On Tuesday parliament had a snap debate on the sale of what were the Crafar farms to Shanghai Pengxin.
It was called by the Opposition who, for reasons which are based far more on emotion than reason, are opposed to selling farm land to foreigners.
Last night Russel Norman’s Bill to restrict the sale of land greater in area than 5 hectares was defeated.
The bill was defeated by 61 to 59 with National, United Future and ACT opposed.
Quite why the Opposition have such an attachment to farmland when their policies show they have little understanding of farming or interest in its success escapes me.
I also don’t understand why farmland engenders such emotion when sales of companies like this go unremarked:
Foley Family Wines, owned by the California-based billionaire Bill Foley, will take control of New Zealand Wine Company, adding the Grove Mill, Sanctuary and Frog Haven brands to its suite of local wines.
NZ Wine Co shareholders approved the merger at a special general meeting in Blenheim today, with about 99 percent of votes cast in favour, the company said in a statement.
The merger, which will see Foley take an 80 percent stake in the Marlborough-based company, has not yet been approved by the Overseas Investment Office.
Foley already owns the luxurious Wairarapa Wharekauhau estate and is chairman of two Fortune 500 companies, insurance firm Fidelity National and banking and payments technology company, Fidelity National Information Services.
He also owns the Vavasour, Goldwater, Clifford Bay and Dashwood wine brands.
NZ Wines shares are listed on the NZX alternative market and last traded at 92 cents.
I have no problem with this investment or foreign investment in general. Bill English explained earlier this week the country has a lot to gain from foreign capital.
But if the control of farm land and its produce by foreign owners exercises the opposition, why aren’t they equally concerned by what looks like a significant investment in another primary industry?
Could it be it’s not foreign investment per se but the nationality of the investors which is at the root of the opposition to the Crafar farms by the Opposition?
And yesterday’s debate on Noramn’s Bill included this speech from Jonathan Coleman who had to withdraw the comment daconomics but introduced the term yokelnomics: