Overseas ownership undermining economic sovereignty

New Zealand’s ability to add value to primary products and develop our economy is being undermined by selling land and productive assets offshore, the Green Party said.

KPMG’s Foreign Direct Investment in New Zealand report shows that the ownership of primary industries is increasingly being sold offshore.

“It’s very difficult for the New Zealand government to promote a strategy of adding value to our primary products when New Zealanders are steadily losing ownership of land, forests, and productive assets in the value chain,” Green Party co-leader James Shaw said.

“With over 40 percent of gross overseas investment concentrated in agribusiness, energy, and large scale real estate, New Zealand is losing ownership of the building blocks of our economy.

“The Government is out of touch if it thinks New Zealanders want our primary industries to be owned by overseas companies.

“Overseas trade is important – but it’s vital that New Zealand captures the value of trade, and doesn’t allow overseas companies to build huge profits from our natural resources and primary industries.

“How does the Government expect New Zealanders to control the value chain when our farms and forests are being sold off overseas?

“The Green Party would restrict the sale of land to offshore interests.

“The Government should be encouraging New Zealand companies to build new primary product manufacturing plants and invest in R&D, not sitting by and watching overseas companies innovate and capture the value-add steps in the production chain,” said Mr Shaw.