Nathan Guy’s refusal to ensure oversight of Chinese investment into New Zealand’s Silver Ferns Farms shows National doesn’t care about foreign ownership of key strategic assets, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says.
“Silver Fern Farms is a major part of the meat producing industry in this country and the proposed deal with Bright Foods must be carefully scrutinised to ensure it is adding value to our economy. The Minister has refused to say this will happen.
“In 2008 John Key promised $200 million to support the red meat industry’s plans to create a commercial entity that would benefit all farmers and New Zealand. He wanted an organisation that would change the balance between ‘how much profit margin went off shore’. Seven years on his Government has not made good on that promise.
“Instead they are letting foreign investors decide what is in New Zealand’s farmers’ best interests.
“Without more oversight from the Government not only will we lose control of our farms but of the whole agricultural sector as well. It is possible that Bright Foods will try to invest just enough money so this deal doesn’t meet the threshold that will make it automatically go to the Overseas Investment Office. We shouldn’t tolerate such horse trading with our key assets,” Damien O’Connor says.