Expansion plans by the new Chinese owners of the former Crafar farms is a step towards smashing the dream of young New Zealanders owning their own farms.
The intention of Shanghai Pengxin Group to expand its operations is clearly spelt out in its advertisement for a general manager based in Taupo or Rotorua.
The manager will advise Pengxin on buying more prime New Zealand farms, managing live animal exports to China, and sourcing raw milk from other farms for plants to manufacture products exclusively for the Chinese market.
Rt Hon Winston Peters says allowing New Zealand farmland to be owned and used by foreigners to produce food exclusively for their domestic market is outrageous.
“More New Zealand farmland is being sold from under our feet to the highest foreign bidder.
“The trend will accelerate as overseas interests strive to meet their expanding food demands by using New Zealand as their own private food producing Mecca.
“All the profits from production through to final sale will head offshore with New Zealanders left with nothing but crumbs.”
That, Mr Peters says, is economic lunacy against New Zealand’s national interest.
“International corporations and governments can afford to pay inflated prices for our farms which will make it virtually impossible for young Kiwis to buy their own farms.
“It is the beginning of the end of the New Zealand farm ownership era. New Zealanders are facing a future where they will be tenants in their land.
“This must be stopped so the dream of farm ownership remains realistic for future generations of New Zealanders,” says Mr Peters.