Farmland Sales to Foreigners Goes from Trickle to a Torrent
[CORRECTION 8/10/19] Following a misunderstanding in our release yesterday after the publication of Kate Newton's story on forestry ownership and the concern from farmers groups worried about the ease and speed of land acquisitions by foreign forestry companies. The The 77,000 hectares written about was not all farmland sales, but it does highlight all the land sold to foresters over the last 12 months. The fact that some are existing forests and some are farms is irrelevant. What is relevant is that foreigners are taking large swathes of NZ land and its wrong whether its farm or fores
The news released today that foreign owned forestry company have purchased more than 77000 hectares of good Kiwi farmland in just four years should be ringing alarm bells at the Beehive according to conservation group 50 Shades of Green.
The fact that the Overseas Investment Office can blindly give those purchases the official tick tells New Zealand that the process is out of control.
That a foreign company can acquire that amount of farmland seemingly without question is an indictment on government policy according to 50 Shades of Green president Andy Scott.
“That farmland would have previously supported farmers, rural communities, shops and schools,” Andy Scott said. “Now it is lost forever growing trees to support foreign owned conglomerates.
“The fact that six out of ten of the largest landowners in New Zealand are foreign owned forestry companies should tell the government they’ve got it wrong.
“Is the government happy that New Zealand is reducing its food production capacity to the extent it is.
“We’re selling the family silver with what can only be described as indecent haste,” Andy Scott said.