20 Feb 2012

Crafar ruling about whenua, not race - Sharples

6:51 am on 20 February 2012

Maori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples says the High Court ruling against the Chinese bid for Crafar farms is not about the Chinese, but about making sure the whenua stays in New Zealand hands.

The High Court ordered the Government on Wednesday 15 February to reconsider the Shanghai Pengxin bid to buy 16 North Island farms.

Dr Sharples says although some Chinese may perceive the High Court ruling as being xenophobic, Maori businesses are still willing to reinforce their links with them; and it is about the retention of the whenua for future generations.

He says the whole discussion is not about China, it is about whether land remains in New Zealand ownership.

Dr Sharples says he would rather the Chinese came here to live and then buy land.