Let’s brace for another hikoi – but this one is too late, because bits of NZ have been sold already

The tossers who are organising a hikoi, in the aftermath of the latest Crafar farms sale decision, should get together with the tossers at the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa.

They both seem to have a problem with foreign investment in New Zealand.

But one of them is saying Aotearoa is not for sale and the other is saying too much of it has been sold already.

A hikoi, of course, is the Maori way of getting from the Far North to Wellington without air tickets so they can wave placards and shout abuse at politicians.

Alf accordingly is bracing to be abused yet again in a fortnight or so because the Crafar sale decision has triggered plans for another one.

Maori are promising the “biggest hikoi New Zealand has ever seen” following the Government’s second green light for a sale of the 8000-hectare Crafar dairy farming estate to Chinese company Shanghai Pengxin.

Nigel Baker, who represents a group within the Taupo region’s Ngati Tuwharetoa iwi, is warning of a “very strong” Maori backlash against the latest land sale to foreigners.

But details of the protest action, which would be against the wider sovereignty issue of the sale of land to foreigners, were still secret, he said.

“This is an issue for all New Zealanders. It will be the biggest hikoi this country has ever seen.”

The details perhaps are secret.

But Alf can tell you a bit more about this hikoi than you would have learned from the newspapers.

According to information dug up from here by Mrs Grumble, a high-profile hikoi ‘Aotearoa is Not For Sale’ begins next Tuesday 24 April at 5.30am at Cape Reinga.

This will feed into a large protest up Queen St Auckland on Saturday 28 April. Demonstrations will take place town by town for two weeks as the hikoi moves towards Wellington. Upon reaching the capital, a week of protest activities will highlight each of the key issues day by day from 7-11 May.

According to the information posted on that site, media interviews will be directed to key people in each region, town or city “to express, expose and explore their issues which will add to the picture in a national and international context”.

There is no one spokesperson for the hikoi and although some political parties have now got in behind it, the hikoi is not run by any political parties nor are they spokespeople for it.

The hikoi is the vehicle for many voices across the country to be heard. We invite you to make the most of this opportunity.

And the purpose of all this protesting?

The hikoi will express public opposition to privatisation and the selling off of our country’s assets, natural resources, land & public services.

Most New Zealanders don’t want our public assets, resources and farm land sold to private investors. It is not in our interests to put our future in the hands of a few large foreign companies whose primary goal and self-interest in profit undermines what is good for the country we live in and love.

Meanwhile Cafca is saying It’s Time for Truth About How Much NZ Land is Foreign-Owned

In other words, it’s much too late to be saying Aotearoa is not for sale.

Cafca has set out to challenge The Boss’s claim – made to soothe public outrage – that less than 1% of New Zealand farmland is foreign-owned.

We decided it was time to update our research. So we asked the PM, under the Official Information Act, how he arrived at that figure. The reply we got from Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson (27/3/12) said that in the past decade “about 2% of farmland has been sold to overseas buyers”. So, even the Minister in charge of flogging off land gave a higher figure than the PM. Williamson then qualified his conclusion by saying: ”but we don’t know how much of this land has subsequently been sold back to New Zealanders”.

This feeble response from the misleadingly titled Minister for Land Information just demonstrates that, in fact, he doesn’t have any accurate information about how much land is foreign-owned or controlled.

Cafca is calling for the establishment of a register of foreign land purchases, which should also record subsequent sales of that land, whether to other foreign owners or back to New Zealanders.

New Zealanders need to know the truth about this most controversial of issues, and they’re not getting it from the Government. What a surprise.

Dunno if that’s such a good idea.

So long as nobody knows what the actual figures are, we politicians can say foreigners own as much or as little land as happens to suit our argument.

That argument can change, depending on whether we are in government or in opposition.

And the facts would only get in the way.

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