Otago Station Sale A Case of One Law For Rich Foreigners
Questions must be asked about the mystery American buyer of an Otago cattle station, says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.
“It appears one criteria for ownership approval is that the person is ‘a key player in a key industry’.
“Where is the evidence for this? Why hasn’t this mystery buyer been required to demonstrate his worth as a ‘key player’ on the NZ ‘team’ before being considered for the purchase of a vast high country station.
“Whose advice did the Overseas Investment Office take when it approved the sale of the land.
“Was it the sales agent who claims the buyer is an ‘asset’.
“If that’s the case the office should be closed down. He’s already banked a healthy commission. We know whose side he’s on.
“The Press in Christchurch reported the agent saying that the sale is ‘excellent’ and ‘a better result than it would be under a Kiwi owner’.
“Why is someone whose egregious self-interest is determining these views being quoted by the media as some sort of authority.
“If it was not the agent’s advice that swung the sale the public can only surmise that this is another story of one law for the overseas rich, with the government bending over backwards, and a different law for everyone else.
“We wonder, will the mystery American land buyer end up with citizenship next?
“Why should we place our trust in the Overseas Investment Office when it has an abysmal record of hiding information that should be open to the public and never checking whether the conditions of the sale are later met, or met at all.
“This office should be ready for a serious makeover,” says Mr Peters.