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The one with and anger monkeys #1

New Zealand 2007

New Zealand 2007 (Photo credit: Szymon Stoma)

There are a couple of “things” that seems to be lighting up my twitter timeline, newspaper opinion pages, and left and right-wing bloggers.

Mostly its anti-government sentiment, anything that the current National government do seems to be not well received. Mostly by people who voted Labour in the election and had their politicians fail to gain enough votes to make it into government, such is life. So their angst is one of a poor loser, calling foul and crying wolf over pretty much everything, sometimes with justification, mostly it’s just whingeing about how their lot would do it better or not at all.

But there are a couple of things that are very raw and sore points, this is one;

#1 Crafar Farms. Shock Horror and Xenophobia we’ve sold some farms to some Chinese corporation.

It’s not a problem to sell farms to James Cameron on the proviso he comes here for 10 days every other year, of to allow Shanaia Twain to buy a chunk of land. Or various other sales to countries of other nationalities

But a few clicks on the interwebtubes brings forth this;

Currently, it is our forest plantations where much of the foreign ownership is found.However, the only comprehensive statistics I have found are from the FAO document database and relate to 1999. At that stage about 72% of our pine forests were foreign owned, with United States companies owning about 35% and Asian companies about 12%. More recent data is incomplete but foreign ownership appears to have further increased.

Our wine industry is also predominantly foreign owned. Montana is owned by French giant Pernod Ricard. Nobilo, Selaks, Kim Crawford and Monkey Bay are owned by American company Constellation. Well known brands such as Cloudy Bay, Matua and Wither Hills are all foreign owned. Although many other wine companies are still Kiwi, they tend to be the small companies, and on a volume basis about 70% is foreign owned. The foreign owned companies have their own estates and then purchase additional grapes from Kiwi contract farmers

Or this

In 2005, the OIC approved the sale of 149,473 hectares of rural land to foreigners, of which about 100,000 hectares was from one foreign investor to another. Foreign owned land covers more than one million hectares or about 7% of our commercially productive land area

However, this current outrage and angst comes down to  two reasons and It’s because

They’re Chinese,


The National party have indicated that they are going to partially sell some of the few remaining assets we have – such as power generation.

The furore in this is the almost laughable outrage that this has generated as if it’s a first time thing, and that no one has every done this ever. Fact is that NZ has sold off almost everything it has to private ownership and frankly there are only a few things left worth anything to anyone. Fait play to the ‘opposition’ on this who’ve stirred up wild fears and  a catch-cry of “tenants in our own land” hysteria.

Also laughably Sir Michael Fay has come out swinging about how poor this is, which to most people is the pot calling the kettle black, Fay-Ritchwhite having done nicely out of New Zealand in the past. It’s obvious that the aim of Sir Fay is to force the public sentiment into a position where he can take advantage of a purchase of some assets, and then chop and shop them around making a tidy profit on the way through. Anyone who thinks he’s being altruistic is being naïve in the extreme. Ok so past history does not predict future behavior and I could be wrong. I won’t be.
There is such polarization over this issue that’s it’s difficult to get to a sensible conclusion. All the arguments have inherent truth, however it’s a special point-in-time truth that ignores the past, and comes for an instant position taking that only the outraged have. It’s not a yes/no question.
And from those that seem to think they’re being disadvantaged I wonder where they were when the rest of the silverware was being spirited away by the bad guys?

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