seeking free trade deals with, should not in any way be part of the decision making in regard to individual applications," said Dr Norman.

"The Overseas Investment Office is entering dangerous territory with regard to recent decisions it has made.

"The visit of Vice president Xi Jinping visit, along with 100 senior Chinese business leaders should not have any impact on decisions relating to foreign investment from China and Hong Kong,"said Dr Norman.

"However Labour and National’s support of free trade seems to have infected the decision making ability of our supposed watchdog on overseas investment.
"The embrace of laissez faire ‘free trade’ and economic policy over many years has resulted in New Zealand’s economy becoming far too reliant on dairy exports.

"Now overseas investors are looking to buy up our dairy farms," Dr Norman said.

"New Zealand risks losing control of its economic sovereignty if we lose ownership of large chunks of our primary producing capacity to foreign investors."

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