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
"A little xenophobia from the Labour Party to start the day,"
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
Yesterday, Conservative Party leader Colin Craig revealed the
company's plan to buy up more New Zealand land in a speech in
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