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CAFCA: Fiji Without The Gun


The present posturing by Big Business in opposition to clearly signalled Government policies, which have a strong mandate, proves that it regards democracy as a fine theory – as long as it remains a theory only. It demonstrates the fundamental antagonism between capitalism and democracy. What’s free about the free market?

We congratulate the Government on its policy moves so far, timid as they have been, to go some small way to repair the ravages of 15 years of Rogernomics and the wholesale giveaway of the country to transnational corporations. These plunderers must have seen New Zealand as the $2 Shop of the South Pacific.

We congratulate the Government for prohibiting the sale of Brierley’s stake in Sealord to foreign fishing companies. We are pleased that it is committed to the “New Zealandisation” of our fishing industry; that it has stopped any offshore sale as “not being in the national interest”; and that it has revoked the power delegated to the Overseas Investment Commission by the National government (in its dying days in office) for the OIC to administer the Fisheries Act as it relates to foreign companies. We congratulate the Government for ordering a Ministerial Inquiry into the truly appalling safety record of American-owned Tranz Rail.

We congratulate Dr Cullen for stating that he wants the OIC to pay more attention to the “national interest” criteria in assessing applications from foreign investors. But he needs to go a whole lot further than that. We urge the Government to restore “national interest” as the central principle of all laws dealing with foreign investment.

Dr Cullen has said (Press, 2/6/00): “We haven’t changed the Overseas Investment Act”. Well, they should – fast and hard. Starting with repealing the disgraceful decision by National, in its very last days in office, to increase the threshhold required for OIC approval of foreign takeovers, from $10 million to an astronomical $50 million. Should the Commission be replaced by a monkey with a rubber stamp?

Further we urge the Government to adopt the laudable principle of New Zealandisation to the rest of the economy. That would definitely be in the national interest. Stick to your guns, it was what you were elected to do.

And, Big Business, butt out. Nobody elected you. If you want to be involved in subverting and overthrowing democratic governments, go to Fiji.

Murray Horton Secretary/Organiser Ph (03) 3663988

CAFCA Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa PO Box 2258, Christchurch email: cafca@chch.planet.org.nz

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