New Overseas Investment Amendment Act. CAFCA Says Don’t Expect Much And You Won’t Be Disapppointed

By   /   August 17, 2018  /   2 Comments

The Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) congratulates the Government for passing the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill, which will become law within weeks. At least New Zealand now has a Government that recognises that foreign control is an issue. More than that, it recognises that it is a problem and has set out to do something about it. What it intends to do, however, doesn’t amount to very much. But it’s better than a big fat nothing, which is what the previous National government did for nine long years.

The “something” which this Government is doing doesn’t amount to much – some restrictions on foreigners buying residential houses, which was always the least consequential aspect of the issue (and those restrictions have since been watered down). More substantively, some restrictions on foreigners buying farmland, which is a long overdue response to an issue that outrages New Zealanders right across the full spectrum of society.

Once again, there are all sorts of loopholes and exemptions – the entire forestry sector, which is a huge feature of land sales to foreigners; water bottling export plants; luxury golf resorts; prime real estate sold to millionaires and billionaires for bolt holes. And of the biggest feature of the whole foreign control issue – namely transnational corporations hoovering up local businesses and the wholesale dominance of whole sectors of the economy by transnationals – well, this “transformative” Government has neither said nor done a thing.

Some context is necessary. CAFCA’s Key Facts (http://canterbury.cyberplace.co.nz/community/CAFCA/key-facts.html) – all taken from official sources – prove that from 1989 until 2017 – through cycles of Labour and National governments; under Prime Ministers Lange, Palmer, Moore, Bolger, Shipley, Clark, Key and English; under both FPP and MMP electoral systems: foreign control of the New Zealand economy increased 653%. That’s a sobering fact.

Nothing much has changed under Prime MInister Ardern (or temporary PM Peters). It’s very much business as usual. Indeed, one of this Government’s very first actions was to back flip on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and sign NZ up to a deal that entrenches and extends the domination of the NZ economy by transnationals.

As CAFCA has always said, what we’re experiencing is recolonisation but by company rather than country. This Government is simply ameliorating some of the most visible and egregious effects but otherwise actively facilitating the process. As the old saying goes – don’t expect much and you won’t be disappointed.

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2 Comments

  1. Draco T Bastard says:

    Quoting Why we can’t afford the rich:

    Yet challenging big business is the last thing neoliberal governments want to do, for they are its servant and defender. One of the features of the neoliberal era is the attempt by governments to make individuals responsible for providing for themselves where previously the state did this. It’s clearest in attempts to reduce state provision of education and health and to blame the unemployed for job shortages. Some sociologists, never afraid of coining an ugly word, call this ‘responsibilisation’. Treating our response to global warming as one of individuals becoming more responsible in their choices is entirely consistent with this. In this way, governments can avoid blame if things don’t work out at the same time as they not only avoid challenging big business but deliver new customers to them through privatisation. Focusing purely on individual consumers depoliticises things.

    The government has always facilitated the rich and their theft from everybody else.

  2. The reality is that Labour since they were hijacked by Roger Douglas has retreated from its one time connection to working people…it has caved in so many times that it is now normal behaviour…it can’t even speak out against Israel and its crimes against humanity. It allows expo’s selling weapons here on our soil, and continues to fight American never ending wars. Go to http://wheelerscornernz.blogspot.com/2018/08/never-ending-wars-largest-money-spinner.html and read about how weak our neo-lib government has become.


 
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