Joyce accuses Labour of 'xenophobia' over sale

Steven Joyce
Steven Joyce
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has accused Labour of "xenophobia" in their opposition of the potential sale of Lochinver Station to the Chinese company that bought the Crafar Farms.

Mr Joyce and Grant Robertson, economic development spokesman for Labour, appeared on TV3's The Nation this morning and discussed the sale.

Mr Robertson said under Labour the sale would not go ahead.

"Our criteria would definitely mean that a sale like this would be highly unlikely."

Mr Joyce said the opposition were "electioneering" in relation to the issue.

"When did [Labour] go out and oppose the purchase of James Cameron's land?"

"A little xenophobia from the Labour Party to start the day," he said.

Mr Joyce said the Lochinver Station was a "ridiculously small amount of land" in the North Island to sell off.

The Lochinver sheep and beef farm site is valued at $70 million and covers 13,800ha.

Shanghai Pengxin controversially purchased the Crafar Farms in 2012 for $200 million, which was the largest-ever foreign acquisition of New Zealand land by value.

Pengxin also owned a 74 per cent stake in 13 farms in the South Island.

Yesterday, Conservative Party leader Colin Craig revealed the company's plan to buy up more New Zealand land in a speech in Hastings.

He accused the Overseas Investment Office of keeping the deal secret until the election.

Speaking to a Grey Power meeting in Hastings this afternoon, Mr Craig said his party would block all substantial land sales to foreign buyers - a policy already proposed by New Zealand First, Labour and Greens.

Mr Craig said: "Although the deal has been agreed between the parties, and the Overseas Investment Office have received an application, the deal has not been disclosed to the public," Mr Craig said in a statement.

"We believe voters should be aware of what's going on behind closed doors, this is clearly an election issue."

Mr Craig said Conservatives would oppose all large, productive land sales and change the Overseas Investment Office criteria "so that our country is not sold up".

"The National party waved through the Crafar Farms deal against our national interests and doubtless will do the same with Lochinver station.

"We are standing up for Kiwis who want this country to remain New Zealand owned," he said.

- Isaac Davison of the New Zealand Herald and APNZ

Xenophobia again?

Since National are so ethical they will, of course, be refusing to sell agricultural produce to Russia  (i.e. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11305862). Or is my desire not to supply food to countries that annex parts of their neighbours and supply terrorists with advanced missile systems to shoot down airliners also xenophobic? National seem to have taken market morality to a ridiculous extreme.

Farm sales to China

Both farms are certainly suitable & big enough on which to build runways, which would no doubt be very handy for the Chinese military in the future, I'm sure.

What we need to be wary of

Selling land off to the highest overseas bidder simply pushes the price of farmland through the roof to the extent that young Kiwis can't afford to get in the game.  More than that, selling to the Chinese introduces the "elephant effect."  Where does the elephant sleep?  Answer - anywhere it wants!  What we know for sure is that the Chinese government is knee deep in assisting Chinese business in overseas ventures and we know that food security is going to be the most important issue in the next century, particularly in the high population countries.  We also know that the Chinese government can be very, very insistent in getting its own way and they don't mind rattling a big stick, which means that if Chinese concerns get too much of a toehold in our country it could bring big problems down the track.

One man's quarter acre is...

Since when was 38,000 ha (95,000 acres) a"ridiculously small
amount of land"? Oh, that we could all enjoy that world of the rich and powerful which Mr Joyce obviously inhabits. 

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