16 Mar 2012

Chinese statement on Crafar dismissed as empty threat

6:34 pm on 16 March 2012

A warning from the Chinese embassy about the Crafar deal and future investment decisions is being dismissed as an empty threat by a number of New Zealand politicians.

An embassy official says future Chinese investment may hinge on the outcome of an application by the Shanghai Pengxin group that wants to buy the 16 Crafar farms.

The New Zealand Government is awaiting a fresh Overseas Investment Office recommendation on the bid, which the High Court says has to be reconsidered.

Cheng Lei from the embassy says the Chinese Government is encouraging its businesses to make foreign investments, but this might be reconsidered if the Crafar application is rejected.

Labour says decisions will be made on likely profitability rather the outcome of a single application to invest.

New Zealand First says the statement is a tactic from a country which is keen to buy up New Zealand land and assets.

Finance Minister Bill English says all productive investments are welcome and are all subject to the same rules and regulations.

The High Court ruled in February that the economic benefits of the bid were materially overstated in recommendation from the OIO and it must review the application.