Land Sales – Blog No. 1

Given the most recent instance of sales of agricultural land to foreign interests, the media has been awash with politicians positioning themselves for the impending election.  In every instance they choose to play on the gut feeling of keeping New Zealand for New Zealanders.
Where is the rational, as opposed to emotive, explanation of why such sales should be avoided?
No one disputes that the New Zealand economy is primarily dependent on commodity export. The current government’s unabashed pursuit of short-term extractionist policies gives added credence to this claim.
However, the best growth strategy for a primarily agricultural economy such as NZ’s, is to add as much processing value as possible to the goods produced, before they are exported.
The impoverishment trap, into which has fallen many an unhappy country with an economy such as ours, is quite simple to explain.
Firstly, a country sells control of its primary production capacity to wealthy overseas corporates. The overseas interests then export those primary products to their processing subsidiaries overseas for the lowest price they can manipulate. The victim country no longer has control over the pricing of its primary production and worse, often has to buy back those goods, once processed, from the exploiting company.

More fool New Zealanders for electing governments, which apply an ideology of uncontrolled global investment opportunities propagated by those wealthy nations, whom the rules inevitably advantage to the disadvantage of such as New Zealand.

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