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

 

Fletcher Challenge Reclassified As Foreign Company

FLETCHER CHALLENGE OFFICIALLY 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: cafca@chch.planet.org.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>


Statistics: Butter At Record $5.67/Block; High Vegetable Prices

Rising dairy prices have pushed food prices up 2.7 percent in the year to October 2017, Stats NZ said today. This followed a 3.0 percent increase in the year to September 2017. More>>

ALSO:

Science: New Research Finds Herbicides Cause Antibiotic Resistance

New University of Canterbury research confirms that the active ingredients of the commonly used herbicides, RoundUp, Kamba and 2,4-D (glyphosate, dicamba and 2,4-D, respectively), each alone cause antibiotic resistance at concentrations well below label application rates. More>>

ALSO:

CO2 And Water: Fonterra's Environment Plans

Federated Farmers support Fonterra’s bold push to get to zero emissions of CO2 on the manufacturing side of the Co-operative, both in New Zealand and across its global network. More>>

ALSO:

Fisheries: Decision To Delay Monitoring ‘Fatally Flawed’

Conservation group representatives say a decision by the new Minister of Fisheries, Stuart Nash, to delay implementation of camera monitoring of fishing efforts in New Zealand is ‘fatally flawed’. More>>

ALSO:

Kaikōura Quakes: One Year On

State Highway One and the railway were blocked by damage and slips and the Inland Road suffered significant damage. Farms, homes and businesses suffered building and land damage. Power and internet went down, drinking water systems, sewage systems and local roads were all badly affected... More>>

ALSO: