Crafar Farms – Shearer shows only tenuous link with reality
Oh dear, barely has Caspar donned the leadership mantle of Labour than his inexperience is revealed. David “saviour of 50 milion in his own lunchtime’ Shearer is quoted at Stuff as stating the approval of the Shanghai Pengxin bid for the Crafar farms is:-
“This latest decision will be a massive kick in the guts for the local group of iwi and farmers who also put in a bid,” Shearer said.
“Labour is not against foreign investment but any deal must demonstrate added value for New Zealanders. This one doesn’t.”
This silly statement is neatly demolished by Tim Watkin, hardly a rabid VRWC member, in his piece at Pundit where he writes:-
The OIO writes it’s also excited by the fact SPGL has “very strong contacts with the supermarket industry” in China, will create two new NZ brands (Nature Pure and Pure 100) and is promising to spend $100m over the next five years promoting New Zealand dairy in Asia.
If the commitments are honoured, it all has to “benefit New Zealand” economically.
If the commitments are not honoured, then SPGL will have breached the investment permission and presumably penalties can be sought. If the commitments are met, then SPGL will have invested at least NZ$14m in the farms direct improvment, plus NZ$100m in creating markets for NZ produce in China and Asia.
Watkin then spears Caspar’s line with the following:-
Labour leader David Shearer in opposing the sale said this week:
“If there is going to be foreign ownership then we have to make sure New Zealanders have a real interest in it and get real value from it. Now I don’t think that this sale here gives us any return.”
The details of this deal make that a hard argument to sustain; there are clearly significant returns to New Zealand. It’s hard to imagine how, under current law, New Zealand could have done better out of this deal.
In addition, Watkin deals to the vacuous comment by Shearer about the group of local iwi and farmers:-
The original New Zealand bidders couldn’t have offered the strategic links into Asia and, I’m sorry, I simply refuse to take seriously a Michael Fay-led anything as a champion of retaining New Zealand assets in local ownership. Fay cheated and betrayed his homeland for massive personal profit in the 1980s, selling key strategic assets offshore for knockdown prices. The deals he did weren’t nearly as good for New Zealand as this one, so he has simply no credibility on the subject.
So far as Adam is aware the only other bid on the table apart from Landcorp was the Fay led group. It is hard to take Caspar Shearer seriously when he talks about the Fay led group as ‘local iwi and farmers’. boy Fay’s PR people have invested in a whole new spin machine there. Fay, a former tax exile, is playing the nationalist/brownwash card to obtain assets on the cheap so that he can make a profit. After all he is a businessman. Like many before him Fay is cloaking himself in the flag in order to obtain a personal benefit. Backing the Fay group is a silly move by Shearer. Furthermore, Shearer is like many asking the Government to ignore the relevant law and/or change the rules whilst the ball is in play. However, that of course is what the ancien regime of Clark/Cullen did; plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
Caspar needs to get a grip and engage brain before stoking the fires of racism, xenophobia and increasing the dislike many in NZ have for business and economic improvement. After all we have Winston Peters and the Greens to do that for us anyway, so Caspar is hardly seizing upon a differentiator, nor demonstrating a break with past Labour behaviour and attitudes.