New Zealand farming suffers from foreign investment

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Carl Findlater and Ryal Bush write:

mixed agriculture new zealandMixed agricultural land including abundant vineyards in the Gisbourne region of New Zealand

Forty years ago the governments of the day encouraged mixed farming. It was promoted to achieve a stable and sustainable economy after meat, wool and dairy booms of the 50s, and 60s. Spreading risk by having a number of different revenue streams including those outside the agricultural sector was seen as beneficial to the nation. This intervention was needed to control demand and inflation and achieve planned growth that the country could sustain.

Today there is a different model not promoted by governments or a national strategy but rather banks. De-regulation of banks has changed the basis of our economy.

The question is, should the shape and make up of New Zealand’s economy be dictated by foreign banks?

To banks who create the money, and make capital available it’s just rhetoric for public consumption, profit and minimal risk are their drivers. In their defence, they are here to make a profit for their shareholders, not to assist in the diversification of the New Zealand economy or the public good. Farmland and real estate have a solid collateral base. They are “safe” investments for banks. If the New Zealand economy goes belly up there are willing overseas buyers, the Crafar farms are testimony to this (Ed: http://www.getfrank.co.nz/editorial/nz-politics/crafar-farm-facts) . . .

We believe it’s time the Reserve Bank took control of foreign bank activities as it has in the past. We need an economy that will be beneficial to our citizens, diverse, multi-dimensional, and leading edge . . .leading edge . . .

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