Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Underthinking Crafer farms

So today the High Court decided that the Overseas Investment Office didn't interpret the economic benefit to NZ properly therefore they should reconsider the offer by the Chinese to buy the farms.

Having spent several years moonlighting as a Chinese Tea Farmer I feel qualified to discuss this.
First of all the only reason that this was sent to the high court, was a consortium lead by Sir Michael Fay, who bid $40 million dollars less than the Chinese Bid and were upset they didn't win it.

"Wait a minute, don't you mean $40 million dollars more?"
No, 44th President of the United States Barak Obama, they were offering $40 million dollars less then the winning bid, so they lost.
"Hmm, seems about right to me, so I will change my tie"
Yes, especially since the High Court ruling states that the economic benefit of selling to the Chinese needs to be reconsidered. Well here's a start it's $40 million beneficial to sell to the Chinese then it is to Fay and co.

According to Underthinking it economist Kepler Stratenberg, it does seem better
Michael Fay's argument is that the land is going to be taken out of New Zealand ownership, which is bad. I see two flaws with his arguement.

A/. He is not adverse to selling NZ assets to foreigners.

In the 1980's to fund his yacht racing habit, as well as embark on a breeding programme to produce a great NZ singer.....

The success of which, is yet to be determined.
... Sir Mick decided to buy up NZ rail and sell all the valuable copper to foreigners at a profit. Sounds good, except the copper was quite important for a efficient rail network.

"I will be taking these"

So I am not entirely convinced he wouldn't buy the farms and then turn around and sell them to some other foreigner.

B/. They aren't in NZ hands

Last I checked the Crafers went bankrupt and since they owed most of their money to the Banks, the Banks now own them. Which banks I am not entirely sure, but I do know it's not Kiwibank, and thanks to their little green car, I know the other banks are Australian owned.

The little green car of Knowledge as I like to call it.

So even worse than Chinese people owning it, the Australians do!

We got your land Mate.

Maybe that's why Russell "Rusty" Norman is so against selling it to the Chinese?

"If I can stop them selling it to the Chinese, we Aussies can keep it."

So I don't think Michael Fay has got a case, in saying that I don't necessarily think its a good thing to sell to the Chinese, but I think the Overseas investment offices rules need to be tightened. The first point should be to check if we can buy land in the country of the person wanting to buy land here.
Because as far as I am aware I can't buy Chinese land, so they shouldn't be allowed to buy land here. Do unto others blah blah...

"I am sorry China, but you didn't let us have some of yours"

I guess the biggest flaw I see in this whole thing was the idiot that allowed the Crafer's to put this land into one big parcel, so the receiver is trying to sell it as one. If the farms had remained as 17 independent units it would be easier to sell to Kiwi farmers.
So I guess, I can't believe I am saying this,  I agree with Winston Peters..

Split the land up into parcels, and sell it that way, give kiwis a realistic opportunity at buying it


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