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New Zealand On Sale To Highest Bidder

20 July 2004

New Zealand On Sale To Highest Bidder

New Zealand First leader and MP for Tauranga, Rt Hon Winston Peters, says that the Government’s plans to relax rules on foreign investment in local companies will mean that an even higher proportion of the wealth generated in New Zealand will go overseas.

Mr Peters’ comments follow an announcement made by Finance Minister Michael Cullen this afternoon that the Government will double to $100 million the threshold at which transactions are scrutinised. It will also abolish the Overseas Investment Commission in a bid to relax rules on land sales and business purchases made by foreign investors.

“Direct foreign investment in this country now exceeds $50 billion and most of that is by way of straight takeover,” said Mr Peters.

“The Government is actually doing its best to facilitate and encourage foreign takeover by further weakening controls to the detriment of New Zealanders. The end result will be further annual drain of New Zealand-made profits overseas.

“Our railways, our banks, our forestry, oil, energy, insurance and telecommunications companies all have major overseas holdings or are overseas controlled.

“Nearly 50 percent of the New Zealand share market is overseas owned.

“The sad fact is that under Labour and National many of New Zealand’s best and most strategic assets have been sold for next to nothing. New Zealand doesn’t belong to New Zealanders anymore,” said Mr Peters.

ENDS


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