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Landcorp could end up in foreign hands under Nats

Landcorp farms could end up in foreign hands under National

Landcorp farms owned by the taxpayer could end up in foreign hands if National gets it way, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Swain said today.

"Landcorp's assets are worth around $850 million and delivered dividends of $34 million in 2003-04.

"Its size and scale allows it to conduct valuable research and development that not only benefits taxpayers but the wider agricultural sector.

"This would all be lost because National has again made it clear it would sell Landcorp.

"The public will not stand for this. Assets sales are a failed policy that should not be repeated. This government has already had to reverse two failed asset sales – Air New Zealand and the rail network."

Mr Swain said Labour's policy of no asset sales had brought stability to SOEs for the past five years. This had improved their performance and increased their value and returns to the taxpayer.

"National's latest commitment to sell Landcorp shows National is ignoring the public's rejection of asset sales. A recent survey showed that nearly 80 per cent opposed selling state-owned assets."

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