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Silver Fern Farms Must Not Be Allowed to Go Chinese

Rt Hon Win-ston Peters

New Zealand First Leader

Member of Parliament for North-land
28 AUGUST 2015

Silver Fern Farms Must Not Be Allowed to Go Chinese

New Zealand First is vowing to fight for the continued New Zealand ownership of New Zealand’s second largest meat cooperative as it faces sale to the Chinese.

“Silver Fern Farms is a Kiwi farmer-owned business accounting for over $2.2 billion in sales,” says New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“Their farmers have done the hard yards and debt is tracking down Just when it is, the Chinese want at least a $100 million interest in it.

“That will just be the start, as we all know. Why has the co-op not reached out to people who own it? Instead, the board is putting a financial gun to its farmer-owners and effec-tively saying, ‘sign or else’.

“But in reality it is the foreign-owned banks’ interest in Silver Fern Farms that is behind this. They do not care one iota about New Zealand or New Zealand farmers. The banks want their cash, the Chinese have it, and they are pushing Silver Fern Farms to get at it.

“It is Silver Fern Farms today and this transfer of ownership trend will affect more Kiwi farms tomorrow.

“It speaks volumes that this government will spend tens of millions on a Saudi farm they don’t own, but will not spend a cent to save our second largest meat co-op. National’s agenda doesn’t really care what they sell and to who.

“National has also betrayed the thousands of farmers who backed Meat Industry Excel-lence. This is a betrayal of farmers, farming and our export economy.

“The timing could not be worse with lambing under way so farmer attention is else-where. New Zealand First will not be quiet on calling National, the banks or the Silver Fern Farms’ board on what is nothing short of economic treason,” says Mr Peters.

ENDS


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