The Greens’ private members bill restricting, in other words banning, all sales of farmland of more than five hectares to an overseas investor was defeated last week by two votes, writes Allan Barber in his latest blog.
In the article which has also appeared at interest.co.nz, he argues that the Labour Party’s new position,”in support of the Green’s xenophobic attempt” suggests the party has moved light years away from its position of five years ago, when it issued the ‘2007 Export Year’, “which says nothing significantly different” from the recently released progress report ‘Building Exports’, part of the current National Government’s Growth Agenda.
“Without overseas investment and shackled by our high debt level, New Zealand cannot possibly aspire to the optimistic export goals of successive Governments from both sides of the political divide,” he says.
He talks to Federated Farmers chair Bruce Wills and compares the NZ situation to Australia’s and concludes that New Zealand can’t afford any reduction in the relative contribution made in 2011 by meat, dairy, wool and horticulture (43 percent of export goods or 34 percent of goods and services), whether or not any progress is made towards the Government’s target.
“Changes of the kind represented to Parliament last week would present a massive head wind.”