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John Campbell Tackles Key on NZ Crafer Farms Sale To Chinese

Topics: Sale of Assets To Foreigners Continues Under National Government and:
National’s Plan To Extend Casino Gambling In Auckland, NZ

John Campbell’s show, Campbell Live’, was certainly live tonight. Campbell, I thought, was brave and brilliant. He was not afraid to tackle the PM on this sensitive issue – the Crafer Farm sale to overseas interests – only he was talked down by the PM much of the time.

New Zealanders showed on polls taken by TV3 a year ago, that they were overwhelmingly AGAINST the sale of NZ farms to foreign interests – Chinese interests, as it happens, in the case of the Crafer Farms.. Yet John Key’s government has bull-dozed its way ahead regardless, to push for the sale of the Crafer farms to the Chinese. $200 million is not a lot to pay for these farms, and the deal has been likened to a modern beads and blanket scenario.

However, the money is not really the issue here. Land can’t be replaced. New Zealand is a small country with limited land to sell. We should be guarding every little bit of it, and using it for the common good of all New Zealanders – Keeping control of our assets is the best idea, rather than ripping them off to other, more powerful governments, who will not have the interests of New Zealanders at heart in the long term.

If I was the referee of this match tonight, between John Key and John Campbell, I would certainly have given the NZ Prime Minister a YELLOW CARD and sent him off, and I would have brought Winston Peters on to take his place. Winston’s remarks on telly, in the early hours of this morning, were that ‘New Zealand is surely being milked’ – A pun on the fact that the Chinese company buying our Crafer Farms is called ‘Milk New Zealand’.

John Campbell tonight had the Prime Minister, John Key, in his studio for questioning about the Crafer Farm deal to the Chinese, and the new plans which John Key has under his belt, to build a new convention centre in Auckland, in conjunction with Sky City. Which means more gambling machines, and ultimately, more unhappiness, poverty, and crime for the many desperate Auckland families who turn their hopes to gambling.

Many Aucklanders are genuinely worried about the social effect of increased gambling in Auckland. Many people voiced their disapproval of the PM’s plan, on last night’s ‘Close-Up’, TVNZ 1.

Last night, in the early hours of the morning, after I saw Winston Peters talking on the late, late news around 1.30 in the morning on channel one, I wrote that I was disappointed that TV1 and TV3 had both failed to address the important issue of the Crafer Farm deal having gone through, on their main news earlier in the evening.

I only knew that the deal had been given the green light, because one channel had announced earlier in the afternoon that they would be covering the Crafer Farm sale later on in their news. Only, none of the main news readings which I watched at 6PM and 10.30PM even mentioned the Crafer Farms. They talked about the plans which John Key has for increasing the gambling machines in Auckland City, which plans have only just come to the public’s attention.

The news on TV 1 and 3 indicated that they were disappointed that John Key was away in SA Asia examing gaming machines,, and so was not available for comment. But nothing on the sale of valuable farm land to foreign investors, who happen to be Chinese. Even more scary, considering that the Chinese government does not have a great record in human rights. We are not dealing with the Shania Twains or the James Camerons of the world here, although I believe that NO FOREIGNER be allowed to buy such large amounts of our valuable farm land.

Russel Norman, leader of the Greens Party, had to contend with Chinese security people who were NOT New Zealand residents, accosting him and swiping his ‘Free Tibet’ flag outside parliament buildings a year or so ago. As if this was China, and they were Chinese policemen with the authority to do this. When they were actually only visitors to our country and, anyway, Russel had a legal right to hold up a flag which said ‘Free Tibet’ on it. This is NOT China.

So – Bravo John Campbell for getting on to the subject tonight, on the day the PM returned home, I guess.

I still think John Key organized his travel plans carefully so that he would be absent on the very day the Crafer deal went through, and on the day the news of his planned gambling development came to the public notice. He is surely a wily fox, judging from the way he bull-dozed his way through John Campbell’s interview. Attack is the best method of defense, according to John Key. He simply sped up his talking, even if he was not making complete sense, and raised his voice, so that John Campbell could not articulate the majority of his questions clearly.

I thought that Key was not as relaxed as usual, and seemed dead keen to avoid the subject of his succumbing to pressure from the Chinese government. Thus his high-speed gabble.

But John Key, with his cavalier attitude, does not have the moral right to sell off New Zealand’s assets, or to decide all by himself just how he is going to bring us all to our heels. He behaves as if New Zealand land was his own personal property, to sell, or dispose of however he wishes, regardless of other opinions.

One way or another, by selling off our assets, by increasing social unrest through increasing job losses, through irresponsible money-making schemes such as building a bigger casino, or selling off our valuable land, through his uncaring and punitive policies, and through his blatant disregard for the welfare of the environment and its people, he is running this country into the ground.

We still have some hope left that the Crafer Farms may stay in New Zealand ownership – Winston Peters is standing strong on the ‘Keep our land in New Zealand Ownership’ stance. Russel Norman is dead against the sale to overseas people. Once the land has gone – what do you have? , they ask. And Sir Michael Fay and his supporters are going to fight the government all the way. They offered to buy the Crafer Farms previously, in a collaborative effort to keep the Crafer Farms ownership in NZ, but the government turned them down in favour of selling to foreign investors.

The current government has no idea at all about managing assets, paying the mortgage, doing budgeting and housekeeping so that your house is in good order and the family is happy. John Key seems to have no idea about the basic principles involved in running a house, or a country.

John Key had the privilege of being brought up in a state house in his childhood, yet, now that he is a millionaire and a prime minister, he is keen to deprive the needy of the privilege of state housing. He is pulling down and destroying the NZ state housing scheme as fast as he can throw a knife. He spends the country’s money as if he is playing a game of monopoly, and plays with its assets as if they are toys.

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