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Key needs to get tips from China on restricting land sales

18 March 2014

Key needs to get tips from China on restricting land sales

John Key should get some tips on how China protects its economic interests through restricting land sales to foreign investors, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

The Government has signalled to China it would be politically easier if it focused on leasing land in New Zealand rather than buying it outright.

“John Key knows that New Zealanders are growing increasingly concerned about the sale of both residential and farmland to overseas investors,” Dr Norman said.

“Earlier this month, Shanghai Pengxin, the company that bought the Crafar farms, was able to purchase another 4,000 hectares of farmland in South Canterbury.

“The Overseas Investment Office was happy to sign off this deal due to its importance to the Key Government’s China strategy.

“This failed economic strategy will see overseas investors being encouraged to purchase milk processing plants, farms and land so that they can control the entire value chain.

“John Key and National need to rethink their strategy and indeed look at how China successfully restricts land sales to overseas investors.

“It is not in New Zealand's long-term strategic economic interests to rubber stamp large-scale purchases of our farmland to overseas buyers whether they come from China, Australia or Sweden.

“A future Government involving the Green Party would look to progress legislation already drafted that would restrict foreign investors from purchasing New Zealand farmland.”

ENDS

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