We’ve grown

Foreign investment is an issue which bubbles away in the background with the occasional boil over, usually based on emotion not facts.

This week’s fuss over the sale of Lochinver Station is a prime example.

The rules for foreign investment were already tight and National tightened them further.

Foreign buyers of sensitive land must convince the Overseas Investment Office they can meet strict criteria – including delivering greater economic, environmental and social benefits than a local buyer would.

This isn’t just a matter of ticking boxes.

A friend manages farms owned by a foreign company and he says they are strictly monitored to ensure they are doing what they said they’d do.

This isn’t good enough for politicians who sense an opportunity to grab a headline and garner votes.

The concern is that if emotion rules, New Zealand and New Zealanders will be poorer.

Foreign investment brings benefits as John Roughan points out:

Foreign investment seems to have done us no harm. In fact we would be a smaller, meaner, more worried place without it. We’ve grown.

Prime Minister John Key has said if there’s a run on our land the government will act.

There is a need for a discussion on what would constitute a run and the total area of foreign ownership we should allow.

But that should be based on reason not emotion.

Foreign investment has helped us grow and poor policy based on  political opportunism by politicians desperate for attention could threaten future growth.

We’ve grown and we need some foreign investment to ensure we keep growing.

7 Responses to We’ve grown

  1. Judge Holden says:

    “Prime Minister John Key has said if there’s a run on our land the government will act.”

    Gee that’s pure weasel isn’t it? I thought foreign investment was great, and the rules are fine, just fine? Why is Key dog whistling then?

    What are John Roughan’s qualifications WRT the economics of land sales again? Being Key’s hagiographer doesn’t really count.


  2. Dave Kennedy says:

    Two of the problems of selling our farms to foreign buyers are:
    -it lifts land prices beyond what kiwis can afford
    -we end up losing the family farm culture that leads to a connection to the land that assist good stewardship.


  3. Paranormal says:

    DK wrong on both counts. Kiwis have the land to start with. The money that they are paid for the land doesn’t just disappear into the ether. The family farm culture is tong and will be with us for always – as long as we have new zealanders working the land – which doesn’t stop with foreign farm ownership.

    But as always you’re talking out of both sides of your mouth on this. Green policies you so strongly advocate will do more to make NZ farm land unaffordable for New Zealanders to buy and uneconomic and unsustainable to farm.


  4. Judge Holden says:

    “Kiwis have the land to start with.”

    What, all of them? When and how did that happen? Are you a simpleton, Subnormal, or do you just think everyone else is?


  5. Willdwan says:

    What an odd comment. Try turning it around.

    ‘Foreigners are buying our land.’

    What, all of them? etc with abuse.


  6. TraceyS says:


    @ 7:40 minutes in…

    Oh how with that “C” word she revealed herself and her party! This is what it’s all about for the Greens. Not ownership but control. Controlling who can do what with their land; how, when, and with whom.

    I don’t buy it.


  7. Laurie H. says:

    Well, foreign investors & buyers are accommodating everywhere, especially in the developed countries. Canada or the US are experiencing the same. To know more, read this well-written article Foreign Buyers & Sellers.

    Given that this is a world phenomenon, the only difference is in the perception. In the 21st century you cannot get rid of foreign investors, and in fact, you would not really want to. Besides boosting the economy, they provide cash flow, work, opportunities, bring different culture, etc. Afterwards it is up to the local government to ensure there wouldn’t be harsh consequences in it for the local inhabitants/investors like rapid increase in the house/land prices or skyrocketed inflation of products.


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