PM Sells Out on Tourism
PM Sells Out on Tourism
Minister of Tourism Prime Minister John Key is a phoney, talking up New Zealand tourism but on the other hand allowing a foreign investor to shut down a Kiwi tourism business.
“An American investment company has bought the lease and freehold of a 14,000 hectare Canterbury high country station and evicted a successful Canterbury tourism company after 23 years of business. It has nowhere else to go,” says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters.
“High Country Explorer Tours is tourism’s Brand New Zealand – built up by genuine Kiwi owners offering soft adventure tours amidst stunning scenery. For many cruise ship passengers it is their NZ adventure.
“The owners are losing their livelihood despite appeals to the Overseas Investment Commission and their National member of Parliament. The Prime Minister needs to explain why he, as Minister of Tourism, went missing on this occasion. He might also want to consider an added fact - South Island tourism has had a massive downturn since the earthquakes.
“The sale was ticked off by the OIO which highlighted job creation and retention. Clearly, on this count, the company has broken its word. Sixteen jobs will be lost. It also appears the company is not fulfilling its other obligations under the OIO decision, but no doubt is aware that the OIO will not hold them to account.
“New Zealand First has been proved right again. The OIO is nothing but a rubber stamp.
“This sale and the eviction proves that land sales to foreigners are rarely beneficial to New Zealand. They distort the market and New Zealand loses control of our land. Prices are now beyond the reach of Kiwis. Foreign owners have no ties to New Zealand and consequently do not exhibit the same care and concern for our land and our economy.
“Foreigners are buying for the wrong reasons, not to nurture the land, but as an investment.
“This tourism business not only holds up our tourism brand it benefits many – from the employees to the mechanics who service the vehicles and the jet boats the company uses.
“Too often fishers and hunters lose access to rivers and hunting grounds after a foreign buyer takes over. We wonder how many other Kiwis have been adversely affected as National has sold off over a million hectares of land into total or majority control of foreigners.”