Anxiety In New Zealand As Chinese Buy Dairy Farms
New Zealand nationalists are worried that the country's recent sale of 16 dairy farms to China will open the floodgates to foreign ownership. NPR has the story:
Chinese investors are buying New Zealand farmland for the first time as economic ties with the Asian powerhouse grow ever deeper, sparking considerable anxiety in a country where livelihoods are heavily reliant on agriculture.
New Zealand's government Friday approved the sale of 16 dairy farms to a company controlled by the Shanghai Pengxin Group, run by wealthy property developer Jiang Zhaobai. Pengxin hasn't revealed how much it is paying but says its total investment will be more than 200 million New Zealand dollars ($164 million).
New Zealand's center-right Prime Minister John Key has defended the sale, pointing out that less than 1 percent of the country's farmland has been sold to foreign investors. The central North Island farms bought by Pengxin came up for sale after a bankruptcy and total about 7,900 hectares (20,000 acres).