Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Fletcher Challenge Reclassified As Foreign Company


The Overseas Investment Commission (OIC) maintains a list of companies that, although they are over the legal limit of 24.9% foreign shareholding, it exempts from being defined as foreign companies because they are “New Zealand controlled”, in the OIC’s opinion.

Fletcher Challenge Ltd (FCL) was a long time feature on this list. But Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) has only recently discovered that, in an unpublicised move, the OIC reclassified FCL as a foreign company six months ago. FCL was removed from the exemption list by the Overseas Investment Exemption Amendment Notice 1999, which came into force on 16/7/99.

This continues the trend of more and more big New Zealand companies falling into foreign ownership (Brierley’s was the most high profile one to be previously reclassified by the OIC, in 1996). This reclassification of Fletcher Challenge means that, at the stroke of a pen, a huge chunk of the New Zealand economy is officially transferred to foreign ownership. When all four divisions of FCL are added together, it is the biggest company in the "Management" Top 200 1999 list (Fletcher Paper alone was number two on that list). FCL occupies a dominating place in paper production, building materials and construction, oil, gas and electricity production and distribution. It controls a significant part of NZ’s oil reserves. This decision means that we now have no NZ-owned petrol distributors: Challenge is now officially classified as foreign.

According to 1999 figures, FCL is the second largest owner of exotic plantation forests in NZ, with 288,000 hectares. This reclassification means that the five largest forest owners are now foreign-owned, and that nearly 60% of the country’s plantation forests are foreign-owned. Foreign purchasers of NZ rural land have to satisfy “national interest” criteria before being approved by the OIC. Did FCL meet these criteria when it was reclassified and became the foreign owner of hundreds of thousands of hectares of rural land?

The economic recolonisation continues at an increasing pace. We urge the Labour/Alliance government to give priority to rolling back New Zealand’s status as a mere branch office of transnational corporations. And we urge the media to stop calling Fletcher Challenge a New Zealand company. It isn’ t, and that’s official now.

Murray Horton Secretary/Organiser

Ph/fax (03) 3663988 day/night

CAFCA Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa PO Box 2258, Christchurch email:

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Onetai Station: Overseas Investment Office Puts Ceol & Muir On Notice

The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has issued a formal warning to Ceol & Muir and its owners, Argentinian brothers Rafael and Federico Grozovsky, for failing to provide complete and accurate information when they applied to buy Onetai Station in 2013. More>>


Tomorrow, The UN: Feds President Takes Reins At World Farming Body

Federated Farmers president Dr William Rolleston has been appointed acting president of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) at a meeting in Geneva overnight. More>>


I Sing The Highway Electric: Charge Net NZ To Connect New Zealand

BMW is turning Middle Earth electric after today announcing a substantial contribution to the charging network Charge Net NZ. This landmark partnership will enable Kiwis to drive their electric vehicles (EVs) right across New Zealand through the installation of a fast charging highway stretching from Kaitaia to Invercargill. More>>


Watch This Space: Mahia Rocket Lab Launch Site Officially Opened

Economic Development Minster Steven Joyce today opened New Zealand’s first orbital launch site, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. More>>


Marketing Rocks!
Ig Nobel Award Winners Assess The Personality Of Rocks

A Massey University marketing lecturer has received the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize for economics for a research project that asked university students to describe the “brand personalities” of three rocks. More>>


Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news