GUEST BLOG: The Lockdown With Bryan Bruce Day 14 : Who Owns NZ Now?


It’s part of my job as an investigative journalist to ask inconvenient questions. 4 years ago I asked the question Who Owns New Zealand Now?

Interestingly I haven’t been funded by NZ On Air since despite several proposals supported by TVNZ and Prime.

But I’ll leave that for another day because today I’d like to suggest to you that in this downtime we should think about how much foreign capital we want to allow to come into our country once this pandemic is over and we try to get our businesses up and running again.

In Who Owns NZ Now? I looked at the effected the then deluge of foreign capital coming out of China was having on our local economy an particulary on our housing market.
My problem, when making it , was that I knew I would be accused of Xenophobia – particularly by those who had (and still have) a vested interest in encouraging Chinese capital to buy our housing and our businesses.

So I went to Toronto Canada partly to show that what foreign capital can do to your economy was not unique to our country. Also to make the point that the ethnicity of the money doesn’t matter .It’s the AMOUNT of it that we allow in.

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That didn’t stop a millenial comentator in The Herald who likes to take pot shots at me shouting “Xenophobia!” largely because didn’t want to see that “old pakeha ” on his screen ever again.

He just didn’t get the point but I didn’t bother to take him to task for his low quality journalism because when you ask incovenient questions you have to expect some people, especially those with a vested interest in keeping things the way they are, will get annoyed .

So let me be clear- my documentary was about what happens when a deluge of money from overseas, wherever it comes from, swamps the local economy. It’s happened several times in our history. First it was British money, the American and Canadian, then Japanese , the Australian and most recently Chinese.

When this lockdown is over a lot of businesses will go to the wall – Air New Zealand for one. Are we going to let foreign capital buy them up and perpetuate the neoliberal wealth -for the -few- and- to- hell with the many model of capitalism?

Or are we going encourage our government to take a more active part in our the marketplace by pulling levers such as Qantitative Easing and not bailing out big businesses but nationalising them ?

So I thought I would put up Who Owns NZ Now? on NZPTV
It’s 45 mins long so you might want to make yourself a cuppa.

Lastly – near the end of the programme I offer some solutions to our housing problem from Germany and learn form Italian architect Luciano Pia look at how we could design econofriendly inner city apartments .

Stay Safe.
Look after each other.

Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.


  1. Unless foreign ownership is capped in NZ to under 10% and our government actually stops treating every new foreign resident better than their own citizens, as well as selling NZ citizenship/permanent residency in 11 days – 2 – 5 years of any Tom, Dick or Harry coming here , then NZ will continue to suffer and go down the gurgler and more and more (real) NZ citizens will become tenants and (now in the last 6 years) homeless in their own country.

    Maori (and many others) don’t even have water now in Northland. Auckland about to run out of water. What’s the point of giving Maori land back when someone stole/gave away/polluted the water needed for life?

    Waihi runs out of water, council distributing water bottles

    Appeals against Chinese water bottling plant dismissed

    Dairy firm wants ocean wastewater outfall

    NZ can never build the houses/hospitals/schools to accomodate hundreds of thousands of new citizens that funny enough are keen to come to NZ get a fake job or business, and be on welfare within a few years that is not available in their own countries!

    10% of every new migrant coming to NZ over the past 15 years had zero income when they got permanent residency/citizenship. That is a lot of social housing/support/welfare to find in the future for NZ taxpayers and directly competing against NZ poor! That’s not even counting the evidence of growing criminal activity, having to jail so many overseas nationals and process and deport them or the huge evidence of paying for fake jobs to get residency here.

    Dishonest behaviour is great for growth and neoliberalism though to get more and more people competing against each other. No wonder we need to sell off the state houses and privitise more our health and education and increase government debt significantly.

    No doubt the neoliberals are rubbing their hands in glee when the NHS in Britain got completely overwhelmed by new residents and then the NHS fails big time, when it is needed.

    Like NZ, (but further down the road of Thatcherism) UK relies heavily on doctors that are are not home grown, the nurses are not home grown, the nurse aids are not hometown, the technology is not home grown, the hospitals are built with PPP’s that can cost up to 5 times the price if they just built them themselves. (That is ‘health’ money going on construction firms not actual health care but pretending to be for health).

    Sadly, relying on other nationals to do everything for you, from tending to your sick to making the PPE needed in crisis, can lead to a critical failure going forward, especially when since Thatcher, the UK is reliant on making quick profits and fake accounting to hide where public money is going (PPP’s) not actually helping society. They now have the biggest loss of life with Covid 19 in one day from people actually in hospitals there.

    When foreign travel and buying citizenship rights and money laundering were less common and hard to do 10 years ago, maybe you could be forgiven to not to worry about the long term effects – now we have multiple crisis in NZ because it has become common for international families to buy or (borrow) into a new unpolluted country but have no responsibility to that new country and allowed to create chaos in that country, as people profit from the Ponzi.

    Look at Malta where they sell EU citizenship, surprise, surprise it is becoming a basket case with rumours of it’s government collaborating with criminals, and a well known journalist blown up when they exposed the Panama papers. It undermines the collaboration of the EU.

    It should be obvious, but letting criminals and terrorists into a country, can become hard to get them and criminal families expanding there, out, especially when they seem to have overtaken government thinking on the matter!

    Even tiny debate in NZ on selling NZ land and citizenship is such a huge threat to global money, that anybody who speaks out, gets punished (aka “Interestingly I haven’t been funded by NZ On Air since”)
    Government and offical heads are sycophants to the global 1% of the worlds population, who now own media, agriculture, governments, technology, land etc and their assets are growing….

    • Unless foreign ownership is capped in NZ to under 10%

      The land and the water are Aotearoa. This is the body, the ‘being’ of the country – the land and all water. These cannot be sold to any other country!! We are the guardians of this land. It is entrusted to our care. It is not ours to sell offshore. We have to find a way to reclaim it, in order to protect it as a whole nation, as the incredible land that it is.

      Those who would profiteer by trying to sell it O/S deserve the death penalty, imo. Or at least to be locked away for the duration of their lives. How about we sell them, those disgusting profiteers, instead of even one more drop of water or one more centimetre of this beautiful, sacred land.

      And anyone who thinks, “Oh, the death penalty, that’s way too strong..” B.S! Think of the lives lost to extinction, the land to strip felling and mining, the oceans depleted and acidic. Catch the damn criminals and end their reign of terror. Permanently.

      It is only if we ever find the courage and strength to take such real, meaningful action that we’ll actually find our soul, our mana maybe, as a nation. (jmo)

  2. It’s so bad around the world, that now the ones who start the financial crisis through their greed or stupidity, get bailed out by governments not put in jail ( aka banks in global financial crisis) or with Coronavirus now China seems to be making money of selling the PPE’s around the world.

    It’s also kinda sickening to see the overseas officials and media grovelling to get the PPE’s they shouldn’t even need if the virus can be contained by China in the first place.

    Few in power expects China to take personal responsibility for the diseases like Covid-19, SARS etc that seem to come from China on back of extreme animal cruelty, lack of hygiene and regulation and a culture of counterfeiting food. There are a lot of people in India, but they don’t seem to have the diseases coming out of there!

    Food scandals are a constant issue in China.

    In spite of evidence of milk crisis in China that kill their own babies, Fonterra decided to do a partnership with Sanlu but of course then more babies died with yet another milk scandal a few years later in spite of Fonterra losing millions of NZ farmers money on the venture. Not to learn a valuable lesson, Fonterra then decide to invest in Beingmate but yet another failure at the expense of NZ Farmers!

    Those sycophants in NZ just keep on making the same mistakes!

    Will our COL government?

    We might get rid of Covid, but like the Fonterra situation, the money transfer to China and other related countries, and the continued destruction of NZ businesses and NZ brain drains like medial staff and reliance on someone else’s nationals to keep NZ running, will keep happening until there are no NZ businesses and assets left….

    like wise the land transfers and natural asset transfers like water, what happens when the water runs out across NZ or is heavily polluted with intensively farmed animal waste … but our water still flows out to prop up private Chinese business… is that a wise decision by our governments and councils that get the free trips/donations to China that seem to follow with positive Chinese/Foreign/local legislation and contracts in NZ!

    Those donations certainly seem addictive to officials and very positive for the donor!

    Chinese businessman Yikun Zhang’s donations go beyond Simon Bridges

    Southland mayor in China with ‘$100k donor’

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