Government’s broken promises over Foreign Land Sales
The government has broken an election promise to stem the sale of farmland to foreigners says the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ).
CORANZ chairman Andi Cockroft was responding to recently released figures by Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) that the Labour led government’s Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approved the sale of 137,834 hectares of freehold rural land to foreigners -a substantial increase over 2017 when the sale of 25,696 ha was approved which was the lowest area of freehold land since 2003.
Other figures released by CAFCA were that the OIO approved a foreign investment totalling $12.5 billion whereas the average for the decade 2009-2018 was $8.2 billion.
CORANZ’s Andi Cockroft said the organisation’s main concern was that access to recreation in many cases was lost.
“The goodwill of Kiwi family farms allowed access on permission but the reality is foreigners often come from a different culture of private estates where access is only granted to those willing to pay the price. The prime example is deerstalking, trout and salmon fishing in the UK which because of access fees virtually becomes the preserve of the wealthy upper class.”
He said the early NZ European settlers set out to avoid the UK system by setting up assn egalitarian society with equal opportunity to all, irrespective of wealth, ethnic background or class.
Consequently it is clearly written into NZ Law (Conservation Law Reform Act and Wildlife Act) that charging for the right to go trout fishing or duck or game bird shooting is prohibited.
Referring to the statistics released by CAFCA, Andi Cockroft said all three parties - NZ First, Labour and Greens - before the 2017 election promised to strictly control foreign land sales.
“Frankly it’s one big broken political promise,” he said/