Selling off Landcorp farms is a backward step for New Zealand farming that risks our land falling into overseas ownership, and worsening water quality, the Green Party said today.
The comments come on the back of National’s announcement it will sell Landcorp farms.
“As a state-owned enterprise Landcorp is accountable to all New Zealanders, and their farms should stay in the public’s hands” said Green Party environment and primary industries spokesperson Eugenie Sage.
“Selling Landcorp farms risks undoing the good work the state-owned farmer has done in recent years to be leaders; farming with the environment, not against it.
“By forming an Environment Reference Group comprising Dr Mike Joy and Dr Alison Dewes among others, reviewing how it farms and phasing out PKE, Landcorp is showing it is serious about reducing the pollution that harms our waterways and climate, not making excuses for it.
“Landcorp can lead the shift to environmentally sustainable farming. Its farms are a public asset we should be keeping, not selling them for overseas buyers to purchase sometime in the future.
“When National flogged off shares to electricity companies they said Kiwis would buy them, but many went to overseas investors.
“New Zealand’s weak overseas ownership laws mean it's likely some farms will be sold to offshore agribusiness interests down the line, who are able to pay higher prices than local farming companies.
“The Green Party will keep our public assets including Landcorp farms in public ownership. We must keep control over our means of production to ensure our farms are run in the best interests of New Zealanders and our environment,” said Ms Sage.