The Green Party is calling for stronger controls on agricultural land and business sales to overseas investors following new information that Americans were the biggest investors in New Zealand farmland in the past two years.
“New Zealand should be keeping ownership of the land and businesses that underpin our agricultural economy in New Zealand hands,” Green Party finance spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said.
“It’s not just land being taken from New Zealand hands, but also ownership of all points in the agricultural value chain with our second largest agricultural exporter, meat processor Silver Fern Farms, expected to announce today that Shanghai Maling will take a 50 percent stake in the company.
“How can we build our economy by adding value to our agricultural products if the value chain is increasingly owned by overseas investors?
“Fundamentally, this is about keeping the building blocks of our agricultural economy in New Zealand hands to make sure the profits benefit New Zealanders.
“New Zealand farmers and aspiring homeowners can’t compete with huge international companies who want a piece of our land.
“The National Government is deliberately making it easier for our agricultural land and businesses to get sold to overseas investors, for example through the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
“The National Government is constantly putting big international business interests ahead of New Zealanders’.
“The Green Party would prevent land sales to overseas investors,” Ms Genter said.
A KPMG report shows that American investors accounted for 55 percent of farmland sold to overseas investors in the last two years, followed by Chinese investors at 12 percent.