The Government must rule out mass sales of Landcorp’s 137 farms to overseas interests, following suggestions that the state-owned farmer is under pressure from the falling dairy price, the Green Party said.
“The Government needs to rule out sales of Landcorp’s farms to overseas interests, especially given that 5 percent of New Zealand’s agricultural land has been sold to offshore buyers in the last five years alone,” Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said.
“The Government’s hands-off approach to SOE management has made another SOE vulnerable so soon after Solid Energy went under.
“Allowing Landcorp to plough ahead with its dairy conversions despite their impact on the environment, other farmers, and Landcorp’s declining earnings, is another example of National’s economic mismanagement.
“New Zealanders don’t want their Government to run SOEs like Solid Energy and Landcorp into the ground and then sell off their assets to overseas interests.
“Landcorp’s 160,000 hectares of farmland is strategically important and needs to stay in New Zealand hands.
“Until the weekend, the Government was denying any problems with Landcorp but now it looks like it’s scrambling to come up with a way to rescue Landcorp from its dairy conversion debt,” said Mr Shaw.