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Key's 'Kiwi dream' in tatters - Cunliffe

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealanders are set to become tenants in their own land under the Government's policies despite John Key saying two years ago he didn't want it to happen, says Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.

David Cunliffe said that news that Landcorp may pay about $18 million a year to rent the Crafar farms from offshore-owned Penxgin, which is set to buy the farms, would see a publicly-owned New Zealand company renting New Zealand farmland from a foreign conglomerate.

"Labour does not want to see New Zealand taxpayers becoming sharemilkers for a foreign multi-national.

"That is not the path to creating economic wealth and strength for New Zealand," David Cunliffe said.

"Landcorp, which made an earlier, unsuccessful bid of its own for the farms, would clearly prefer to buy the farms than rent them, but it needs government backing to make its tender competitive.

"It seems, however, that despite John Key's fine words of two years ago, that the Government is content to let the farms fall into foreign hands and then lease them back," David Cunliffe said.

"The failure to act to keep Crafar farms in New Zealand hands bears close resemblance to National's asset sales policy. Both would see strategic assets go into foreign ownership, with New Zealanders paying the price to send millions of dollars in profits offshore.

"Where do National's priorities really lie? When it comes to bailing out finance companies, National is willing to throw around billions of dollars with abandon, but when it comes to keeping strategic assets in New Zealand hands, the Government's wallet is firmly shut."

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