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Dunne: review needed to protect New Zealand ownership

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Friday, 20 April 2012

Dunne: review needed to protect New Zealand ownership

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne has called for a review of the Overseas Investment Act and a move to 99-year or similar long-term leases on productive farm land rather than allowing sales to overseas owners.

Speaking after the ministerial decision announced today approving the Overseas Investment Office recommendation of the sale of the Crafar farms to Milk New Zealand Holding Ltd, Mr Dunne said New Zealanders rightly wanted a major rethink on the whole issue.

“We only have the land that we have and once it is in foreign hands there is a high likelihood that we will never get it back.

“You can only sell your birthright once, and it is not xenophobia or racism for a country to decide to look after the interests of its citizens – it is common sense and the duty of government,” Mr Dunne said.

“Other countries – including China – jealously guard their own land and never allow it to be sold to foreigners.

“We need to look as a nation at where we stand on holding our own land and we need to do so with a clear head.

“We owe it to future generations to make sure – as the Prime Minister has said himself – that New Zealanders are not tenants in their own land,” Mr Dunne said.

He said any review needed to focus on the sale of productive land rather than residential land for personal use.

Ends


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