FOREIGN CONTROL OF

NEW ZEALAND

1995

PAGE

FIGHTING THE BILL

Our Cioes Mainstream " , , 2

WHICH PARTY DOES CAFCA SUPPORT? 7

WEN[TA THE TAIERI? by Trevor Reeves 9

150(/~) INCHEASE IN LAND SALES OVERSEAS IN 1994

1994 From The Ole " .11

SINGAPOREAN INVESTMENT IN NEW ZEALAND:

The Most

Tropical Investor 19

Ron Smith by Murray Horton ...

DECEPTION: The US At Christchurch Airport"

New Anti Bases Video Available on Harewood . .. 24

TELECOM.

The Poor' FOREfC;N rNVFSTMENT

Cellphone Dangers ". ..25

Rosenberg .. .. 28

Available 29

OF INC CONDUCT:

................................................... 36

\Vorld ,." 37

8

............................. , .. 55

.... , 58

Membership of

I

""

I

'"

I

For all of 1995 so far CAFCA has been om campaign for years to defeat the Overseas

Investment Amendment Bill, 78 gave Bill s very detailed analysis itis

and the Slop Press insert dealt with the even more outrageous provisions added after it had been through the

tion Select Committee, So there's no need to repeat all that I concisely summarised our the

Christchurch public meeting to oppose the in June.

The Sill

We believe it stinks and should be dumped. We consider that it constitutes a major threat to our sovereignty and democracy.

Virtually all discussion of it has focused on its role in making rural land sales to foreigners easier. The first point is that it's not only about land ". the Bill covers an investment. Its centra! feature is that it establishes the Overseas Investment Commission as a "one stop shop" Bill Birch's words), to make things easier for applicant investors. It has one good feature, and one alone .. for the first time ever, it empowers the Commission to check up on projects after they've been approved (there is zero follow up at present). But it gives the Ole no resources with which to do so, and certainly no political direction to do so. Based on the Ole's track record, we can safely bet it will be business as usual.

The most outrageous clause is Clause 9, which was added by the politicians after submissions had been heard, This declares all information held by the Ole to be confidential between it and the applicant investor. It completely exempts the OIC from the Official Information Act. And it backs up this unique secrecy with vicious penalties for anyone breaching it - a $30,000 fine and/or 12 months for an individual; a $100,000 fine and/or two years organisation. This clause was introduced opposition from eminent authorities such

budsman and Sir Kenneth of the

sory Committee. argue that the Official In

formation Act adequately protects commercial confidenti-

ality. The monthly decision sheets we from the OIC

contain suppressions every time, under the law. Jour,"

nalists - who, in May, witnessed knocked

around and arrested by police during the Asian ment Bank conference protests in Auckland - are alarmed.

There's an obvious contradiction here, We told

that "foreign investment made this what it is today;

it's the best thing since sliced we need it". So why

hide it from the New Zealand benefi-

ciaries, behind Berlin Wall Because

and their mates in the TNCs know that if New Zealanders

know anything like the truth, will be the

extent of the takeover. too.

It's a safe bet that this obnoxious clause will be dropped, and some commentators will say it' 5 not so bad after all", But that won't be good more than secrecy and draconian

needs to be not that one clause,

What else does the Bill do'! Another the removes the requirement that investment be deemed to be "in the national interest", from all sectors except land, In non-land cases, it institutionalises a

number of currently informal criteria, must sim-

ply have business the money

and be of good character. 'That. means that anyone but stupid criminals are welcome. The words "national interest" still apply to land sales and mort; detailed criteria are laid down. However the relevant Ministers -Finance and Lands" don't

have to adhere to them. all

Ministerial discretion is abolished. This means that if these simple criteria are met by the Minister or Ministers must grant approval. No choice.

Specifically

Land Settle-

thy

The [sill increases

The article in this issue on the Investment Amendment Bill was written before the Bill was voted on in Parliament Since the article was written, the Bill has been passed with a number of amendments. This STOP PRESS outlines changes and where the law now stands. A more detailed analysis will have to be left

a future Watchdog.

The Government knew that the legislation would pass when the United Party assured it of a majority on the Bill subject only to minor changes, That such important legislation should pass courtesy of a party of opportunists with no mandate is scandalous and adds to the distrust which people have for the political process. It was quite on the cards that the Bill would have quietly died without the United Party's support.

The most important changes made to the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill are as follows:

Secrecy

The thoroughly obnoxious secrecy provision (Clause 9) was withdrawn by the Minister, Bill Birch. It is not clear that all the minor parties opposed this clause (certainly Labour, Alliance and New Zealand First did oppose it). So it is due to the overwhelmingly weight of public opinion that this appalling piece of hypocrisy and contempt for the public has been defeated. We can claim a victory on this.

Effect of new criteria

The Select Committee which sent the Bill back to the House introduced an entirely new clause, embedding the criteria for accepting overseas investment into the Bill, Previously those criteria could be made up by the Minister and notified to the Commission. In many respects this was an ambush: it was not in the Bill the public made submissions on, In fact the original Bill claimed it had no effect on policy on overseas investment So the public had no opportunity (and still has had no opportunity) to make submissions on the criteria now embedded in the Act. The criteria are in fact similar to what was the recent practice as notified by the Minister of Finance. These arc extremely as the article points out. They have been strengthened in the Act to the extent that the Commission no longer can ignore the criteria, as was

allowed original draft Under the original drafting it was also forced to ap-

proval if very weak criteria were met. Now they "shall" grant approval

criteria are met. IS room other factors to be considered.

Other

The other changes Birch arc relatively minor They tighten up the new

that to land buyers evading the law by buying the land

than are covered law, They tighten up the enforcement of conditions that may

now be attached to approvals for investments. They also tighten up the

is a reserve, subject to a order, has historic

For are some-

to the Bill put by the Alliance

There is no consideration of exploitative ennor of speculation or undue aggregation of could usc this legislation, along with the control on foreign investment. In Commission, with the full connivance of as laxly as liquorice and everything will

the Government, will pass through.

up with the legislation, Enforcement of it appears

to he entirely up to and Government. If an investment is allowed

to occur, no-one can it other those directly involved ,,' the buyer and the

seller. Neither are likely to want to challenge a transaction that would never have gone

to the Commission it was not in interests. Nor is the Commission likely to

challenge its own In our submission on the original Bill we submitted that the

ability to lay information or disposal of assets under the Act

to any using a similar sense of interested party to that was completely ignored.

The "national interest" may now be ignored for all but land investment. Borrowing

outside is no longer controlled by this legislation. Retrospective consent

can still who "overlooked" getting the Commission's permis-

,....""·N4' by the Act than formerly. Many of the Promotion and Land Acquisition Act 1952

lost. An "overseas person" is defined by passno matter how long since they have been resident in passport) rather than by residence. With businessmen habitually resid-

the Commission to condi-

"ability" advisedly. It are si gnifi-

their practical

It

room to overto do so could, with

of people

Cosmetic

We were right about the Government making cosmetic to the Bill. Within days of our June public meeting, at which Jim Anderton and Winston Peters were the guest Bill Birch announced that Clause 9 (the secrecy! penalty clause) would be dropped in its entirety, and that "the Bill would also be reworded to require Ministers to take account of developmental criteria in assessing applications, instead of allowing discretion" (Press, 17/6/95). Apart from that, everything else remained the same. This earthshaking change arose from discussions between the Government and its entirely unelected "coalition partners" - Right of Centre, Christian Democrats and Future New Zealand (whose solitary member, Peter Dunny, has since flapped off with the other lame ducks into the United Party).

CAFCA responded to this announcement, with a press statement subtitled "Drop The Lot, Not Just Some Clauses".

"The announcement that the Government has come to a deal with its unelected coalition partners to allow this Bill to proceed is en-

tirely predictable. The main change will be the removal of Clause 90" This was so

not been in the necessary Supplementary Order

so we are not in a to make any further com-

ment on its detail. II has not, as yet, been reintroduced into

Parliament for its second Ihe

to vote against some clauses of the unreconstructed Bill, But since then, one of them (Trevor has joined Ross

Meurant and become 20. And the increasingly

terical running around of Parliament's headless chooks into newer alignments (all with one mission statement: "To Save OUf means that the Government probably thinks it has now got enough wannabes on board to chance its arm 0 In July, the Government to "toughen up" as" pects of the Bill, as a concession to United, Peter Dunny, United's finance spokesman, said he was concerned about investors who bought land but did not fulfill conditions of purchase. The agreed change would allow court-ordered dis" posal orland if buyers did not comply with conditions,

Be that as it may, our case against it remains unchanged. The Bill is aimed at making the foreign takeover easier. The great majority of New Zealanders have clearly indicated they

outrageous that it was never a starter.. Merely dropping the most obnoxious clause while planning to proceed with the rest of the Bill is the latest variation of the good cop/bad cop routine that politicians love to perform 0

Other changes are apparently to be made to provisions regarding the sale of rural land to foreigners. CAFCA stresses that this Bill deals with all aspects of the foreign takeover of New not just land sales ($353 million out of $5.5 billion approved the Commission in 1994)0 The big picture remains unchanged,

Whilst welcoming these concessions, we remain unmollified. This Bill is such a threat to both the sovereignty and democracy of New Zealand that it must be dropped in its entirety".

At the time of writing, the Government's proposed further changes to the Bill have

Finns taking v r NZ, says campai

Sales 'threaten' sovereignty, democracy

by Dean cateort

Foreign ownership of companies in New Zealand represents the "recolonisation" of the country, says the secretary of the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa, Murray Horton.

'VIr Horton said yesterday that in l[l!~O, foreign ownership of companies in New Zealand was worth $1307 billion. By 1 [194, it had grown to $:33.Ei billion, an increase of about 150 J)€r cent.

The process of foreign ownership represented the "recolonisation" of New Zealand, but by company, not country.

"The Overseas Investment Amendment Bill, currently before Parliament, is an insidious attempt to make even easier the takeover of New Zealand by foreign big business and land buyers. It will make the whole process secret. It is a major threat to our sovereignty and democracy," Mr Horton said.

"In 1994 alone, the rubber-stamp Overseas Investment Commission approved $5.5 billion worth of foreign takeovers." Rural-land purchases jumped from $138 million in 1993 to $353 million in 1994, involving 72,000 hectares. he said.

The Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa has called a public meeting in Christchurch on June 12 to

oppose the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill. It will be attended by New Zealand First leader Winston Peters and Alliance leader Jim Anderton.

Mr' Anderton said investment in New balance and wise: management.

Overseas investment. in an business as a owning less than beneficial to the brought new skills and enterprise, enabling it to

Overseas investment in an asset which had a high

penetration was likely to be exploitative. The overseas buver would tend to use its market dominance to make maximum profits in order to the investment as quickly as

are also environmental and considerations to be taken into

account with investment so dear

criteria need to established for our

protection," Mr Anderton said.

investment in New Zealand was a much higher level than investment by Zealand companies overseas.

Profit coming in amounted to about

$500 million year, but outflow was

$~lOOO million, Mr Anderton said.

foreign needed

n

to the snowbound barbarous tice, It featured prominently on TV

Tom Scott devoted his Listener column to it of not

power", 8/7/95). The media attended m the hope that the two would come to blows but were and had to settle for actually

want it made harder. this Bill would be a useful

first CAFCA recommends that the law

takeovers be projects should be the worthy

the law have including confiscation in extreme

of non-compliance; and that all land

ers, whether rural or urban, be lieve this Bill is a disaster in its sum and a cock up in several of its parts.

The

That's enough about the Bill what about our

against it') Plenty has been happening. In we organised a June public meeting in the Limes Room at the Town Hall. We spent $2,000 on Press ads and room hire. This is not our usual style of operation, but we decided this campaign was big enough to warrant it, We invited both Anderton and Peters to they both which clearly shows just how mainstream the issue and CAFCA have become. Despite a truly appalling winter's night, nearly 400 people attended. The room was full and we collected over $1,000. The other two speakers were for

CAFCA; and Eugenic for the Forest and Bird

Protection Society. Mayor John of Hurunui Dis-

trict Council. was a late cancellation. It was a hugely SIlC-

cessful meeting, which unanimously a resolution

"calling upon the Government to withdraw the Bill in its entirety and consult the public on it with legislation that ensures New Zealand control of New Zealand's assets and an end to the secrecy surrounding the sales of assets overseas".

We scored a coup in getting Anderton and Peters to speak together (Win With Jim! It sounds surefire election slogan). OUf diplomatic skills even more when you realise that this happened when the two were engrossed

in a splendidly unseemly bmw I tedious details of

which need not bother an interest-

pre-

in the next bargaining round with my ruthless CAFCA em-

ployers, I'll hold out for a three suit The best

just iSH '1. the And we established for the

Terrible Twins to become spoke at a Wellington

Power did our bit

New Zealand First

The Bill, and foreign control in

has become a main-

sales to dividuals to no more than a Zealand business. For the past several months Peters has campaigned on this issue very tour around the North Island. He

to Christchurch to at meet-

ing in the Town Hall, New Zealand First has seized the Par-

liamentary on this. But Peters should not be

mistaken for any son "Let's be clear I'm not

business. J' rn an unashamed I was before it was fashionable to say so. But

flog their resources" 1

don't

us for

in each town

and his researchers discovered that

to them

to and city he visited CAFCA was the with our entire Ole raw material) for a We were later of his tour speeches and there was an awful lot of very familiar male-rial in there. He didn't pretend it was all his own work- he gave credit to CAFCA more than once. even referred to us as "heroic". Gulp.

more than

for land and company takeovers to not nr<l"''''~'' without the consent of the Ministers of Finance and Lands of it to the OIC); and ensuring that applications for company takeovers relate to a specific percentage of the with any further buyout requiring a further application. It provides an eight point definition of "national interest" and says any takeover must not be approved if it harms the environment, deteriorates the balance of payments, introduces inequitable employment practices or enables dominance of the market.

it

And where does Labour stand on all this? Basically on the sidelines, dithering. We didn t invite them to speak at our Christchurch meeting because, although individual MPs such as John Blincoe have opposed the Bill, the party as such hasn't. Can you imagine Michael Cullen opposing for-

investment? When Jim Anderton attacked I nternation al Paper's takeover of Carter Holt Harvey, Cullen responded that Anderton seeks to tum New Zealand into a "pallid version of North Korea" When Radio New Zealand's Insight did a programme on the issue. Birch and Cullen featured as defenders of foreign investment; Anderton, Peters and I put the case against. In June Labour called for the Bill to be withdrawn, pending fullscale public consultation. Helen Clark and lands spokesman, Jim Sutton, also proposed a series of amendments which would restrict rural land sales to foreigners. Labour stated a number of criteria that would have to be met before land could be sold. But they were nowhere near as stringent as those of New Zealand First. And Labour had ab-

solutely to say about any other as-

pect of control.

"Mr Sutton says much of the opposition to the Rill has been on emotive grounds.

, it not a issue and to make

it one is dishonest and Sover-

is about a rights to make

its own laws. But land has a unique

in the and heritage of the nation, therefore there should be special rules re-

to land'" Farmer, 8/6/95).

Former Labour

Allan Wallbank, has

announced that he will a petition

for a citizens initiated referendum on land sales if the Hill is passed, Doubtless, some of Labours stems from the fact when in Government in 1990, it

up a Bill to do the same as

National in - to remove the Ole from

the Official Information Act

G. Jones graphic

44% wanted it outlawed. The Christchurch "the hotbed the highest - 54'1,) were ship, 61~" wanted it outlawed.

labelled recorded O\VnCf-

We Are Confident

Needless to say, National and Its mates in the media are not happy about this. Bill Birch and some have launched hysterical attacks on Anderton and Peters (Birch

referred to them as being "as mad as and

opponents of foreign control as This played

into their hands however. The Dominion headlined a story "Nationalism a powerful vehicle for minor parties" (26/6/ 95) and stated: "It (xenophobia) is, after all, a cynical term for patriotism ... Mr Anderton and Mr Peters have tapped a deep well of unease about foreign control of New Zealand's wealth, and they know it" Ironically, in view of its name, National lacks any nationalism. Bolger's republicanism was smacked down; he jumped on the America's bandwagon and tried to invoke the same with the Ali Blacks if only he could get Jonah Lomu to run for National). But they've painted themselves into a comer as "internationalists", which translates as well tipped doormen tor foreign Big Business.

The Bill has been a godsend for us. It has both foreign control, and CAFCA, the highest possible media profile. The serious media have taken a critical look at the whole subject - the best on offer so far has been Bruce Ansley's Listener feature "Rolling out the red carpet" (J He seemed particularly intrigued that I had been invited to address North Canterbury Federated Farmers on the Bill the record, we reciprocated and invited them to public meeting. They declined). of it) has been attacked by papers as diverse as the NZ Herald and the NZ Farmer. Frankly, I can remember all the interviews I've given in the last few months - standouts include TVl News, several with the Mana Maori Radio News, ClV News (my first ever live TV appearance, before a studio audience Even the Mercantile Gazette rang up. I' ve done radio interviews from

Oamaru to Kaitaia, Nor has been confined to

political parties or newspapers. District

Councillor Barry Lawrence in the

Listener feature) got the Council to write to the Prime Minister "Vl"""'O~'

Bill

We firmly believe that the Bill can be this is a very winnable Our mainstream now, one backed up a party political issue. And it ramifications are people. are and is continuing to

of public and pressure Oil this

dent that we will achieve our

believe

These are extracts from Christchurch public

ioCAFCA's

Horton

The X Word

A recent trend

want jobs as press CPC'''''j,-',n

vestment"

1 find that label happen to be married to one of these dreaded assure you any "Asian bashing" from me would

shrift at our place. I find the term of "racist"

entertaining coming from the National legacy to international and domestic race

us the Vietnam dawn Bastion

bok Tour and the fiscal envelope. Who the hell are the rac-

ists here? It is absolutely not or

else to believe that the destiny ofthis country should be decided by its own people. For the we have no argument with people of any particular race Of colour. PO'Ner

and wealth are OUT not

They Can't Take It Wi'ih

Then there is the puerile control who say "what harm can overseas ownership do'!

can't take the land away, can true, and

why on Earth would want to? After the American

owners of Telecom don want to take all our

away, do No, quite

here and ship out the gigantic

them year. That's what goes overseas - the money.

Even the 19th century British colonisers had no out the land pation by Mother

A Vote of Thanks for Our

Brethren

as small as a park in Wanganui; we can learn from their example and apply it to the tens of thousands of hectares that pass into hands every year (over 72,000 ha in 1994 alone).

What Does It Mean to Ordinary New Zealanders?

Foreign control of our economy has a large number of verifiable negative effects. Direct ones include Telecom paying out over 90% of last year's $620 million profit to its predominantly American owners, while sacking 40% of its New Zealand workforce. It costs us money and destroys jobs. Nor is it foreign "investment" in any sense of the word. In the

great majority of cases, if s purely a usually on the productive New Zealand busi-

nesses, The indirect effects include that

has happened in this smce Douglas crawled

out of a toilet. Why? Because if s all been done in the name of "making New Zealand attractive to foreign investors" The lot Employment Contracts deliberate unernployment, asset sales, user pays, health cuts, demolishing the welfare state, tax cuts for the rich, etc, etc, etc. All done to make us a keen competitor in what has been accurately described as "the race to the bottom". So that's how foreign control affects ordinary New Zealanders it impacts on every single aspect of our lives.

WHICH PARTY DOES C

In light of the party political games that we have been playing whilst campaigning against the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill, it's probably useful for our members to know the answer to the above question.

NONE!

To quote from our Charter:

"We are not and will not be a political party. We will not be used to promote a political party nor do we endorse any political party. We are happy to network, form coalitions and work with likeminded groups anywhere in the country and overseas".

Fe

RT?

supp

We pride ourselves on being an independent organisation The only money we've ever taken from political parties has been strictly for supply of information or publications. Our membership includes those who are active in parties across the spectrum.

We have a healthy distrust of politicians and a distaste for the whole lobbying of parliamentarians. But if we want to campaign successfully on issues like the Bill, then realistically we need to get into bed with all sorts of people, Strange bedfellows are nothing new for us - in the past we've had working relationships with all major parties (yes, including National, when it was in Opposition). We reserve the right to criticise all parties and politicians. We do and will continue to do so.

,---------------------------------------~----

Reserve Bank of New Zealand Telephone 472 2029

2 The Terrace Wellington Telex 3368 Fax 471 3655

Please address correspondence to The Secretary Overseas Investment Commission PO Box 2498 Wellington

29 June 1995

OVERSEAS INVESTMENT COMMISSION

Reference

Mr M Horton Secretary

Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa PO Box 2258

CHRISTCHURCH

I refer to your letter of 28 April 1995 and our subsequent reply

12

1995.

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has providing a comprehensive response to you in relation to request Working Party (Number One) that it is more appropriate for response.

the interest of to the Official

V,U.UH,'0",',""'U to provide

Dear Mr Horton

7

Working Party 1 was to foreign direct investment in New

setting out information requirements for investment flows and considering the

unoact on domestic economic reform.

In response to the work undertaken by Working Party 1, Cabinet agreed that;

there was to Foreign Direct

one agency, reporting to the Minister of Finance, that regulates

(i)

(ii) certain transaction'} were to be considered sensitive;

(iii) the Minister of Lands "'L'~UL,U to concur with the Minister of Finance with sensitive applications;

the regulatory regime to apply to all applications for Foreign Direct Investment are those now contained' in the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill'

,

certain areas were to be deemed sensitive and subject to a higher level of test and requiring authorisation as contained in the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill;

(v)

(vi)

the Government should set guidelines for the agency in considering sensitive applications. It was subsequently agreed that the criteria to be applied should be

included in the Bill;

'vii)

the Minister of Finance would require the concurrence of the Minister of Lands to the approval of applications for Foreign Direct Investment in sensitive areas;

'viii)

has to be considered sensitive where it adjoins coastal areas and lakes, islands,

and land that fall within the terms of a definition of rural land on

the Rating Powers Act 1988 or where the land is over 10 hectares. It was

subsequently land to be considered sensitive be amended to also

encompass any land excess of 5 hectares and any land which is

coastal areas or lakes is not part of an island and is under 5 consideration exceeds $10 minion.

land of cultural value has not to be included on the list of sensitive areas foreign investment as it is more appropriate to protect such land through planning legislation than by way of restrictions on Foreign Direct Investment.

(ix)

any guidelines issued to the agency were to be published in the Gazette. It was

subsequently agreed that such guidelines should also tabled in the house.

the of threshold for non sensitive areas should remain at $10 million.

8

ill

I

anyone remember the Taieri and

back in the' 50s and' 60' 5 was the fastest

suburban and industrial town in New Zealand, Now

the way seems open for people to be driven Why? China has come to town. Dunedin

whose only ever contribution to

was to a donation of $20 to the Values in

1971, has accused the residents of Mosgiel of being 'racist' III to the "coming to town" of Wenita's huge timber plant The Otago which carried his message, has been a staunch defender of polluting plants over the years, including the Ararnoana smelter, and megalithic dams including Clyde. It has been steadfastly promoting the Dunedin City Council (DCC) and executive message that such a plant would be 'good' for Dunedin.

In the past when such plants have been 'beaten off by local and national pressure, ODT has claimed to have 'led the way' to see them off the premises, in a self-congratulatory frenzy, But what of the Wen ita Plant?

It is The largest tim ber plant of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. even, Wenita executives admit, than the similar processes carried out by the Kinleith mill. And just as Mayor Richard Walls and his team arc making a bid to have the district plan to make provision for plants such as Wenita to lake over 'Rural '(food-producing) land. The Wenira site at East Taieri, just near Allanton. Presently the land is 'non-complying' for that purpose but the way would be clear for the Taieri to be turned into some kind of South Island version of Lower or even the Ukraine, some say. And who owns Wenita? You 5U""C'V~

It is I OO~;. overseas owned and controlled, Sinotrans, a Chinese SOE owns 45CYQ and the rest is owned by

interests

Wenita owns more forests in

than any other

company, or nearly 2%, ofNew Zealand' total exotic forest in total. Wenita only started buying m 1990, Wen ita and its affiliate ,'_'''''',,,,, the world. Their modus is to move into an area, clean out the forests, then clear out, In their resource con-

sents application for the there is no

for take out Conserva-

tion impacts are a low value. The international con-

ventions on the: emission of gases would be flagged away as some I tonnes of toxic gases and chemicals would be each year as the chewed up in the

% to New Zealand's annual

have tried to

that

I

a two year tact is, that

't matter where it releases it, the tonnes ofOhai coal would

be burned annually. Not good enough to say that Ohai coal The fact is, all sorts of coal emit similar gases and contribute to acid

it's like filter are less

harmful to your health than

which sensitises worse attacks of asthma" respiratory diseases and it is a agent. There are no guidelines for such emissions and no monitoring by the Otago Regional Council. ORC councillor and well known conservationist, Les Cleveland, said that district and city councils seemed to put "job opportunities and the economy" at the top of the heap and the poor old conservation view just had to prove itself Job creation should not be used to allow the environment to be degraded, he said.

The Taieri traditionally produces nearly all of Dunedin's fresh food supply, particularly dairy products. Industry there includes the Fisher & Paykel export award winning whiteware plant (few pollutants released, lots of people employed) and the defunct but now partially operating Fortex meat processing works. Textile manufacture and wool scouring add some pollutants to the area, but nothing of the sheer range and quantity that this vast plant would spew out They would even collar the water supply, Dunedin's water is the worst in New Zealand for quality. The water supply system needs $100 million spent on it Wenita would have the available water. while Taieri residents' water would he restricted.

Whereas '1'U. American-DINned competitor of Wenita) had modified parts of its proposed fibreboard plant because of too many adverse effects on the Wenita executives have shown no interest in

their with their plant for

the Taler! Wenita is on the' of

Richard Walls process through'

How

be for local industry? on 30th June about the

the

9

of which 1.2 million litre" would be it's not good enough for them to for

phorus, nitrates and acid rain. Much of this would in the inversion layer, which is a frequent weather "''',",;;,~YL enon 011 the Taieri, Nelson's similar but much smaller plant is spreading a fine white film over the surrounding countryside and hills. Property values would drop. When the company would at last move out, the land used, plus a lot of surrounding land would be ruined forever.

There would be 56 vents including five nearly J 00 ft in height belching pollutant gases and chemicals into the air. The Taieri's inversion layer problems are if not worse than Christchurch's. 'The noise would be frightful, right next to schools and residential areas. Huge trucks would arrive from 7 in the morning until 10 at one approximately every minute. The plant would operate hours a day all year round. The area is flood prone, thus floods would disrupt and spread the drainage of pollutants. Being highly automated, the plant would employ, initially, about 40 people. Mostly skilled people from outside, not locals. Whole hillsides would be bulldozed for timber stacking areas and a huge effluent pond would be created.

The Resource Management Act requires that the people of an area which a non-complying activity is mooted, must be consulted and must be in agreement, before consents are granted. There has been virtually no consultation with the 20,000 people affected on the Taieri. Mayor Walls is on record as saying such consultation is not necessary .. Once more the 'goodwill' of the Dee is expected to overcome

Call to

The Government should dump its centro-

versial Investment Amendment

Bill instead of rernov

obnoxious clause, says Foreign Control of Aotearoa Murray Horton.

The Minister of the agreement of the

lition partners to controversial clause ties for disclosure of in dropped.

Mr Horton said elected coalition and hinged on "Draconian" penalties for disclosu

the clause, people information on

deals could have been. 1

"Merely dropping the most obnoxious

clause while with the

rest of the bill is tl ie the

would also be made to

of rural land to

asised that the bill dealt takeover" of

New not just land sales. Land sales

had accounted for million out of

$5,6 billion in sales the Over

seas Investment Commission in 100,1. The nil!

waste,

love to

timber from consu ltants to

The DeC and the

hear the for

out the 'vested interests' in this process ofthe Council have been rebuffed by the Dee and Walls. There is no democracy

A II from the would go back to the horne-

lands of the owners. It is not good enough to that

investment like this is necessary because ofthe high priced and high quality technology This is true. only to a point. In the early 1970' s the NZ Government began buying in outdated telecommunications equipment from Japan for its Post and Telegraph department, on a barter deal for NZ lamb. They lost out heavily when they had to junk all ofthis gear just a few years later and get up-to-date equipment. However, the plant Wenita propose building itself, quite out-of-date. Newer technology in timber processing does not need belching chimneys and huge amounts of noise and pollution. Modem laminating plants are possible now. To destroy local communities and their resources with this kind of technology is to condemn the Taieri and NZ to a third world status. The prime business motivation of Wen ita, like many such companies which exploit the Third World, mostly with World Bank loans, is to "rip in, rip off, rip out". We don't need that kind of plant here.

Opposition to this

headed bv

Plain Sense

c/- Taieri Plain Environmental Society Inc, Box 259,

Mosgiel:

Press,

to both the

WATCHDOG

1

o

1994 statistics

- Bm Rosenberg

We interTupt this message '"

Shortly after this article was written, based on Overseas Investment Commission data released in June, CAFCA received a further release from the OIC entitled "Overseas Investment Commission releases revised 1994 figures". This reduced the total approvals for 1994 by exactly $493 million to $5.1 billion, and rural land sales from 72,507 hectares to 58,650 hectares, but in value only from $353.2 million to $351.3 million,

The OIC does not tell us where those reductions came from, or why. Through a little detective work we deduce that the $493 million was a May 1994 restructuring in which Westpac Group Investment NZ- Ltd bought Westpac Holdings -NZ- Ltd for $493 million. The rural land sale revisions appear to be the deletion of two transactions. The first is the December 1994 sale of the pastoral lease of the historic 13,573 hectare Canterbury high country Erewhon Station for $1,700,000 Its new owners, a New Zealander and an Australian, told the OlC they would reside on the property. The second is the July 1994 purchase by Canadian-owned ForEstate Gisborne Management Ltd, of a forestry right over 286 hectares of land in Ngakaroa Road, Gisborne, for $257,000,

We can only speculate over why these reductions were made, but the following circumstances lead us to believe a mixture of political meddling to mollify the public, and unprofessional handling of the statistics are involved:

.. This exercise has not been carried out in previous years, and there has been no attempt to revise previous years' figures.

G Yet the Ole, quite improperly and unprofessionally, publicly compares this year's revised figures with unrevised figures from previous years,

® If the revision had the purpose of providing the public with more accurate data, the orc would also have included an estimate of land sales that escape or evade its oversight: for example, those that take place through the sale of the likes of Carter Holt Harveys to overseas owners (in CHI·I's case over 300,000 hectares owned and managed). Instead its revisions included only reductions in sales.

III The Ole in the same release also gives a statistical "four year overview" of its activities. Here, it such

statistics as the percentage of forested land and farmland which became overseas owned in each of the years. These, expectedly, are tiny figures: in 1994 around 0.2% of land, around 3,6% of farm sales. Yet it gives no

similar figures for the percentage of all new investment that is foreign investment. In tenus that

would be a hundred times as big. Why such a choice of statistics?

., There also has been no attempt to correct obvious mistakes in the figures previously released, We note below a number of errors in 1993 and 1994 figures. The new release fails to correct these and in fact introduces at least one new error the value of the various land "activities" does not add to the total published. Neither does the reduction in the value of overall investment take account of the reduction they claim in land sales,

We do not question the value of revising statistics as new information comes to hand. But these revisions fall into the category of "lies, damn lies, and statistics". Unless the OIC provides us with further evidence, we believe their

original figures below) are, read with the warnings that we faithfully reprint, the most valid comparison to

make with previous years.

Sale of land to overseas owners was one ofthe fastest growing areas of overseas investment in 1994 according to statistics released by the Overseas Investment Commission in June. Sales of land by the orc increased in value

from $138.5 million in 1993 to .2 million -

increase - in 1994. In area the sales increased from

hectares to 72,507 hectares (a 48% and in number

of sales the increase was from 114 to 164 (44%).

In contrast. the value of all overseas investment approved

the ole fell for the first time since when such sta-

tistics were first Ole. In 1994

but in years it

three years respectively. The values are still very high, and

11

how small a proportion of the sales are land sales

the most

attention

As the OIC statistics must read with care: they

record the to the Commission, The OIC notes

that include transactions which

..

.. are in case", to allow a on a financing ar~

rangement to be claimed in case of default claiming

an asset should the owner fail to repay a

.. are the transfer of assets from one overseas owner to an-

other or a corporate from one subsidiary of

an overseas owned company to another'

are joint venture arrangements with have up to a 75% Aotearoa share, but the OIC records the full value of the transaction as being overseas

.. involve overseas people who dents of Aotearoa.

become resi-

These increase the totals without necessarily changing the real level of overseas investment in changing it to the stated. The OIC states that when they removed "some but not all" of the above types of transactions from the 362 transactions in 1994, 264 were left, involving $2.4 billion.

On the other hand, these statistics do not include overseas investment transactions that result in the investor owning less than 25% interest, or are less than $10 million.

We can also report, without any surprise, that no applications for investment were declined by the OIC in 1994. That makes four applications refused by the OIC out of 7, I 00 since 1987.

Land sales

land usage, the most significant increases compared to 1993 were:

.. forestry hectares to

million 1.0 $136.9 million and 25,356 and this does not include

ship of Carter Holt residential subdivision and 70 hectares to

and 294

million and 58

the hectares sold reduced from 14,838 hectares

Though the U.S.A. and U.K. remain at the

time Australia out of the six. the num-

ber of hectares Australian residents increased many

times: from 2,159 hectares to 16,41 I hectares. The other seven countries listed had the increases in dol-

lar terms over the most notable increases being the

U.S.A. (from million to $] 6. I million and hect-

ares to 24,448 hectares) and to which there had been

no land sales since 1991. The most were

Hong Kong ($15.4 million to $5.5 hect-

ares to 1,002 hectares) and Indonesia 14,000 hectares to

By region, the highest sales value were:

• Auckland ($102.9 million,

• Gisborne/Hawkes

• Nelson/Marlborough ($41 7

• Canterbury ($33.8 million, i

• Northland ($32.1 million,

Otago (7,453 and Southland

also important by area, though not so much million and $2.8 million

While the amount at $5.6 billion, it still enormous,

billion total gross fixed formation for "market pro-

the year ended

as a useful measure

Looking at the investment the variation between takeovers. To the

driven that so many New sales sold,

12

million to $74.6 $53.3 million); Amusement/Entertainment ($40.1 million to

million);

81 Health (nil to $207

81 (nil to $20 million);

The most significant decreases over 1993 were:

81 Communication and Telecommunication ($J,885.0

million to $126.1 million);

81 Banks ($327.0 million to $198.3 million);

11\1 ($3,034.5 million to $384.3 million)

II Print media ($484 million to nil);

II Meta! ore ($241.7 million to $61.9 million);

.. Commercial construction ($86.3 million to $28.5 million);

II Commercial leasing ($1,7 J 4.5 million to $1,193.3 million);

11\1 Transport ($748.3 million to $20.2 million);

II Wholesale and Retail Trade ($581.2 million to $340.0 million).

By origin of investment, the top sources were familiar:

II Australia ($2,028.5 million); " Hong Kong ($928.4 million); • U.S.A. ($652.5 million).

" 11\1

The difference is that

and

has

risen from fifth.

of statistics for

all investment: takeovers companies, and

"asset and business commencements"

(essentially, new This year it has amalgamated

the two, but still separate statistics for the subset of

applications involving land. Readers will notice an apparent sudden drop offin applications between 1989 and 1990. That is not because the government suddenly started to take a hard line on foreign investors: on the contrary, it is simply because the rules were loosened in 1989. From that date, the threshold at which the permission of the Commission was required (for other than rural land and fishing) was

raised from $2 million $10 million.

[Note: Some ofthe 1993 totals are inconsistent. They are as supplied by the OIC Some of the 1994 figures were also internally inconsistent, have been reconciled as far as is possible with the data supplied by the Ole.]

13

verseas nvestment ipprova s lY ountrv 0 ngm - t
_._--
1991 1992 1993 {994
Num. S Num. Num, $ Num. -_._--
Country s s
L~ustralia 74 NA 124 3,479,336,322 ._~9 ) )~O 1.1; 004 52 2,028.411.0 ?)(R
[Brunei 0 NA 0 0 4 30,405,.100 0 0
--1-- -.~-~- '--7 ---it; ~--------
Canada 5 NA 5 23,800,000 _._!2.,!§2,5 09, ~~_5 _. 435,2 D,212
China 7 NA 0 0 I 0 5 176,333,112
,._---_ .. ----~.- ----- ----_.-----_.- _._----- -~-~.--,~.,-.~ .. ~-. "0
g~nmark 0 NA 1 1,88~~ 0 (l 0
Finland 0 NA 2 I,06S,576 0 0 0 ··--------0
iFranZe----·---- --- --------:-
8 NA 2 20,OOO,O()O 2 22,100,000 2 141,966,000
--~- iP fnR fl7'
Germany 6 NA 7 ___ .21,422,001 9 J 4,905, 100 6
.-- -- 12 --~
Ihmg!~ ___ ~ __ NA 1---_ 1 150,O()O,OOO 29 516,905,100 41 928,382,125
1------ ~-.- 3,119,460 , ___ .. 0
Indonesia II 1-- .. _--- ~~ :l ___ 2,614,488 3 0
r---'- ---0
[Ireland 0 NA 0 0 i 1 ,Of· flOO -----.,~
Ilt~ly_ 0 I-------'NA --~-O 0 - I. I rsn 000 I _ 405,000
[Japan 43 NA 42 439,526,531 27 172,064,707 20 89,61_9~
[Korea I NA 0 . .2 0 0 2~ ,- ____ 190,080
[Malaysia NA -_. 27,925,598
5 3 7,816,000 10 I02,148,i06
[Netherlands .~~-. NA '---2 -- --t,"32S ,000 ---- 3 Ii 41i'l DOO 3 21,319,000
II
[Netherlands Antilles 1 NA 0 0 O. 0 0 0
---3 r-- ---- .. 85(),OOO ----7 J 5 :000 -~--- '--~:C04()'OOO
[New Caledonia NA I 2 2
-- NA ---~ _._----
New Zealand 11 5 170,097,000 --_9. 0 !J 197 ,47 non
'Norway --------.--.-~
~ NA 0 0 () 0 () 0
"-
.. - - .. -- .. ---~----
Panama I NA 0 () (J 0 0 ()
c:,--------- ---0 -----~ 1------ --.~-----"-"~-.----- 1 ---- .. 300,"000 --'() , .... - .... __ .. Cl
~;~~;u~y () 0
0 NA '-0 -- 0 3 5,700,000 2 248,000
~--,------~-,. I----~ .. ----
Saudi Arabia 0 NA 0 o 1---4~ 16,400,000 0 ()
- 161 ,OO2~507 534,il19,20J -- _2il 415,522,721
"'"'l5al""C 19 Nil. 21
Switzerland <) NA 9 60,(140,000 8 43,740,250 6 2,439,500
.---- - I --
Tahiti _3. NA I--_(l 0 1 300,000 385,000
-------:,-:= f------8,'850,ioo ~--- 16 "-'5 --_.
Taiwan 5 NA 4 74,260,9J_4 15,831,500
NA 1--- I (i --
Thailand 0 ... IIS,OOO .. ___ 2 1 7,000.,000
_!J_lli !('l(I_K i nzdorn 1--50 NA 55 1,546,384,129 44 489,283.982 37 266,228,604
U~,it~Al States 49 NA 54 628,678,519 . 85 3,728,830,614 83 652,538,465
_:yanuatu 0 NA 0 l~ f==0 () 1 8S0,OOO
--0 ~---- .. --
Western Samoa () NA I 0 0 0
Tiltl'll 335 6300,339134 343 6,739,807,1114 3112 9_dllll..1<"<;. I 25 362 5,567,120,323
"- o

I

A

I IJ C

co .. )991 ~9M

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Most

Most New Zealanders have been to Singapore, usually on the way to somewhere else. Once exclusively seen as a recruitment lure for the New Zealand Army, it's now the safe and clean part of suitable for Mum and Dad to visit Put on your fluorescent shirt, do a bit of shopping, visit the custom built sanitised Bugis Street (a Disneyland version of it red light district), have breakfast with the orangutan, remember not to spit on the street, take the cable car to Sentosa Island and try not to think about it being the place of exile of the longest serving political prisoner as you take the monorail to the tourist attractions. It's the Asian holiday you have when you don't want to go to Asia. Even better, if s so compact you can see it in an afternoon and still be back at your airconditioned hotel in time for tea.

Singapore bills itself as the most surprising tropical island on Earth. But it's not merely content to wait for New Zealand to come to it Singaporean investment is coming to New Zealand, in the hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

In J 994 it was the fifth biggest foreign investor, according to the annual statistics of the Overseas Investment Commission. The OIC approved 28 Singaporean applications, total-

$415 million (down from the 45 applications totalling million in 1993) It was outranked by Australia, Hong

Kong, the and Canada,

There is one characteristic that distinguishes investment from all others ~ the role of the State. No nonsense about market forces in what is a rather nasty little place, controlled one party capitalist dictatorship. The State is itself a direct foreign investor. How many New Zealanders know that the biggest share-

holder our very own transnational predator, is

the Government? It holds 11.4% through two

investment arms - Minister for Finance Inc and Ternasek

Nor is this isolated case. In August 1993 the Ole ap-

ses New Zealand Ltd over Cornputerland

New Zealand Ltd for $1 1,1 million. SCS 80'% owned controlled by of Defence, The parent company,

is that country's shipbuilding through

to aerospace. active in Hong lndone-

Australia and Burma. It holds the Computerl.and

master franchise or in Singapore,

Australia, Hong and China, The poor old NZ Ministry

of Defence isn't even in the same league - to the brasshats in the Stout Street Kremlin, "export drive" only means to send

to Bosnia.

In November 1994 the ore approved a Govern-

ment group, Venture Pte Ltd,

buying 20% of American owned Bellsouth New Zealand.

The was there is Singaporean con-

nection to those chauvinistic Walter Little/Waltz

A Little ads (the ones that find humour in the idea of Australian rugby players dancing with each other). And this economic imperialism is endorsed at the highest level of the Singaporean Government ~ in November 1994 the Prime Minister, Goh Chok Tong, personally signed a deal with Jim Bolger whilst here on a State visit This involved the sale of over 200 hectares of Landcorp farmland at Taupo to Pidemeo Land owned by the Singapore Government, for $4.5 million. Pidernco announced that it plans to build a resort, complete with hotel and the course that is de rigueur for Asian investors buying NZ rural land. This particular sale caused enormous uproar, with both the local Ngati Tuwharetoa people and the A lliance criticising it. Bolger and Goh signed the deal in November - the Ole didn't approve it until December (so not only is it a rubberstamp but a retrospective one as well). Goh used his visit here to state that New Zealand needs more Asian investment.

Private sector investment here is concentrated in tourism, and one Singaporean company COL Hotels

International, now the hotel owner in New

Zealand. Incorporated in the Islands tax haven and

based in the shareholder is Devel-

including ho-

in the Philippines,

Kong and London. eDt first showed up in the Ole'

monthly decision sheets 1992 when it was approved

to take over the notorious Euro-Natjoual merchant

one of the names to remember from the 1980s casino capi-

talism that so New Zealand. From this transaction

CDL acquired the COL planned to use it as a

shell for Australia and New Zealand.

In June

the

which in New Zealand owns

six ment or franchise contracts cash and the issue

The

On a 1993 visit to

director Vincent

19

Yeo said:

"Overseas investors can buy an hotel and have

an immediate cashflow, There have to

or mvestors 'Ill/iii continue to look at costs and room rates here, and they will build their new hotels overseas. There are no white knights to build hotels" (Press, 6/ll/93).

This is the clearest possible illustration ofthe difference between "takeover" and "investment"

CDL has not stood still since becoming the biggest hotelier in the country. In November 1993 it bought Auckland City Travelodge for "approximately $10 million". COL has a clearly stated aim of becoming the biggest hotelier in the Pacific Basin. To further this goal it bought Kingsgate International's two Australian assets (including the Hyatt Kingsgate hotel in Sydney) for $86 million, in April 1994 (Kingsgate was already owned by Singaporeans), In June 1994 it bought 49% of Waitangi Resort Hotel for $13.1 million, from the controversy plagued Tai Tokerau Corporation. COL also announced it was breaking its mould and spending $32 million to actually build a new hotel, in Queenstown, due to open in late 1995,

eDL moved into the big time of purchasing an SOE in October 1994, when it bought Landcorp Property Ltd and LandcorpProperty Holdings Ltd, for $15.1 million, from the Government It became the owner of 47 separate land development projects, comprising 1.,423 ha. There were holdings in all four main centres, with others in Kaitaia, Tauranga, Taupo, Arthurs Pass, Hawea, Luggate and Cromwell. The purchase was done through Kupe Group, which has now changed its name to COL Investments New Zealand. Landcorp had 18 offices around the country offering valuation and real estate services. It had been established as an SOE to manage prop erty belonging to departments, Its 1994 book value was $20.5 a publicly owned asset was sold And once again f'.nr·r"lnT"ti privatisation. Winston Peters criticised it

land to interests by

had already onsold 200 hectares.

Several of the Landcorp blocks sold wen: in Hanmer (North Canterbury) and this attracted the most ferocious local criticism from the Hurunui District which bad been negotiating with Landcorp about the land tober 1994, The Council wanted the land for

open

space" walkways, horse course. But all to no avail- COl, a tourist development in

a

announced that it

within five years.

the red . Bruce

control the development of Hanmer have to the local township, the school ambulance?" Chaffey made an of the Council's submission opposing the Overseas Investment

Amendment Bill to Parliament's Committee:

Production Select

a

nations of the we must ensure that the essential element that is desired by all peoples to their nationhood (land) is not sold by land whores to the highest bidder" (ibid).

In COL was in the firing line again for paying $5 million for 26 ha Corporation land on Auckland; s Te Atatu peninsula, The land was described as suitable for 200 residential sections. Chris Carter, Labour MP for Te Atatu, said: "The Government should be building housing for ordinary New Zealand families on this land - as was its original intention - not selling it off to the highest bidder" (Dominion, 17/5/95),

COL is the biggest Singaporean-owned hotel investor in New Zealand, but by no means the only one, In October 1991 Mayview Holdings, which included Singaporean interests, bought the THC Queenstown for an amount suppressed the OIC. In June 1992 Hind Hotels International Ltd of Singapore bought the Central Office Park Ltd in Penrose, Auckland, for $38 million, In the space of a few months in mid 1993 Hotel Grand Central Ltd of Singapore bought Plimmer City Centre, central Wellington (which includes the Quality Hotel Plimmer Towers), the DB Tower in Auckland and the Central Tower and Cashel Street Car Parking Building, in central Christchurch (now the Centre Tower), for a total of approximately $32 million. It has built a hotel on the latter site. In July 1995 it bought Wellington's landmark James Cook Centra Hotel for $37.5 million. then its New Zealand also included Wellington's Lambton Wang House and the Grand Centre, and Christchurch's Reserve Bank Building,

Grand Central owns 16 hotels Singapore and

and three in Australia.

In October 1993 Auckland's Raffles NZ Ltd of followed the

Hotel was sold to

the Auckland

Councils, It has since been renamed the which is the name of a worldwide chain of hotels

In October 1994 the OlC Hotel

I million.

Ltd.

Resorts Ltd of

Lakeland Hotel in in October

Investments Ltd the HOlJ§'"

in Christchurch's Cathedral

House and the Old Government

Between them cost $26 million and will be

known as the Christchurch

complex. The are the Pacific

are connected with

new Pacific Hotel Man-

The latter plans to have 1,000 beds under its management by I aimed at the Asian market The local partner is Colin Reynolds, one of the best known of the highfliers who crashed in the 1987 sharernarket meltdown. The same joint venture also bought, for $27 million, a Queenstown block to develop into the Greenstone Lodge.

The other big area of Singaporean investment in New Zealand is commercial property. In September 1991 the OIC approved Albizia Investments Ltd buying 50 Anzac Avenue, Auckland, from the bankrupt Chase Corporation, for a suppressed sum. In January 1993 Long Chuan Properties Ltd paid $10 million for Park Tower, 2 Kitchener Street, Auckland. The owners have a property portfolio in Singapore, Hong Kong and China. A month later, Assobuild Properties Ltd, paid $15 million to buy both the Bush 11m Tavern and the Bush Inn Shopping Centre, in Christchurch. In August 1993 Singaporeans bought the Mid City Centre, Manners Street, Wellington, for $16.5 million; and in September, BP House, Wellington, for $21.2 million. In October 1993, Sintau Ltd bought the Hong Kong Bank House, 290 Queen Street, Auckland, for an amount suppressed by the me. In December 1993 Singaporeans bought Mayfair House, 44 The Terrace, Wellington, for $22.1 million.

In January 1992 Newmarket New Zealand Ltd of Singapore bought a shopping centre at 277 Broadway, Auckland. The "benefit" was suppressed by the Ole. The same company bought the KPMG Peat Marwick Centre, 9 Princes Street and 102-112 Symonds Street, both in Auckland, in July 1993, The prices were suppressed but it was later revealed that $17.5 million was paid for the latter, In October i 993 it bought Hunters Plaza Shopping Papatoetoe, for yet another suppressed amount

Stanley and Freddie Tan are two of the biggest Singaporean owners of central business commercial property. In partnership with New Zealander George Horsburgh, their Pacific

Ltd owns a whole swag of subsidiary companies.

Stanley Tan is a shot - he publishes upmarket lifestyle

magazines in plus has interests in commercial

property, food and paper products. Horsburgh is a former High Commissioner to Singapore, who then set up a merchant bank in Singaporean investment here. One

New Zealand. owns $150 million worth

industrial and retail property. For example, in November 1993 it paid $23.6 million to buy Auckland's State Insurance Building in May 1994, $11.6 million for Auckland's CML Building.

In October 1993 it bought out Dallon Corporation Ltd, another commercial property firm, for $9.7 7.2 million NZ Land shares. In April 1994 Pacific Group paid $4 million to out the majority Singaporean owner of The Habitat Group, yet another commercial property firm. It undertook a very significant merger in November t 994,

Having consummated the merger, Pacific $56.2 million reorganising its interests into trusts, which are not covered by the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill, The Auckland Council out this in its submission on the Bill,

Messrs Tan and of the Pacific

feature among the listed owners

Trust which the

Christchurch and Queenstown properties in March 1995 (see above) for conversion into hotel/apartment complexes. And the Tan Family New Zealand Trust is handling their per-

sonal investments as well. In 1995 the OlC approved

them buying the Russell and for

$700,000. They plan to sell the venture on the freehold land.

Singaporeans feature as investors in sectors other than hotels and commercial property. At least one speculator, Mohan Mulani, has cropped up all over the as a corporate gadfly in recent years. In August l. 991 the Mulani family company, Transco Investments Pte Ltd, Ole approval to increase its shareholding in Salmond Smith Biolab Ltd up to 35%. Mohan Mulani next appeared in October 1993, gaining OlC approval, to buy a further 50% of Property Link Holdings Ltd, fix $2.8 million. This purchase

was handled by his Panoramic Island Ltd,

erty Link, Mulani's property investment subsidiary in

was renamed TIH~ Habitat in i sold to the Tans' Pacific Group fix $4 million. Mulani had moved on ~ in March I he took a 75';1" interest in the

independent Canter Roller F!OlJf Mills

Transco (a deal under $10 million and therefore not

ing OIC It was the smallest company

listed on the Stock December 994 it had

as a and been renamed Roller Fashion Co.

family

a

In March

took

sance which

a capitalisation of about OIC, "operates a wide puter industry and other

The was $14

Also in March

was announced

a

Singaporean retail group, was for $ j 6.S million.

step in a planned expansion into South East Asian Lion believes that Singapore's suburbs are Leeming style of selling. Analysts it with one saying that home appliance retail stores are a "dime a dozen" in Asia.

Compared to its neighbour is not a big

buyer of rural land here. In spent $52.8

million buying 10,000 ha (of which the great bulk would involve Malaysian forestry company Ernslaw One). Singaporeans, by contrast, spent $16.4 million to buy 2,000 ha, And that was Singapore's biggest year in the field ofNZ rural land

The Asian penchant for golf is clearly illustrated in Singaporean rural purchases. In March 1991 the OIC approved a Singaporean/New Zealand venture Woodlot Farm Ltd buying up land near Queenstown for a golf course. By August! 992 the number of Singaporean companies buying Queenstown land for this reason had doubled .Iims Way Properties Ltd was also in business. By then, Indonesian shareholders had taken a stake in both companies. In June 1992 a Singaporean, Coh Cheng Liang, acquired all the assets, including freehold land, leasehold and seabed licences of the Gulf Harbour group (in One of his proposed developments was a golf course.

Singaporeans have been buying rural land for tourism also. In January 1992 the OIC approved a Singaporean/New Zealand joint venture to buy land at Cromarty, southwest Fiordland, to build a tourist The Singaporean partner Wuu was

course was among the features with at church). There is also a smattering of Singaporeans buying farms for a variety of uses, ranging from deer farming, to breeding thoroughbred horses, and growing kiwifruit.

Definitely the most controversial tourism

scheme involves Riverstone Holdings a Singaporean/

New Zealand joint venture, announced in October 1994. This

studies for the "Milford

Chain", the central feature of which would be a

$120 million monorail Lake and the road

into Milford Sound. it would be capable of trans-

600 passengers each way per day. This is

sort of that the environmental movement

wishes to prevent What may be appropriate on Sentosa Island in Harbour is utterly for Fiordland.

are not entirely unrepresented in the foreign takeover of New Zealand forests. In July 1993 Agroforestry (NZ) Ltd bought a 557 ha property at Mangam uka, Far North, for $4 million. In October 1993 it bought a further block at AW311lui. In April 1994, Agroforestry was bought by the splendidly named Fortknox Investments Ltd (actually owned by the Provincial Government of Gwangdong, China) for $508 million 0 In July 1994, Fortknox also bought the Mangamuka forestry block, for $5.8 million (Singaporeans retain a 25% shareholding in both). So, in the space of little more than a year, the Singaporean owners of Agroforestry made a capital gain of $108 million. In September 1993, Excella Ltd, a Singaporean/ Indonesian joint venture, bought timber cutting rights to 75 ha of West Coast land and 47 ha of Canterbury land, for a price suppressed by the Ole.

There are Singaporean connections to a number of other companies which loom large in New Zealand business. Habacus Pte Ltd, one of the holding companies of Ems law One, a major owner of forests, is based in Singapore. But Ernslaw and all its myriad sister companies in New Zealand are very much Malaysian-owned, by the Tiong family of Sarawak, whose flagship is Rimbunan Hijau, the notorious destroyer of tropical rainforests. Griffin and Sons, the biscuit maker, was sold from American ownership in 1990 to a French/Singaporean joint venture, Britannia Brands Pte Ltd. Think about that next time you're dunking your gingernut, And next time cracking a DB, bear in mind that as from J 993 it has been owned Asia Pacific Brew-

which IS

venture between Heineken of Holland

and Fraser ami Neave Ltd of Singapore (but Heineken is very much the dominant partner, with outright control of DB)

<"."".",.",.. transnationals dominate the hotel industry in New Zealand and are very big in central business district commercial property in the big cities. The direct ownership role of the Singaporean Government in a number of key "'''U!J'U.HI'''' here is unique feature of Singaporean investment. Singaporeans, both State and private sector, are very recent arrivals amongst our new colonisers but among the biggest and most important. As be watched closely,

Ron Smith died of cancer in June

1995. 74 77

cernber ! 9(4) ran my review of his

self published autobiography "Working Class Son:

Against Capitalism And War. Memoil's of Ron Smith. A New Zealand

Communist" Getting the book fin-

ished and published was a race

against mortality once he was told

he had terminal cancer, with only a

few months to go. I learned of his

illness from the same October 1994

letter that asked me to review the

book in time for Christmas, The

only problem was that there was no

book at that stage - I actually re-

viewed it from a photocopied manuscript. I had no idea what the actual hook looked like until months later. The dcdica .. tion that Ron wrote inside my copy showed his keen sense of humour be took one of my phrases and used it to describe himself, as "one grey suited the CPNZ"

Ron Smith was a communist socialist or any other form ofvist" and bloody proud of it

not a

"Well, I had chosen my target ~o communism. the elimination of of man by man, the socialisation of the means of production, the wars, the equality of men and women and peoples and I was sticking to it"

He was active member of the Communist

Zealand (now the Socialist Workers

the of the entire

and "The lnternationale"

Ron grew from the Wellington to become a

never abandoned his class or his

ing in itself as the lowly clerk l'r·"",u,c

annual income tax bill on

year he was out by one fleer of the Statistics

the man who in the 1 940s

of total control. He re ..

tired before the public service was

Throughout this whole

time he was a profile com-

peace activist and PSA activist. Working life was never dull

of New

Ron was a lifelong peace activist. He ended up in the Waiouru cells when conscripted for the "impelist" WWII His attitude when Hitler invaded the Soviet Union and he finished the

war as an A ir Force volunteer,

firsthand the devastation of carpetbombed Germany. 1\ ncr his retirement from the workforce he became a fulltime peace movement worker and a familiar public figure in He never lacked personal courage. He was a Communist Party candidate throughout the coldest days of the Cold War; he was physically battered by a question at

National's 987 election Leader's (providing the classic

he chained himself to machin-

the spybase and was arrested; he was

arrested twice at a the US facility at Nurrungar,

I) were among those who spent a physiconfronting the loud defenders. He lasted better than me .. He was relentless in quest of material for his Access Radioo the Gl haghooker. Ron was never did so with the utmost good

tion.

peace activist that Ron was best known to

and the Anti Bases He was involved

were up a petiorgan ised march several hundred solved the problem

a

the nuclear free campaign, the frig-

SIX on peace movement

in the front line from the to

tralia,

Ron was a CAFCA member and generous a fault in the space of a mere two years, he donated $675 to the CA rCA! ARC Account which me donated $100 when we appealed for funds to pay Moami Cole's

Harewood another $100 to make Leonor Briones'

tour Dying did not dim Ron's . he

was so angered by Watchdog reportage Suhartos

buying Lilybank Station in the Mackenzie for the

exclusive use of the filthy rich that he wrote that

we organise another Mount John type demo. He apologised

that his health would prevent him an active

up until his death he was active in peace

Wellington, the last one the

"

h

u

irport"

his book (Jut was a in any

terminal cancer Four not viable". More fool them. It not the academic render-

It comes with a ful-

Vincent O'Sullivan who described Ron as a man who was "so so about so much that is now central to what most of us believe". "Work-

Class Son" stands as the permanent record of a man who was still able to face himself squarely in the mirror and say "I did my bit". That bit makes quite a

in the same movement for quarter of a century, ! only came to know Ron from the late 1980s onwards. We became friends. I hadn't seen him since 1993 but we

in touch by letter and I always rang him when in Wellington. I'll miss him - he was a livewire, a very likeable man, with great sense of humour and humanity. He is an enormous loss to Carmen, his children and grandchildren, to his manifold friends in Wellington and throughout New Zealand. Most of all, he is a great loss to the movement in this country People like Ron are all too rare.

I

rch

The Anti Bases Campaign has "'U''''''''"'U tic and made its own video (for a

get of $500), utilising local filmmaker

Sam Miller. Sam's staged his own youthful

the US military presence

Harewood by an aircraft on the tarmac

literal

1995 marks the 40th anniver-

stars the Dr Bob I .eonard

of the

nuclear free law - those the same "neither confirm nor

US warships here in over

n arewood

The video also features historic footage from Vanguard Films' "Islands of the Empire", and chronicles protests against the base going back over 20 years- there is footage from demos in the 70s, 80s and 90s. The action highlight of the film is Moana Cole and Claron O'Reilly (no relation to Tony) being arrested ins ide the base on Hiroshima Day 1994 .. If the cops thought that Moana in the back seat oftheir

car would shut her up, had

another think coming - she just wound down the window and kept

on the

of Moana.

as predicted in Watchdog 78, the Australian Government lifted its ban on her homeland and she has returned bananas. We

" can be boughtfrom the ABC

lYlI:1U,'1!r,'F U'''''[H't;}. Send and orders to:

Christchurcb,

..

I

as predicted, Telecom declared a record $620 mil-

lion profit for the year March I Ameri-

can shareholders have done very well

has paid out no less than 70%

For the latest year, it bumped that up to a

That's several hundred million dollars for the US from one transnational rnrn,,,,,tir,n

injust one year. Analysts are the super

continue, picking an increase to $805 million by 1997.

Alliance leader Jim Anderton decried the latest life. He pointed out that, from just this latest annual

chief executive Dr Rod Deane received $202,000 from his and directors David Richwhite and Alan Gibbs made $7.6 million and 12.7 million respectively.

"Unlike development-oriented Telecom is not accumulating capital. Its fixed assets have fallen from $3.909 million in 1992 to million in 1995 .. .In effect Telecom is a rnassive ing' operation on the "information to make super profits for its shareholders. It is not build-

ing New Zealand's assets, it is them"

13/5/95).

While profits soar for the American owners, Telecom can ... tinues to sack thousands of New Zealand workers. When it was created as an SOE in 1 it Cur-

800
700
600
500
4()O
300
200
lOO
$rlIO
service - management to reduce

have gone since the mass redunannounced in 1993.

When the board the featured on

Telecom had to take on

(remember them? They This meant that

local cails

of inflation. 1995 international telecommunica-

tions conference in John Crook. Telecom's stra-

manager, said this was ironic because "Govern-

was to rely on the market, rather

to the best result for customers" Crook estimated that the local network rep-

$100 million annual loss for Telecom - therefore unattractive to any competitors, who would business market or cellphones (comis so fierce in cellphones that BeliSouth has taken

action the latter had posses-

sion of confidential scripts for BelrSouth' s Walter Little/ Waltz A TV ad several weeks before they aired, and was therefore able to formulate its own instant reply ads,

Michael Other at the conference

called for the Kiwi Share to be scrapped, meaning an end to free local calls - want a slice of a very profitable pie. Some of the other telecommunications TNCs have already

I US giant Sprint Corporation entered

but for international business tolls and

in Auckland.

250

200

150

100

so

$rnO

1993 1994 1995 CEU.IJI.AR CONNECTIONS

MlScelianeous

The Poor Are Always With

But never let it be said that Telecom doesn't have a heart.

A long with its record it announced that it will

line rentals to 20,000 of the fami-

lies. There are, however, all sorts of strings attached

ing eligibility and there will be it mandatory tollbar on all those lines. The shiftless poor might start taking advantage of the nonstop TV ads urging them to make toll calls. While Labour's communications spokesman. Graham Kelly, welcomed the announcement parts of his Porirua electorate, only 40% of households have phones versus a 93% national average), lim Anderton was scathing. He called it an

"absolutely appalling and patronising publicity stunt..a cynical ploy to divert atrention.i.Here is a corporate assisting New Zealand to become a Third World country by taking profits overseas saying that they are helping the poor. .. New Zealanders who are classed as the deserving poor are now allowed to have a telephone for six months, maybe even a year, ifthey behave themselves. This is the brave new world of an American corporate helping out poor New Zealanders, It patronising and paternalistic ... " (Press, I

Sky's The limit

Telecom doesn't like to confine itself to boring old downmarket telephones. It's getting into all sorts of other businesses. In July 1995, it announced that it had bought a 25% stake in Sky Network Television, for an undisclosed sum (but Rod Deane said it was well short of the $175 million speculated by some analysts). The deal was all in the family - Telecom bought the Sky stake from Ameritech and Bell Atlantic, which are the major American shareholders in

Telecom. Deane sees a future for Telecom in cable TV, which

is still at a and the purchase is

connected to that. Telecom is into pay running

scheme with 7 channels to 540 homes in Pakuranga Auckland. American John Clark, with a background in IJS cable has been appointed managing director of the v ideo and information services unit. It plans further moves into broadband interactive and information services.

Service. What Service?

Telecom has become sufficient of a villain that even the Establishment media are having a go at it The New Zealand Herald ran a major critical feature (20/5/95, "OffLine", Jane Phare). She summed up public frustration very succinctly.

"But for the pensioner with a dicky heart and an even dickier phone over Easter, news of the profit produces palpitations. For the small business with fax and phone lines which are out of order for three days, it's downright infuriating" At times like that people remember that Telecom was the company that did away with those jolly red phone boxes; the same company that upped phone booth charges from 20c a call to 20c a minute, forcing users to carry pre-paid and unused $5, $10 and $20 phone cards in their pockets for months; the same company that began charging for local business calls. Just why this hugely profitable company with its popular Saatchi and Saatchi animal and Spot the dog ads is having trouble keeping customers happy is a complex

and emotional issue. People don't like to feel by company which is making pots of money but can't manage to fix their phone the next

day. The most frustrating part is that those customers have no choice; there is no one else to call".

The Herald feature about Telecom'" it doesn't work all that well There have been

several pm;""n'" country's weather"

faults on the rain is not

to convince anyone. More to the the mas,

sive redundancies. combined with an all too American reliance on geewhiz technology, have been

"Telecom's decision to install the best work management fault available .. untried state of the art tech .. nology, has been its downfall. The company's media communications manager, Clive says the corporation pushed the boundaries. We went in with good faith. good expectations. But there is a risk and Murphy's Law struck us'" (ibid).

No mention of redundancies being anything to do with it But remaining staff have had to with an increased workload, untried technology, reduced back up and low morale. Despite being forbidden to talk to the sev-

eral staff did talk to the off the record.

"Staff out in the field are disgruntled. say waves

of redundancies have left remaining staff working hours to clear the backlog of faults caused by

rain. Staff from outside the problem area have to be flown in to help ... Some maintenance staff have been working seven days a week and morale is say. We've never been abused as much customers

as we have in the past six months .. We're not psycholo-

We're not trained to deal with people and calm them down. Some of the businesses who have had

phones and faxes off for four they

don't know how

This dissatisfaction with Telecom service has led to the Government and it under the percentage of residential faults cleared before

the

Rod Deane had no

alternative but to the public and offer

such as a $50 phonecard, to anyone left more than

24 hours. required Telecom to monthly

performance reports, as opposed to the previous six monthly requirement Telecom's service so bad that it has spawned a whole new business lobby group. the Telecommunications Users Association of New to tackle the TNC about its performance.

Coitus Disconnectus

sex lines, ened to into it -

mean the end of

sex lines . devotees can still ring from Moldova,

the

ver-

as

error meant that Telecom missed one ofthe local breathers and it now has the domestic field itself It will continue to do so until Telecom's mandatory six months notice of disconnection IS up.

Cell Phones Are

to Human Cells

A considerably more serious example of transnational malpractice all the phone TNCs, not just Telecom) is the ongoing debate about the dangers of cellphone transmitter sites. It first cropped up in late 1994 when Telecom offered $4.500 to cash starved schools to host transmitter sites in their playgrounds. This was followed by hotly contested plans to locate several transmitters in Christchurch suburbs. In April J 995, an anonymous Telecom Australia employee leaked material to a Federal Senator and an industry magazine, claiming that the telecommunications industry was trying to suppress a major report by the Australian Government's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) which proved adverse and very serious human health problems caused by radiofrequency radiation. The industry was also pushing to have the Standards Association increase allowable maximum radiation exposure levels to five times higher than existing ones and change testing This was not just an Australian issue Philip Burdon, the Minister of Trade Negotiations, announced that New Zealand planned to harmonise our stan .. dards with those of Australia (all part of the GATT/free trade agenda). Neil Cherry, the wellknown Christchurch scientist, publicly warned New Zealanders of the inherent dangers.

"This an example of massive corporates radiating harmful pollution into the environment while ignoring the growing evidence of the harmful effects of'their products. It also points to their influence over the information flow and the standards setting process"

Dr the Christchurch Council not to ap-

prove the transmitter site and said the safe level

for exposure should be reduced by as much as a factor of

,000. He persuaded the Council that its safe level might indeed be too high and decided 10 seek further independent advice. Mayor Vicki Buck said: "I am not prepared to have impact in residential areas where children cannot escape it" how Telecom, BellSouth and co don't mention any of that in their ceaseless cellphone ads

Massive mass

disgruntled customers, a threat to human health ,. all

the hallmarks of a TNC Noth-

ing new about it the Third World.

It's all part of New Zealand Government that have

made our country such a in what has been

so called "the race to the bottom". There's no

winners in this race,

losers.

FO

EI

M

This was submitted to the Christchurch Press In

A Press editorial (22/11194), dealing with the question of foreign investment in New Zealand, dealt with the cost of remitting profits of overseas owned business to our balance of payments and concluded:

"This shows one ofthe disadvantages of overseas ownership of our enterprises and emphasises the critical importance of our trade earnings and the need to monitor closely the movements in the invisibles in our balance of payments".

After the recent sale of Carter Holt Harvey shares to the giant International Paper Company (US) - and before the sale of Fletcher Forestry shares to international investment funds - another Press editorial on the same subject concluded (221 4/95)

"It would be impossible to quarantine New Zealand from the sealanes of international investment. It would also be damaging. A self imposed economic sanction to frighten away the investors would in the end hurt New Zealanders".

While the first statement (22/11194) was based on facts, the second statement comes to conclusions of an over generalised nature,

Unfortunately, not only are facts and figures about foreign investment difficult to come by in summarised form, but when published they refer usually to years in the past. Nevertheless readers may be interested in the most important facts available before conclusions are drawn,

We must distinguish between the "stock" of foreign investment at a point in time and the "flow" into New Zealand each year to buy new stock. The only published comprehensive figure of the "stock" of foreign investment published

Statistics New Zealand is the amount of$29,339,000 (ineluding portfolio investment ie individual shares held by nonas at March 31, 1993 ("New Zealand's International Investment Position 1992/93", Hot OjfThe Press, 211

Since then the total has increased dramatically, In 1993 the "flow" was $4.7 billion. Mr Mckinnon, the Deputy Prime Minister, was reported in the Press (27111/93) to have stated: investment projections for the decade were between and $30 billion" Mr Bolger said (1214/95): "The ratio direct investment in New Zealand as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP) was one of the highest in the OECD". It may be assumed in these circumstances that the value of direct foreign investment in New Zealand is not far from $40 billion at the present moment.

1995. It was

If we add to this more than $60 billion of private and public foreign loan liabilities, we come to a total "stock" ofliabilities in the vicinity of $ J 00 billion.

In terms of the financial burden on our balance of payments, it may be stated without contradiction that it exceeds our ability to pay. In fact, New Zealand borrows every year to pay for the profits on direct investment in New Zealand and on loans incurred by private and public borrowers. How substantial these burdens are, both of the stock of liabilities to non-residents and the outflow of interest and profits, emerges from the fact that in 1993/94 New Zealand's GDP was $80 billion, so that the external ownership of New Zealand assets and New Zealand liabilities to non-residents was 125% ofGDP,

But perhaps a more relevant comparison is that the value of all our exports for 1993/94 was $26,6 billion and that the net foreign investment income outflow was $4.5 billion in that year. The deficit in the balance of payments in that year was $1.6 billion. Had it not been for the outflow of income from foreign investment we would have had a respectable surplus. Between 1984 and 1994 I have calculated that there was an outflow of funds from New Zealand on foreign investment account (which includes loan interest) of $36 billion and that we had balance of payments deficits of $25 billion. That means we could pay only $11 billion of our $36 billion obligations; the balance we had to borrow.

The Press editorial. (22/4/95) repeats the frequently used argument: "As a small country, New Zealand has shortfalls of capital, technology, resources and markets that sometimes foreign investment can provide"

This is a reasonable statement. But when at the question of "shortfall , it must be remembered that the

of profits (potential savings) and allied payments abroad connected with direct foreign investment is a contributing factor to our shortage of capital. Borrowing to pay for these payments merely increases the shortage of capital; but does not relieve it. The law of compound interest sees to that.

Thus foreign investment in New Zealand should not be considered a benefit per se, but should be allowed only if it is clear that the net effect on earning increased foreign exchange from that investment is positive.

In the Carter Holt Harvey and Fletcher Forestry cases it is doubtful whether owners can add which New Zealand ownership could not provide in terms

tal, resources and markets". In the end

ownership a mortgage on future earn-

ings. Earnings may increase under the new owners but so

would

have increased under New Zealand

In considering the local ownership, one argument

"globalisation" of business is against the inevitable. This outlook aspects:

The vast majority of business in New Zealand is small

business. The last figures available !

"Business Activity Statistics J gave the number

of on ly I businesses overseas owned out of 168,500 businesses.

True, it is big business that is more predominantly overseas owned: 35.5% of all workers in manufacturing industries, trade, transport, and business and finance worked in overseas owned firms. And this percentage will undoubtedly have risen since. But may affect unfavourably the great majority of New Zealand workers and businesses. To assume that the minority of overseas owned business will spread any (controversial) benefits to those not so owned is a matter of argument and should be debated.

2 Overseas ownership is of two types: "shallow integration" and "deep integration".

Under previous governments much of our industrialisation relied on overseas firms establishing affiliates in New Zealand. Such affiliates have a degree of autonomy and may act as self contained entities. They may integrate well into the social, economic and trading policies of the Government.

3 Deep integration occurs where the value chain of production is distributed by head office across many countries. For those countries that become part of the system of productive integration the overseas head offices of the transnational corporations owning the firm determine how complete or incomplete, how extended or constricted, productive and activities the

national branches of their business are

to be.

of product demand different forms whether or not foreign investment is desirable from a New Zealand angle must be discussed in every instance.

There are, in other many reasons why foreign investment in New Zealand must be subject to control. It is regrettable that the new Overseas Investment Amendment Bill in its section 6a provides for practically automatic acceptance of all applications exceeding $10 million. Of course, no control exists for establishment of foreign business here worth less than $10 million.

Since this was written, Statistics New Zealand has published thefiguresfor foreign direct investment (ie shareholdings of 25% or more in companies and net borrowing by those com-

paniesfrom investors) for the year ended March

1994. totalled $33. 6 billion ~ compared to $13. 7

billion in 1990 Hence an increase of$20 billion, J50%, in four years. Ed

RRECTION

Peter Conway, national industrial officer of the National Distribution Union, wrote to us (14/6/95) about Wolfgang Rosenberg's article "Foreign Direct Investment In New Zealand", which we published in

Watchdog May 1995.

"On page I in Watchdog 73 you say that Foodland controls K Mart. This is incorrect Coles owns K Mart. Current market shares in the supermarket area are Progressive 26.5'% and Woolworths group 22.5%, so around 49% between them".

u

n's

il

For the of years, Murray Horton has travelled extensively throughout the country delivering a speech entitled "A Beginner's Guide to Foreign Control". He makes sure that it is conrinously updated. But at nearly 30 pages it's far too long for us to consider publishing, even in such a longwinded volume as Watchdog.

So unless you have heard it delivered in person, you are unlikely to see in written form. That's why we have decided to make copies available to members who request them, It covers: the context; foreign control in

Aotearoa; myths about foreign future GATT; and what we can do about it.

N

You can order

CAFCA. Enclose to cover copying and postage.

29

crati

Background

TNCs are responsible in large part for the global environmental crisis and for many social and economic problems resulting from "development" TNCs are the main entities in a development process which involves concentration of economic power and production and which leads to social and political inequities and loss of cultural diversity.

TNCs in oil production, road transport, chlorofluorocarbons production, electricity generation, metals production and agriculture account for roughly 50% of greenhouse gas emissions and virtually all ozone destroying chemicals.

TNCs dominate the trade in natural resources and commodiresulting in depletion or degradation of forests, soils, water and marine resources and biodiversity, through mining, drilling, logging and industrial agriculture.

TNCs dominate the production of most of the world's toxic chemicals resulting in air, water and soil pollution, occupational hazards and unsafe products.

TNCs are the main entities involved in the transfer of environmentally unsound production systems and hazardous materials to the South (Third World). Examples include unsafe pesticides and drugs banned in the country of origin, the relocation of polluting industries, lower safety standards such as those which led to the Bhopal disaster in India, the dumping of radioactive waste in the South Pacific, and the

of wastes to Africa, Latin America and Asia. TNCs exploit weaker health, safety and environmental standards as well as different levels of political freedom in these transfers.

Presently, there is no force - governmental, intergovernmennongovernmental .. which is capable of monitoring or the activities of these large corporations. In fact, recent events show a trend to give more power to TNCs.

The United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development (UNCED - the 1992 Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro) abdicated its responsibility to take measures to control instead promoting TNCs' contribution to "sustainable development" and willingness to regulate themselves. The United Nations has given up trying to develop a Code of Conduct for 'INCs and the Centre on Transnational Corporations has been weakened.

Provisions on trade-related investment measures and intellectual rights (e.g patents and copyright) in The GAIT Uruguay Round Final Act and Agreement establish-

the World Trade Organisation strengthen the power of TNCs vis-a-vis governments, parliaments and the public,

e

III

I

This treaty aims towards democratic regulation ofTNC conduct

TNCs have the duty to respect national respect the health and environmental rights of the public, and refrain from financial, pricing or technological activities that cause socio-economic difficulties to host countries.

International mechanisms should hold TNCs liable for the harmful effects caused by their operations in all countries of operations. Contractual clauses binding TNCs to agreements with host governments and communities should be enforceable in home and host countries.

mcs should be held to the highest environmental, health, safety and labour standards in all countries of operations.

Workers and unions have the right to representation and participation in environmental and health audits. Workers have the right to training; and to negotiate and help control social, economic, health and environmental conditions in North (industrialised countries) and South.

Freedom of information for all citizens, environmental groups, labour unions and governmental agencies, including the names and quantities of chemicals on site; data on emissions; access to waste streams for independent sampling and analysis; and access to environmental assessments and audits, should be guaranteed and take precedence over proprietary information and trade secrets.

Clean production methods and technologies should be used for all new TNC projects. Environmental assessments will determine for a proposed project the use of dean production processes. For existing operations. environmental audits will be the basis for planning a conversion to clean production.

TNes shall not trade in wastes 01' banned products, and shall not transfer obsolete or hazardous technologies.

Workers displaced by conversion to ecologically sound practices should be retrained and compensated by TNCs.

The precautionary approach, which places the burden of proof of no harm on the potential polluter rather than on the environment or potential victims, should govern TNC practices.

(This treaty was drawn up at the non-government organisation alternative conference which paralleled the official Earth Summit the NOD Global Forum, Rio de Janeiro, June 1992, It has been slightly edited here for

The collection is called Future. The Earth Charter and the 30 Treaties the international NGO and Social Movements Forum

is $2l an A4 edition, incl. p&p; $ J 2 for an A5

edition. mel p&p.)

Comment 011 the

and its Relevance:

Groups in Aotearoa/New Zealand which have worked on the issues at the heart of the 1992 Earth Summ it have found some stimulation in the on TNCs and related treaties. A Coalition of NO Os of Aotearoa/New Zealand concerned about the Agreement which finalised the Uruguay Round of the GATT made a statement to GATT member countries! governments and also to a NGO Forum Marrakesh, Morocco, on 15th April, 1994, where the formal of the Agreement took Member groups of the Coalition comprised Te Whanau 0 Rengomai Wahine Trust; Pu Hao Rangi Trust; Council for International Development; GATT Watchdog; Pacific Institute of Resource Management; the United Nations Association of New Zealand; Aotearoa New Zealand Environment Trust; Friends of the Earth NZ; Water for Survival; Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (Aotearoa); and the Auckland and Christchurch UNCED Committees.

Like the Treaty on TNCs, the NZ NGO statement lamented the gutting of the United Nations Centre on TNCs, once a source of critical review of TNC operations. It called for the

In the first Issue new World Trade

the official newsletter of the into which the General

has been absorbed, there

was an

by an ad hoc Secretariat"

new name, and so facelift as it were, has been for this now

conduct has never been so

or vital,

restoration of this Centre. other to the in-

the NZ NGO statement appealed for of the activities of the new World Trade

nn>lP,'nnn of environmental standards:

up on such as well as its own campaigns,

CAFeA is interested in drawing up a code of conduct for in Aotearoa/N'Z and invites support and from other groups and individuals. In particuattention should be closely directed at the Business Roundtable, an organisation which is dominated by foreigncontrolled TNCs; and which has been assiduously pushing the international corporate agenda in this country with a heavy cost to lower income people and a generally destructive social impact.

We need to build up an effective national movement working to curb the power and influence of these market forces. Already, New Zealand First has proposed quite an impressive code for the regulation of foreign investment while the Alliance seems to be developing one.

The Treaty on TNCs was meant to inspire both national and international campaigns worldwide to counter and eventually roll back the big business assault on democracy, human rights, and the environment, We can link constructively with similar movements overseas. Our future, and that of generations to come, depends on our actions now. The time is ripe in AotearoaINZ for some strong initiatives,

T

Dermis Small

"Global coherence" is the watchword for the; which

n"HTWP how to a "New Right"

programme on the world. To quote a

in WTO Focus (March-April, I no. 2): "It

the structures of international economic conto reflect the new global realities with". This involves close with the World Bank and the InterFund

With the poorer nations ground down by debt burdens and economic restructuring, Western capitalism is on the rampage. The WTO is clear enough about the world's power structure. The benefits of closer co-ordination "can extend to improving the inputs to the highest levels of international economic consultation, notably the G7 itself' (07= countries). Much of the real negotiation that directed OA TT and is now direct-

rules on international investment" and what is called "com. The overall objective in the case of the latter is make countries' laws which regulate domestic competition more compatible at the international level. For instance, one country may have legislation to ensure the "level playing-field" and prevent the dominance of any monopoly supplier in a particular sector of the economy. It may attempt to impose its domestic competition law on other countries. Or in another way of at this issue - try to restrict the activities within its own national jurisdiction of some foreign-based TNC.

Since TNCs are rendering national boundaries so redundant with regard to corporate profit-making operations, governments are moving to adjust their legislation accordingly. So much of current competition law in capitalist countries is already farcical in that there are only weak controls on monopolistic or oligopolistic company behaviour. "Seventy per cent of world trade is now controlled by just 500 corporations, which also control 80% of foreign investment and 30% of world Gross Domestic Product" ("Whose Common Future/: Reclaiming the Commons" by The Ecologist, Earthscan 1993, p. 79). About 40% of world trade takes place within TNCs, i.e. between branches of the same TNC. What controls now remain on TNC activities are targeted to be weakened even more.

Capitalist Contradictions

- the Ghost of Karl Marx Resurgent

On occasion even the dominant organs of the Western mass media seemingly let an item slip through the system of political censorship so well described and documented by Noam Chomsky and others. Such was an article which appeared in the Murdoch-controlled Press on 14 March 1995. Headlined "Dark future forecast in Information Age", the first paragraph ofthe Reuter item crisply encapsulated the theme of the article "The dawning Information Age will bring a

world where take over from nation states and a

elite defends itself from

This message came from a delivered Professor Ian

to business conference of the London School of

Economics. Professor on social effects of in few mati on systems said: "Some

forsee new Middle with a natural state of inequality

with urban areas protected as but electronically".

According to the to this dark future was the

the world

ties between big business and any fixed place. Corporations would move where profit was highest and regulation weakest. Nation states would break up as regions dumped poorer areas in the fight to get global business, which would seek the securest haven for its information and prized "knowledge workers". Global enterprises would treat labour as a resource or commodity to such an extent that they would regard themselves as owners of their staff, demanding complete allegiance,

Professor Angell picture ofthe wealthy elite forming just a tenth of the world's population. The rest would see their wages sink to Third World levels while the rich avoided taxes altogether. This new Information Age, with obviously so much suggestive of Orwell's prophecies in "Nineteen Eighty-Four", would indeed be characterised by systematic repression. State and corporate police would cooperate and merge, as is already the case in parts of the United States.

The Reuter report of Professor Angell's was striking in its succinct depiction. Yet identification and analysis of the trends leading to what we can call feudalism" is not only the province of some academics. To be sure,

given the dominant trends, it is realistic observation

for a number of people not the

news establishment media.

--...

rrS 71ft: Vt3Z'( tAresr... _""'_"ff.

,. TT-UAKj

cpl\! - S?EClAtL r EEsI9JED ,R::se. "'1h11lD4CfI?4D/ ('ON,

\

"Good news" stories will wear thin fix many because there is

much outside to leak

Since the rich be an ever decreasof the world's growing for

With the demonstrable failures of what nism"

intimated Profes-

tidings 10% (or against the rest of the world

almost much

population, with all the united power

WTO/WorJd Bank/IMF etc" these market forces are going to be There is the risk for markets and resources

Our greatest and mutual support will lie in the potential numbers on our and the sheer desperation of deprivation ~ what American socialist writer and leader, Michael has well seen as the creative dynamic for social and moral improvement in the industrial!

technological age "The Accidental "),

the Plebs

The writer of this Update has long had an interest in how the power structures of injustice are maintained and how these structures can be changed for the better In the New World Order, of which the WTO is now the emblem and standard-bearer, the current for the elite is how to maintain the momentum of market forces without engendering too much resistance,

Already here in Aotearoa/Nz., the Federation is gnashing its teeth about the threat of an Alliance-influenced Parliament The now well-orchestrated team of foreign investment pundits and beneficiaries - f1,.

nancial business

media etc, ~ is regularly into action to warn

about the dire consequences of tampering with their profitable incomes. Television news items try to New Labour as "far left" and the manipulator of an Alliance front

One Network It is of these offshore market-driven times that New Labour can cause such acute <>",>t"t"""

Public benefits of "the invisible hand" of the market meantime amount also goes into the '<0CJ;'UlJlIU'CO which

have even received a Finance .. Mr. Birch both

equity in the country among the industrialised countries.

little in the

another indicator of how far to

has shifted over the last decade What

might have once been denounced and

quite treated as "he-hum".

now in control

news"

but at

in various ways to

of Indeed, the of the

foreign-controlled Business Roundtable and other related have been assiduous in this as part of the promotion of the gospel of The farce of a collection of or oligopolistic TNCs preaching free markets would be the butt of satire and ridicule in any really democratic culture but in the NZ of the mid- 1990" this outfit has clout.

So often the power of any system of injustice lies in forms of mind control. The system's controllers get the majority of people to believe that the existing socio-economic pecking order reflects the "natural" state of things, or at least that the people cannot change this order for the better. As the corporate attack on democracy and the welfare state reaches even further into the heart of society, the social darwinist dimension of all this is going to become yet more obvious for those who want to look, "Survival of the fittest" is the real slogan of the W'I'Osproclaimed global free market.

Food Sell-Out

In coverage of GATT/WTO issues, we have regularly kept track of the Closer Economic Relations (CER) negotiations with Australia on food standard setting. June this year saw the announcement of an accord which will give Australia's National Food Authority the role of setting standards for both countries (Press, 19/6/95), It represents a sell-out of our sovereignty for the benefit of the food TNCs and a further adjustment to WTO requirements,

This agreement onjoint food standards will harmonise standards between the two countries in the interests of trade and industry, At the broader international level, Australasian food standards will be aligned even more closely than is currently the case with those set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, an organisation authorised the WIO to lay down the law on food, The Codex is heavily influenced by TNCg,

In 1985 Susan Sargent warned us about the concentration of TNC power in the Australian food in her study, "The Foodmakers: The Foodmakers Control What We Eat"

(Penguin) 0 Ten years NZ is being swallowed up,

GA TT Cause tor Concern (Excerpt from talk to the Probus Club of Ashburton, 1

One useful way of behind the propaganda about the WTO is to comparing the statements made by government Ministers and officials. When the GATT Uruguay Round Agreement got its preliminary signing in December

the Minister of Trade Negotiations, Mr. Philip Burdon, hailed it as "colossal benefits" 18/12/93)0 He talked about it having "dramatic impact" for New Zealand. He said the GATT deal was far better than anything he had hoped for.

this the same Minister who in Decem-

were short of what New Zealand and the so-called Cairns countries had been

same proposals constituted the final

ment on that was settled later in December I

although the proposals vlere in fact even further watered down by deals between the United States and the European including a last-minute one in December 1993.

So the claim about "colossal benefits" on completion of the Round does not compute as it were with the disappointment that the government had earlier Then we can find other critical inconsistencies.

More Catches to the GAIT

One such relates to the way that the Ministry

Affairs and Trade (MFA, T) presents the gains from the GATT Agreement in its publication on "Trade and Environment". internationally, environmentalists have demonstrated a lot of concern about the new WTO and this concern has been reflected to some extent within our own coun-

In "Trade and Environment" published in November the government seems keen to lui! the fears of environmentalists. So it does not refer GA Tf-induced changes in terms of "colossal benefits" or "dramatic

"""~'o"', it calls them "incremental". This term,

of course, slow hardly noticeable The gov-

ernment wants to deal with the relationship of trade to the environment in the context of only incremental economic gains from the Round (eog. p. because this conveys an impression of minimal impact on our environment

So the government has shown some interesting footwork with regard to the alleged benefits of GA TT, even so far as the benefits to agriculture are concerned.

"Free Trade Attack!"

The writer is due later this year to produce the finalised text for a booklet to be published by CAFCA on the implications of the GATT/WTO programme for Aotearoa/NZ. Particular attention is being given to the various environmental aspects of free trade policy. It is hoped that the booklet will be available before the summer.

cracy and the rganisati nl

e

GArr and

in recent years at the impor-

tant has made around the globe. Yet

few are aware that the world's governments are at

this very moment in line to an international

agreement that could weaken the functions of

elected bodies on the

is known as "The GATT Uruguay establishing the World

governments have al'>fn'{>p,""""m which will give to an unelected veto power over most de-

".","""o",'."H of commerce and the set-

reside with calities around the world.

intended to profree trade, the WTO is far the creation of the powerful WTO

rid Trade AT

• David Korten

has established an institution with a legal personality similar to that ofthe United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and given it powers over member countries/governments the GATT never had. For example:

A provision buried under the title of

Miscellaneous Provisions at the end of the WTa Agreement states that "Each member shall ensure the conformity ofits with its ob-

the annexed " The an-

include all the substantive multilateral agreements to trade in goods and services and the agreement on intellectual property rights (patents, copyright,

This thus obligates each member country to

revise any national or local laws in conflict with the provisions of the WTO/GA IT.

(2) Provision is made for one to challenge the domestic laws of another country when it believes a particular law benefits it expected from the trade rules or im-

the attainment of any objective of the WTn

(3) brought against local with

the national obligated to take all reasonable

measures to ensure Under GATT precedents

such "reasonable measures" would include preemptive legand withdrawal of financial support.

trade barriers

government can prove to the satisfac-

that a number restrictive

have been satisfied. The burden of rests

with those who would set standards higher than the international norm.

will be presented in secret hearings to of three trade experts. There is no

sion for introduction of alternative perspectives, such as amicus briefs from non-governmental unless the chooses to solicit them. Documents presented to the panels arc secret except as a government chooses to release its own documents. The identification of the panelists, and who what position and the IS explicitly forbidden.

Under the rules for the settlement of disputes, the recommendations of the review panel are adopted 60 days after presentation unless there is a unanimous vote of all WTO members to reject them. 'Ibis means that well over 100 countries, including the country that won the deci-

must vote against a panel decision in order to overturn

it! A of appeal to a special panel is available although

the dice seem loaded.

(6) In making its determinations, the primary concern of the WTO is to facilitate trade. Other public policy goals relating to, for example, the environment, health, safety, labour rights, or even the economic impact on the economy ofthe locality whose laws are challenged, are all subordinated to the overarching goal of promoting international trade.

(7) When panel decides that a domestic law is in violation of WTO trade rules it may recommend that the offending its law. Countries are then expected to

the offending law accordingly within a prescribed trade sanctions may be applied to force it to

clo so.

(3) Changes to certain trade rules made by a two-thirds vote of the WTO members become on all members. Standing committees of the WTO are also empowered to

initiate on new rules. In the WTO will

become a unelected global body able to

its own charter without further referral to national bodies.

what or

and overturned

the following are of

been challenged as trade barriers under the GATT or

which according to would become subject to chal-

under the WTO:

>I< Prohibitions

the use of bovine

hormones

- a measure advocated consumers. animal welfare groups, veterinarians, farmers and much ofthe trade.

methods that

>I' Prohibitions on the

or

that locally harvested timber or other re-

"LC.~"C;U locally to local employment

,. Restrictions on the sale of foods with pesticide residues that are than standards by an WIO-approved international

.. such as a Californialaw requiring that the public be warned before being exposed to cancer-caus-

ing substances or that are set by popular referenda

rather than by a staffed regulatory body

acting solely on the basis of scientific principles and risk assessment

Evidently, in the view of the architects of the WTO, the people have no business making decisions about their own health and In the eyes of these architects, only experts meeting in secret have such right Consequently, the WTO will empower of three unelected and unaccountable trade specialists acting in secret to set aside the democratic will of any people as expressed through popular

referendum or through the action of elected and

accountable whenever in their judge-

so would advance the cause of so-called "free

trade"

'''J1rp,'.,.n,·'nl the wishes and democratic must give way to a higher "pubof private corporations to pursue profit where will without the interference of local people or their elected officials - i.e. corporate free trade. Any law put forward people in any or nation that is a member of the WTO and that some influential group somewhere in the world deems unfavourable to its commercial interests may be open to - without democratic or judicial recourse for the people whose will has been set aside,

wro

ali other priorities

there are benefits from but are neither

of sufficient consequence nor so shared as to justify

rn',onc,,.,,,,,, free trade above all other interests

from the their to decide when

trade interests should receive ",",,,","'.1

Establishment of the WTO is less than a coup de

grace for the that resides with the people

the foundation of all democratic governance. Eventually, blatant assault on the

ofthe an international network of scholars and activ-

ists for a sustainable and future. Korten

has visited New Zealand more than once to the

word. He is the author of an book due later this year - "When Rule the World" The article

supp

This June press statement CAFCA fully supports the actions of those local people who protested Japanese forestry Juken Nissho. Ever since Labour and National adopted the fateful policy of seiling off our State forests, New Zealanders have ceased to have any meaningful ownership of our own forestry resource. We are now growing trees for foreign profit. We have become a seedling nursery for the rest of'the world. Nowhere is this truer than in Northland.

The Overseas Investment Commission is the official rubberstamp charged with foreign investment (since 1987, it has rejected only four out of 7,H}(I applications the last rejection was in 1990). In J 994, it approved 26 Northland rural land purchases by foreigners (the highest, by number, of any province in NZ). This involved 4,865 ha, sold for $32,137,500. The great bulk of those would have been for forestry .- the Commission approved 68 forestry sales nationally in 1994, so Northland made up nearly a third of them

Juken Nissho is not the only foreign forest owner waxing fat in Northland. Far North Afforestation Ltd, a New Zealand company, in forestry blocks to

mainly in the Broadwood area. are

making spectacular capital from Far North forests. One

example will suffice in Agroforestry Development

which we have here was

des of fact sheets on GA.TT distributed

and Trade in the United States. CAFCA

has this leaflet available for anyone who would like to make

for circulation. It was edited and for

cation in

I

s

I

media coverage in Northland

of Singapore bought a 557 ha Mangarnuka block for million. In 1994 it sold this to Fortknox Investments Ltd (owned by the provincia! government of Gwangdong, China), for $5,8 million

Forests are not the land changing hands. In 1994, the Commission approved a national total of 72,500 ha being sold to for $353 million (an increase of more than $200 million from 1993). To give a Northland example, from 1994. The Government sold Landcorp Property to CDL, of Singapore. Their portfolio included Stoney Creek at Kaitaia and Onoke at Whangarei.

Land sales are only one part of a much bigger picture. In 1994 alone, the Commission approved $5.5 billion worth of foreign takeovers (including land). The Government's own statistics put foreign ownership of NZ companies (not including land) at $3306 billion in J 994 (an increase of $20 billion since 1(90).

This represents a recolonisation of New Zealand. We, Maori and pakeha alike, have become tenants in our own home. The Overseas Investment Amendment currently before Parliament, will make this whole foreign takeover even easier

and will cloak it secrecy. That's why we people

such as those in who are back.

The Northern Informer is a new Northland newspaper, which has a feature unique among the mainstream media - it draws extensively and regularly from CAFCA material. The first couple of issues quoted whole Watchdog articles, and the paper has started serialising the "Who Owns The Forests?" chapter from Murray Horton's "Clearcut" Initially there was no attribution but that was amicably sorted out, leading to a frontpage plug for CAFCA.

We have no connection to the paper, had never heard of it or from it, and were completely surprised when we saw a copy (sent a Northland member). As a Christchurch-based organisation, we are delighted that our work is so greatly appreciated at the other end of the coun-

It reinforces our view that what we are dealing with is of national importance and further just how mainstream both CAFCA and the whole issue of foreign control have become.

The Northern lrformer is not some alternative lifestyler paper. H is funded by and features regular columns from MPs Ross Meurant and John and Dr Muriel Newman of ACT, well as regular coverage of all

The paper, whose motto "Committed To You The Truth No Matter 'The Cost" can be contacted at Box 1

have been with our old mate, Comalco.

But rest they're still plotting and

Mcfsonald, director of Cornalco m

May 1995, that upgrading the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter will cost well beyond the $400 million He downplayed rumours of massive cost blowouts as priate. The plan is to build an extra duction from 270,000 tonnes of metal a year to tonnes.

As usual, Comalco has been a central role in poli-

this time without even trying. The media made much of Jim Anderton's June announcement that the Alliance MPs would no longer support the Government on motions of confidence. He was widely accused of breaking his 1993 elec-

tion night promise, Jeanette Alliance co-deputy

leader, wrote a Press feature (I out he

had done so.

"Mr Bolger personally promised consultation Oil the unmandated move to extend massive taxpayer and electricity consumer subsidies to foreign-owned Comalco for cheap power. His failure to deliver on this undertaking almost brought a withdrawal ofAlliance confidence as as December 1993 .. Only protests through the media four days before the Cabinet sought in secret to ram through an order-in-council on Comalco, brought a hastily arranged briefing. The Government however ignored the detailed briefing paper the Alliance produced over the weekend showing the proposal was not New Zealand's interest".

She went on to into two and sell

that the 1995 decision to

ECNZ

decision.

Cornalco still

In other.

alumina in northern

"locked in" to that state, and would throughout Australua and overseas

to its Bell

its Australian electricity in the state, It did so because power price to suit it out of the State

ened the existence of Bell and its 800

contract

200 j. But now, Comalco has said it will

review that towards the end of the

Island smelter in

drain Lake the

tricity, was one of the recent Tasmanian history, Cornalco has demonstrated once again its penchant for blackmail that it may have

Ne\v and reiterates Sounds familiar.

drained and restored. As of power supply in Tasmania for cheap power.

Th~ World

the aluminium TNes have

into a war

with some of their transnational brethren. To deal with the

of Russian alumina. the market after the

of the Soviet the world's six biggest alu-

minium producers - the European Union, the US, Russia,

Canada and - signed an April 1994 memo-

randum of cutting back production for two

years, It was a measure aimed squarely at disadvantaging

Russia. This classic of State intervention (bugger mar-

ket forces) worked the wildest dreams of the alu-

minium TNCs to cut 682,000 tonnes but nearly

1,2 million tonnes worth of was idled. The result

was a sudden of and a soaring price, The

ofthe base metal doubled in the 12 months to January 995 and has fluctuated wildly since as investment trusts,

which as the cashed in.

This dramatically increased costs for the two biggest users, the car and industries, By mid 1995, they were taking action, Continental a subsidiary ofViag of Germany, which makes ,5 billion cans a year at its two British plants, decided to switch one ofthem to using steel. Steel is bought and sold within the industry and not traded on the futures market, so the has stayed lower and more stable, Coca which sells 775 million cans worldwide ever;

day, decided to and sell aluminium futures on the Lon-

don Metal as Gen-

eral Motors and Ford are likewise, It will be interest-

ing to see who

CAFCA expresses our to the fol-

members who have suffered losses in their families

whose brother Gerhard

whose father John died in Sydney,

TaBolY 74.

whose father David Taylor died in 84.

1

December 1994 decisions

As with last month, the overseas control of local electricity supply companies features. This month, TrauaAlta Utilities Corporation of Canada gains approval to buy 49''/n of Wellington City Council's electricity company, Capital Power Ltd for $120 million. It didn't actually pay that much as "capital restructuring" paid $32 million back to TransAlta and $33 million to the WCC on the date of settlement (20/11 95) (Press, "TranaAlta Sweetener", 9/12/94, p20). The Ole decision lists the total valuation as $244,897,960, Although the 49% shareholding has the appearance of leaving control with the WCC, Councillor Hazel Armstrong, who was also a director of Captial Power before resigning just before the decision to sell to Trans.Alta, said that Trans/vita was in fact getting control. "Material in the secret shareholder documentation showed TranaAlta would have the right to appoint the managing director or chief executive, would have a right of veto on Capital Power' 5 business plan, valuation, line charge, and statement of corporate intent. Other bidders were EnergyDirect (itself 20% owned by TranaAlta), Taranaki Energy, and Northern Electric (U .K), all of which were "understood" to be at least $20 mill ion below TranaAlta's (Press, "Canadians buy Capital Power", 7/12/94, p.S Transalta is based in Calgary and has assets of over $NZ5 billion worldwide. As well as its interest in Energyfrirect, it is seeking the right to build a gas-fired power station at Stratford, Taranaki, with Fletcher Challenge, and has plans to build a IIOMW power station at the former Southdown freezing works in south Auckland with Mercury Energy

(Press, "TranaAlta dears first fence in power , 5/121

94, p.37; "Canadian ,2011 pAl).

The Capital Power sale was structured through the sale of its WeC-owned owner, Capital Holdings Ltd to Capital Energy Ltd which is owned I % by the wee and 49% by Trans Alta subsidiary Trans New'Zealand Ltd. TransNewZealand's shareholding is through 29.4 million ordinary shares and 90.6 million convertible notes.

Guinness Peat Group Pic of the controlled Ron Brierley, is out the 25% shareholding of the Turner family in Turners and Growers Ltd for sum that was initially suppressed by the OlC but was to be "just over $8 million". In May 1995, the Ole released the price, revealing the consent to be $11,854,180 for which works out at $7.4 million for 25%. Turners and Growers are

1

~ Bill Rosenberg

the dominant produce market, and more recently have got into vehicle auctions. GPG has bought further shares to bring its holding to 28% "GPG takes family stake in Turners" 811 p. 35). The shareholding was purchased through GPO subsidiary Ithaca Investments Ltd.

Guinness Peat Group is also selling its subsidiary First Medical Corporation Ltd to a company, Aetna Health (NZ) Ltd, owned 50/50 by U,S, company Aetna Life and Casualty Company and Brierley Investments Ltd, for a suppressed amount First Medical is the owner of Medic Aid" the second largest health insurer in Aotearoa; Aetna Health was the third largest According to NZPA, the price paid was $11 million, which on appeal was in May 1995 confirmed by the Ole (Why was it suppressed for almost five months if the price was already public") The new company, to be called Aetna, will cover about 200,000 people with 23% to 24% of the market, compared with the largest, Southern Cross which has 65%. No jobs were lost immediately, but some may be lost later according to Aetna's chief executive, Trevor Lynds, GPG said it would make a "handsome" profit from the sale ~ put at $4 million by Brierley himself in March 1995 having paid $43 million for Medic Aid and injecting an unknown amount of additional funds, It acquired Medic Aid after a wild west skirmish reminiscent of the Roger Douglas years of the mid 1980's - see the

April 1994 decisions. "Guinness Peat sells Medic

Aid for $11 rn" I p.34; "GPG profit bo-

nus issues" I

A result of the takeover was soon seen in another way however. A Christchurch war veteran, Jack Hindin, complained in 1995 that Aetna had raised his medical premiums 71 %. He claimed the move was an attempt to get rid of older Medic Aid clients. He the scheme in August 1992 after the company advertised a special deal in R,,)'A Review which gave them waiver of their normal three months before claims are A "cruel twist" was that many of the people could no longer get alternative cover from another insurer because of their age. Lynds as trying to recoup from a mistake made by Medic Aid trying to market share, (Press, "Premium riles war veteran"

The giant U.S. manufacturer, Sealed Air Corporation, is buying out Aotearoa manufacturer Indus-

the Ole unless otherwise it is

the context

1. Note: All spelling 0/ geographic and company names is as e-nrvrvt rart

that the source elsewhere. Errors are those a/the Ole

Areas are rounded to the nearest whole number.

Information quoted, unless otherwise noted,

the "decision sheets" ofthe Commission

tries Ltd for an undisclosed sum

Sealed Air Ltd.

plastics giant buys This appears to be a dear case of takeover of finn, rather than investment.

Farmers Deka owned by Foodland Associated Ltd of Australia is buying 35.6310 hectares of land at 40 Ormiston East Tamakl, Auckland. for a new 600,000 square foot distribution centre. The vendors will be sold back 14 hectares after subdivision.

II1C, the owner of the Pizza Hut is

ing out its Aotearoa franchise holders' ownership of the local Pizza Hut chain, Pizza Restaurants (NZ) Ltd, for $17,075,000. Pizza Hut (NZ) Ltd, owned by is now the owner. Pizza Hut NZ is "considering expanding the chain's operations in New Zealand with home and smaller outlets.

Fulton Hogan Holdings Ltd, 37.5%, owned Shell New Zealand Holdings Company Ltd is buying up Husband Construction Ltd, including 1.2 hectares of land, "The business of Husband being principally building bridges and stop banks is complementary to the road building business undertaken by Fulton .. "

Chemical A§l<m

of which Chemical U.S.A. is a c.i.

Mainzeal is 5(L2% owner ofMair a leather and venison company "Sir Allan to head Mair board

).

from two major Investments and Hamana Enterprises, for 28 cents a share. The deal was at 35 cents a share "Condi-

If such conditions were not enforced then companies

other books on the ,"W<'·tM·,r'p

over, but then the information to their

ever the surveillance Philippe Leloir said

Mainzeal's confidentialOne of the conditions would

in the securities of the disclosing

the contract, for at least one year or until the information disclosed ceases to be relevant inwhichever is the later." Another condition required the should Richina change the offer price. The Securities Commission information" "Mainzeal deal under fire", 11104/95, for Mainzeal", approval for the deal.

'[he sale ofa interest in Tasman Properties Ltd

to the SEA group of November 1994) has

some new twists this month, The November consents allowed SEA up to 49% of Tasman. SEA. Holdings Ltd of Hong all of Tasman, "SEA wish to proto Tasman as a stable shareholder by being able to further shares if the need arises, A holding company Trans Tasman Ltd has been

set up, which has ore to issue up to 94.65% of its

shares to SEA Ltd and up to 40% to SEA BIL (NZ)

SEABIL (NZ) SEARIL (NZ) SEA Hold ..

shareholders in the

tower

worth

A land sale that created a national furore is this

Landcorp Ltd of220 hect-

ares of land at to Taupo Resort Investment Ltd, a

of Pidemco Land Ltd, owned the

Government for "approximately $4,500,000". "It is Pidemcos intention that the land will be into an integrated resort which will consist of an international standard hotel of200-300 rooms, and 18 hotel golf course, vil-

condominium a dub house and other facilities."

The land is at Warewaka Point and Tauhara and

$30 million said to be Pidemco ' s budget for the project.

The deal was signed in the most public way between Jim Bolger and the Prime Minister of Singapore, Goh Chok when he was visiting in 'November. It was pre-

hailed by local Waikaremoana MP McClay

as "a tremendous boost for the local economy" But his constituents were by no means unanimous in with him, The sale provoked a furious correspondence in the and Ngati Tuwharetoa representatives objected saying they had lodged a claim on the land in October and should have had adequate opportunity to contest the sale, They called for compensation, perhaps by jobs at the hotel. The Prime Minister was invited to a hili called to discuss their claims to the land. The sale was strongly criticised by Alliance lands spokesperson, Frank Grover,

it should remain of the country's conservation

estate. (Taupo "Hotel land deal raises concern" 29/ II "Hui to discuss Wharewaka land sale", I p.Z), The land sold described in the news media in different terms to the Ole consent It described in the above items

as 1 hectares and 250 hectares re<:nppt,Vf'

rooms mentioned for the hotel.

100-

most is the of this decision" The deal

between the two Prime Ministers was in November-weeks before the OlC gave its consent on 15/12/94, Even the Prime Minister now treats the Commission with con-

hectares of owned through the company Strunecrubie Ltd. The new are a New Zealander and an Australian both ofwhom "have extensive

and activities." They

and propose to it further

unit and date consider the

land with clear conservation a

"",.,'.?",,.,, block of rural land near is being sold to

Robertson of the U,S.A.. for an undisclosed sum. The

farm was owned

owned members of the Williams

Williams Trust.

which was for the KO.

"The is advised that Mr Robertson has a

close with New Zealand lived here for

over 12 months the EnOs. He has con-

servationist has a very for the rela-

unspoilt New Zealand environment and is es-

this a dream for himself

to invest for the future in this someofthe world and make his contribution to conservation and the better use of under-utilised

rural resources.

"The Commission is also advised that Mr Robertson's

purpose is to use his to bring mar-

farmland to full production, to develop timber plantations in suitable areas and to contribute to the conservation of native bush and birdlife and natural features worth preservation. In this regard an area of the property which includes a Kauri tree and areas of native bush and known as the Williams Family Reserve will be preserved and developed to become a Queen Elizabeth II National Trust Reserve or a similar type of reserve to the Resource Manage-

merit or the Reserves Act"

AI! very touching and patronising, but not a word of explanation why it is necessary to sell the land into overseas ownership. Naturally the ole does not question the apparent tension between conservation and bringing farmland to full production", Neither will it check that any of these grand schemes will ever eventuate.

of the interests of CBS Forests

Forest

turcs this month. CBS Carr Business

jumped into in the middle of the boom in log

buying Westland forest from Tasman when Tasman

itself of unwanted South Island forests. In July

and replanting over its

radiata forests to Can' for $8.1

company two thirds owned an Auckland investment company associ-

CBS's director, and the Turner

had

and distance from low

mix of tree ages in its

these problems was a takeover bid for the

which was described

ing Opio "Carr Business launches bid for

estry Fund", 271IO/93).

announced that it was "CBS abandons

Instead it led 10 a US takeover and a controversial merger. By October 1994, the of CBS was South Pacific Forest Holdings (Turner family)

John Carr interests 15.08% and French in-

vestment group Societe Generale (through SoGEN Funds

Inc) 9.76fyo "CBS to spread shares" 8/] 0/94,

p.2S). it had in its the acquisition of the 5,738 hectare

Pouto Forest on North north of Auckland for $36 million which is approved in this month's decisions. Owned by the Bombay Burmah india, through companies Forest Farm POlito Forest Farm it was put on the market its "longterrn owners" in October 1993 and marketed by

Bancorp. Only 2,300 hectares of its area is in radiata

pine, due for harvest "For-

est owners ask for boom To finance the

CBS organised a $50 million share 1.0 a

U.S. firm, Xylem followed by a merger with

Forest Ltd. would up with 62'% of

to $50m

into CBS",

investment in

nies.i. involvement in the

with the Ohio Public

and the 502 hectare West 110

for some mature

astir shareholders dividends

had dropped from November 1993

2. Much

A smaller

CBS Forests were "wheeler-dealers",

had a similar of i'7v,pro",p"rI

as he advocated their

overhead costs and the lack of investment "American

acts to moved

involves

company with interest

This is reverse takeover which shareholders are being asked to approve on faith. He asked for the support of other Ever-

green shareholders the merger "La Grouw

calls for forest p.39).The chief execu-

tive of Xylem, Hurley upped the stakes by declar-

to a of CBS shareholders called to decide

Forests has the potential to become it $1 billion company up to 60,000 hectares of plantation based in New Zealand but listed in the United States." (lit: the United States.

at forest investChina and to build

an a middle-sized forest company based on New Zealand's atchief outlines

(U

The forma! Forest Ltd shares

"Clearcut ",

1995.

hectare Pouto Forest on the North

Forest farm and Paulo Forest Farm Ltd

Juken Nissho 85%, owned

ami 15"/" by Nissho Iwai {'.~~,>Y~' the 1078 hectare

Station owned

Eastham Farms Ltd for afforestation purposes. It is also purchasing 29 hectares of "rurnl/industrtal lam!" at Matawhero, Gisborne owned by "the of Whangaret B5 and RD.Rice". The land is near to Juken's mill site at Matawhero and has been bought to enable the

mill to be expanded. In both cases the was suppressed

but were revealed in 1995 after to the Ole to be

$1,,300,000 in each case.

In other rural land:

*'LY. Tseng and associated family of'Taiwan

are spending $8 million to buy II total of 198 hectares of land in two blocks in MaractaiIWhHfonl, Manukau City to develop into an international class 18 hole golf course "with all related facilities including residential condominium and hamlet developments and a resort hotel . Mr Tseng who owns a number of international golf courses and clubs in Taiwan which he has has the expertise and financial means to undertake the development. The states that the development will be New Zealand's first truly international golf course and Mr Tseng proposes to promote the course to be placed on the' circuit' for international events in with

course facilities." In December 993 we

Mr .Y. up a 50/

50 joint of compa-

Hold-

a carte blanche for Woodland

from the Woodland of corn-

"various real estate . The re-

had on Woodland since then is that it is also Hotel/Condominium March

in the current Custodian 1008 Ltd and Custodian 11125 Ltd. the latest fad in of 50 hectares of land in the

in of ostrich meat and benefit this opera, in New Zealand." There is a South Afrtcan connection: "The Commission is advised that G. Schulz's ostrich in South Af-

is

material to

an excellent source

who have residence have

6 hectare property in Halswell .Iunction

Christchurch for pian deer farm, ern-

local farming consultants and farm labourers,

*Rayonier New Zealand Ltd (owned Rayonier Inc,

IS a until lI12!2002 over

. 9 hectares of land at Te Puke for an undisclosed sum; and !25 hectares of freehold land and 8450 sq. m .. leasehold land at Core for an undisclosed sum. intends to build a medium density fireboard [sic] facility on the property.

*And Ernslaw One owned by the Tiong Family of

Malaysia continues to up land at an alarming rate.

This month there are three blocks near Dannevirke, of

512, 305 and 666 hectares for which it paid

$6HI,£I00, $425,000, and respectively .. Ernslaw

"aims to establish Pinus Radiata forest in the Horowhenua/Manawatu and Southern Hawkes Bay/ Dannevirke

*KFS World Communications of New Zealand Ltd,

Automated Can Corporation of

is 20 hectares of land near Kaitaia

years and II months for $10,000 per annum to establish transmitter station first then later

20 transmitters. The transmitters will fill a gap in shore to ship radio service for coastal The land is in two the other of four.

been impressed

Mr

owned

of New Zealand

Co Ltd and 49% C Itoh

and Co land at It will be 3VI,% owned dation Ltd of Aotearoa,

*A lUi. resident who also permanent

Aotearoa and substantial amount of his time in New Zealand to the extent that he could be deemed to be 'ordinarily resident in New Zealand?' is 224 hectare at Hakaru near Wellsford in Northland for $i ,237,500. He nrc,nprh .. and the two will be farmed as one. I Ie ing the land via his company, Circle Land

ing the new property via its company, Antinopolis

Holdings Ltd,

*Equine Finance a company owned by Forever Liv-

ing (UK) Ltd of the U.K. is buying Corvan Forest Holdings Ltd for $504,000 which owns I 55 hectares of afforested land in the of Plenty. Equine "is already the owner of considerable areas of afforested land and wishes to acquire a further area. Forever is controlled by two residents of Aotearoa, H.K. and R. Ulmke, This appears to be a running gag: in February 1992 we reported:

In a "pennies from heaven" story, a Swiss company,

Equine Finance Ltd. is spending $50,000 half

of a 30.4 hectare block of rural land on Road.

Ngakuru owned by Erin Gold Farms Ltd. The land is 60 percent wetlands, the rest in trees and and is

110t suitable for "It has been purchased as

with Dr Ulmke

owner of Equine Finance

his expe-

1"/" OWIIH:d

out Advanced Foods of New Zealand

the New Zealand Producers

Hoard for $40 milllon.This includes 19.2104 hectares

the company 250

of the season and was set up 10

Bernard Matthews boneless lamb roasts

commercial in vcstors is

its interests into Trusts. This is an increas .. ingly common contrivance for commercial property own-

ership, enabling avoidance various

This was a in the Overseas Investment

tion which was pointed out in its submission on the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill by the Auckland Council. The does not cover trusts and therefore allows avoidance of the Detain HOldings Ltd as trustee of the New Zealand Land Trust is

NZI Investments Ud a

graphical error for NZL Investments (Wyndam) Ltd]. Beneficiaries of New Zealand Land Trust "arc associated with" Messrs and of and

is the consideration for the whole deal, The deal presumably a flow 011 from the merger of New Zealand Land with the Kiwi Income Property Trust, as described in the November decisions.

*Serco Pic of the U.K is rearranging its ownership

of its Aotearoa 98%-owned subsidiary, Sereo NZ Ltd. It is transferring it to Sereo Overseas Investments Ltd for an undisclosed price. That price was

revealed in 995 after appeal to the Ole to be in March 1995 the ownership was rerearranged.)

*8erco bought the Works Property Division of the Works and Developments Services Corporation (NZ) Ltd, formerly part of the Ministry of Works and Development, when it was privatised in September 1990.

*Tcctoria SA of the Cayman Islands is buying its own subsidiary Dahme Investments Ltd for $1. No clue is given as to its business or the purpose of the change. However in June 1993, we reported:

Islands owned company, Shiro Pacific

of Tectoria of the Islands)

to buy up to 100 per cent Ltd on the open of$130 per share 700,000. Shiro

of the shares of Transmark market at an estimated a total of

owns 44 per cent of and National Nominees Ltd own 30 per cent In August 1991, the Commission gave Shiro spelt "Shriro" we assume

that a approval to to 50 per cent

of Trans mark for $11 191 Transmark was then

42.97 per cent overseas owned,

1995 decisions

ponent ofthe Ltd

opApple Fields T/A Pacific Select In-

vestments owned the U.s"A, has been up to 29.'919%, Fields. the time of the consent it owned

17,75'%

Fields and the consent

for

pany crashed .. In Fortex without the proper notification to the Stock Exchange,

Securities Commission intervention. It

that down

Securities Commission investi"Fund manager goes from meat to

The ole states: "The states that over the past few

years it has been the substantialinvestor in Apple Fields

and claim that their [sic] increased will pro-

vide a level of to the share of Apple Fields

and the opportunity to introduce offshore risk capital to New Zealand. The Commission is advised that TI A Pacific will not seek board representation or involvement in the day to day operations of Apple Fields." What the benefits of "intraducing offshore risk to New Zealand" fanning are is not made clear. However what is dear is that they are by no means the "only substantial investor" in Apple Fields. In April 1 the major shareholders were TIl'. with 17.75%, Pyne Gould Guinness 11 % (since sold down, and the main source ofTIA' s new shares), Sofien International Fund about 8% (based in the U,S.A., but owned by a French bank) and the executive directors, Tom Charles and Tom Suckling, about 38% "Apple Fields scrip sought", 71 4/94). T/A "is believed to have $U8200 million under management in a hedge fund focused on soft-commodity items"

Herald.isi:

A

ofthe sale is that nowhere does the orc

mention that substantial areas rural land

sold in the process. Apple Fields is "the largest

orchardist in the with venture interests in and

control of660 hectares of apple orchards around

Christchurch" "Two Toms turmoil -

but it's no crusade", Rebecca p.I Prob-

ably more to Southland. with about

Fields to

Gold ice cream

the ,,"UIHI-',U.HY however is its "J"b""~"M

in j 994 to pay for

that the company to bear

want to force the Board to allow rather than could reo> The Board Fields' proposals would undermine its

successful international for a wide

range of Fields to

and of fruit, and would allow Apple

the eyes out of the best markets.

The

corporate such as

was demonstrated at the 1993 A.G.M. when orchardists ",,"r .. <..,,~ and Nelson (who flew in aboard three

the in order to bombard

Sir Allan Wright with

The company had flown in

company standards. The power was funda-

and Parliament should On that

"the Government' s was to

countries their law their boundaries to New Zealand." The Board announced that Fields had assured it that no action would be taken on the

"Govt confident on ,1

by the Board was for Apple Fields under the "Best Bite" brand to a large U.S. grower, distributor and Dovex Corporation. It would market them around the year with others

from the U Chile and and would in tum

American apples to Aotearoa our off-season . Apple

Fields claimed they would $5 a carton from the deal

(Press, "Apple Fields to op I

the law as a weapon In Its 1993.3)4 it was by the Securities Commission for the way it accounted for some of the farms it owned, It had "sold'> some of the farms to its

Rural Bonds

if the farms should be sold. The Commission criticised the

method demanded led to

Fields 1

company taken

to add to it in the ensure that more will go overseas. It also shows

lack of consciousness of national interest the

Business Roundtable mould. In this case, Fields ac ..

by shares for

The first move towards privatisation of our water supplies is seen with the to Anglian 'Water Internationa! Ltd to carry on business in Aotearoa. It is a of Water PLC of the (J,K "Anglian Water Inter .. national has been selected as the successful tenderer to build and operate two wastewater treatment plants in Wellington for the Wellington City Council. The Commission is further advised that Anglian has considerable and in this field, having built over 10,000 plants in 40 countries." The amount of this investment was not released until June, when it was released on appeal: $150,000,000.

In a decision originally totally suppressed, but in June released in full after appeal to the Ol'C, Aspinall (NZ) Ltd, which is 85% owned by J,V, Aspinall ofthe U.K and 15''10 by .Lfl, Osborne of the U,K, was given approval to

a further 7 .. 66'% of Ch rtstchur ch Casinos Ltd for $3,679,987. two of the existing shareholders in Christchurch Casinos Ltd wish to sell their aggregate 25% shareholding to the remaining shareholders. A similar trans-

for the same amount, was approved for another Christchurch Casinos shareholder, Premier Hotels (Christchurch) Ltd, in February 1995 that month's decisions for more detail). Christchurch Casinos Ltd before these transactions was owned 23'% by Aspinall, 23%, by Premier Hotels Chr'istchurch and 54'% by New Zealand shareholders.

Archers a of Australian pre-

eyewear manufacturer and retailer OPSM ProtecLtd and 45"1" of

Aotearoa's group of

Oprique trades in Auckland and

Hamilton. OPSM also has two stores in "after

stores.

New Zealand Government from

more than 45% of alocal dispensing busi-

the OIC reports it having consent to

00% of Optique {Press, "OPSM buys into NZ chain", 12/

Ltd will

which was settled for $30 million.

The

"Glencaim', at tion in Canterbury.

owner of Southland and the Mendip Hills Sta-

In rural land:

*The Tan of Singapore is acquiring the Russell

and 4,]8 he .. ztares of land at Russell, Bay of ls~ lands for $700,000. These were owned by Bay of Islands

Enterprises Ltd (In Liquidation). "It is proposed to resurrect the operation before the equipment becomes redundant ... it is then proposed to sell the slipway business while freehold tenure in the land with a view to developing a tourist venture on the land." The sale is via company, Rucmo Investments owned by the Tan Family New Zealand Trust, The Tan family are principal shareholders in a group of property investment companies including the Pacific New Zealand Land

Kiwi Income Pr{,nprtv

Trust. 'ran PWLJ,,''''''',

interests in food and paper nrr"''''r'TC *U,S, company, ttl! New Zealand Forests r, Inc is further land

III Pacific Breweries Ltd of

rural land in addition to the area,

owned 85% Nissho Iwai of Ll hectares of afforested

Northland for zero cost from Northern

1991 consent was to Juken

the business and assets of the """"~'"h mill at Kaitaia including freehold and

leasehold land from Northern Ltd, The Commission

advised that it has that two small

ofland (totalling approximately I J 5 hectares) which were planted by Northern Ltd were not actually under formal lease at the time of the sale of Northern Pulp's assets, The Commission is further advised that Juken Nissho Ltd now wish to formali se the for the land, The sale to Juken Nissho was contested

the Muriwhenua who also had Triboard mill and forest assets.

in an offer for the

internal restructuring, the Guardian Exchange, a

of Gillard ian Exchange PLC of the U.K.

over another of the parent, Guardian

Assurance Ltd for $0

decisions

The ill- fated Cook Strait fast venture, Sea Shuttles (NZ) Ltd features this month, Its 60% owner, ,tc. Mena approval to take up an issue of a

ordinary shares for $1 717 taking

66.9'%''' At that stage it about 80 people. Since then it has

taken over by listed company. for ',"~V",v~,,,,.,,,,. Ole that it one of the best stores in . Allders

and the is held

and will be laid for the (lp'u/',rmm

rues

III and smaller reserves

,5 million to develop, It will be an open pit mine, 800,000 tonnes of are a year, and planned to start production in March 1996, Ac-

to the Int seeks stronger equity base" p20) the pressure for the merger came from finan-

cial institutions not to finance the deal for two smaller

and worried that KIR's plan to raise money, share options that converted in March, would not be taken up enough option holders. This fear was upheld in April when less than a quarter of the options were exercised, not least because KIR David Kennedy, exercised only 500,000 of his 19 million options. Only $2.62 million out of a possible $ J .8 million was raised.

Both companies are in any case controlled by Kennedy, His family company, Moondance ventures owns 65% of KHZ's shares. KIR owns 20% of AGF and Moondance owns 13% directly, A "friendly party" owns another 5%, Kennedy will end up with 30% to 35% of the merged company. Minerals, an Australian mining company also with interests in Ghana, is "significant minor shareholder" in KIK

AGF has another gold prospecting interest in the Santa Andrea prospect south of Santiago in Chile, along with Sum mit Gold and Mining, It is also planning a mine at

Peak Hills in New South Australia,

"Kiwi Res turns from profit to $406,000

) "K iwi Int plans for Ghana , 1121

"Summit says St Andrea encouraging" I

"Kiwi Int seeks base",

tests p, l4; Kiwi lot

merger valuations", "Interim loss for

"Kiwi Resources share go

Technornin

to such rtynn'{n"',.,,,,

the New Zealand Stock

notice without the

Restech's directors had insufficient information to enable them to make

formed decision on the Hunter Resources

had the of

sufficient information, This followed a n;v,n_'IP"

the Australian Securities Commission was delisted from the Australian suspended for most of 1992. The ASC alleged that the restructuring of Technomin Australia NL was oppressive and un-

prejudicial to minority shareholders. "Exchange

censures Restech for notice without approval" 221

"Settlement of dispute Restech half-year profit",

10/3/94.)

The

Retrospective consent is given to Smith Kline Beecham Pic of the U.K to take over Sterling Winthrop (NZ) Ltd from its previous owners, Eastman Kodak. of the U.S.A. for $DS25,700,OOO. "The acquisition is part of the worldwide by SmithKline of the over the counter pharmaceutical business of the Sterling Winthrop The Com mission is further advised that consent was not sought at the time of the acquisition as it was originally thought that the consideration to be apportioned to the New Zealand acqui sition did not exceed $10 million." Only out by a factor of about four, Is their accounting really that bad?

Ownership of Christchurch Casinos Ltd, the owner of Christchurch' casino, However, just what is happening is confused. The ole approved Premier Hotels (Christchurch) Ltd acquiring a further 7.66"/0 of the shares for $3,679,987. Just who it is acquiring the shares from is not mentioned other than to say that "two of the existing shareholders in Christchurch Casinos Ltd wish to sell their

,,,,,"r~,,~.,t"" 25'% shareholding to the shareholders.

on the Press reported ("Winning hand

with casino stake", J) that "The Helicopter Line has sold

its J stake in the Christchurch Casino for a

'" The was "in excess of $3 million" "The South Island Tourist Casinos which

20.5% stake in the casino and in which the

had 63.4% stake. The that it for the stake from the other shareholders in the

Christchurch Casino and had a different

story to that r"''',1rT''''' that add to the 25% identified

age to the Casino and wishes to

investment the

is owned

an builder. The shareholders

of Trojan Holdings, which runs the Milford Track

include former mayor, 1\1r John Davies"

the of June 1 Ole decisions for further details.)

Ltd, the holder of the operator's licence for the casino was in the news in after being ordered the Court to reinstate its former casino manager, Christopher Gore-Booth. He was dismissed

by the casino in 1994 and reinstated the Court in

july. In October the general manager of the Arthur

Pitcher, transferred Gore-Booth to Aspinall Zealand)

Ltd (of which Pitcher was also chief executive), then imme-

diately him. Judge Brian Palmer dismissed an

application the casino to have the original order reversed

and ordered Gore-Booth' s immediate reinstatement ill his

he had been treated and put

situation. Further hearings are pending.

Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd the Singapore based company

which already owns 56''10 of DB Group Ltd

has been consent to acquire a further

0.9%. for $2,313,405, and consent to stand in the market to raise its holding to 65"/". Asia Pacific announced it had increased its shareholding from 56.12% to 58.13%, buying both ordinary shares and convertible notes:

"DB stake lifted", p.I Asia Pacific also has con-

sent to convert its convertible notes into shares

when they mature on 30 1996, It holds its shareholding

in DB through its subsidiary Tarax Ltd and is

controlled (80%,) Heineken NV of the Neth-

erlauds and Fraser and Neave Ltd of

of

company for SEABIL(NZ) SEABlL(NZ)

60"% owned by owned 70'%

Neil Construction Ltd, owned the

land at

further land for residential subdivision near Auckland, This time it is 8094 square ,~"m'.",,''', It brought several such blocks of farm in 1994.

In other rural land,

*Utaraya Finance Inc, owned by two family trusts named Tina and Roth in Liechtenstein but ultimately owned in the United Kingdom, is buying 460 hectares of land in Northland for $880,000, and 325 hectares of land near Rotorua for $1,600,000 on which it proposes to establish a commercial forestry operation. "The Commission is advised that the applicant has extensive experience in forestry investments.

*A Canadian is buying a 133 hectare farm in the Maruia Valley, for $485,000. The former owners will continue to manage it The purchase is via the holding company Lichfield Nominees No. 37 Ltd,

* Former SOE-owned, Landcorp Property Ltd, now owned by CDL Investments New Zealand Ltd of Singapore, is selling one of its properties to Fulton Hogan Ltd, subsidiary of Fulton Hogan Holdings Ltd which is 375% owned by Shell New Zealand Holdings Ltd of the United Kingdom. The property is a 5 hectare gravel pit in Eureka Street, Alexandra, Otago, which Fulton Hogan "had leased from the Crown for many years" for its roading, construction and contracting business.

*The Russell family of the United Kingdom is buying 77 hectares of land in Matamata for $3,196,000. "The Commission is advised that the Russell family has had extensive experience in the bloodstock industry and that they propose to establish a bloodstock breeding, agistment, and management operation on the property." They are making the purchase through a unusually long line of holdings companies .. The family has a trustee company, Pictet Trustee Ltd which has set up a holding company Kalmar Investments Ltd, which in tum owns the shareholding in another holding company, Coralea Investments Ltd, which is to buy the farm.

*Cocur Gold New Zealand Ltd of the U,S,A,. and Viking Mining Company Ltd of Aotearoa have consent to "ac-

as an option to purchase 120 hectares orland in the Ohinernuri survey district near Waih]" The has been suppressed. "The applicant advises that the proposal is part of a land swap to enable continued prospecting " Coeur is owned Coeur d" Alene Corporation of Co cur d' Idaho, U.S.A. It owns 80% of the Golden Cross mine at Waitekauri, which it bought from Cyprus Gold for $97 million in 1993. The mine has caused considerable environmental concerns locally (see May 1993 deci-

*Two German residents who "are

have consent to the

Ltd which they don't own

for $280,000. Limburg owns 24 hectares of land in the

Riwaka Valley, Nelson. They plan to construct a tourist guest house and bungalows on the land. *A U,S" family-owned company, ou Mil! Forest Partners is acquiring 370 hectares of land at Te Reinga,

It is to be developed as radiata managers will manage the Dickie

ments.

"risk provider"

is acquiring further land for , this time "approxi-

681 hectares of land near Hunterville. Its last such purchase was in Marlborough in January 1995.

*A resident of the Netherlands has approval to buy 800 hectares at Palmerston, Otago for $960,000 to establish "an afforestation project" It is part of a 1150 hectare property and is being sold by the owner to clear his debt The sale is via the company Karin Holdings Ltd.

*Two other Netherlands residents who have been granted permanent residency in Aotearoa have approval to buy a 13 hectare "lifestyle block" on Tuki Tuki Road, RD2, Hastings for $] 06,000.

*A couple from Canada who "are seeking New Zealand permanent residency" have consent to buy 3 hectares of rural land on Williams Road, Tokomaru, RD 4, Palmerston North. "They wish to establish on the property a residential home and facilities for breeding and raising of full blood Chianina cattle and purebred Arabian horses. The Commission is advised that a full blood heard [sic] of Chianina cattle will be developed in New Zealand which are of'a different bloodline to those Chianina bloodlines that are presently available in New Zealand."

A Finnish owner of 863 hectares of land in Hawkes Bay, M r F,W. Rosenlew, is "restructuring his forestry investments in New Zealand" He is transferring the land, formerly owned by his company Rosaco (Jersey) Ltd, to another company owned by him, Ocasor Oy ("Ocasor" is "Rosaco" spelt backwards). In February and December 1992 the family bought (respectively) the 553 hectare Tirimoana Station for $546,780 for "farming and forestry development" and an adjacent 323 hectares of land in Tukituki near Have-

lock North, Hawkes for 18,796, again for

development

In other internal ~ao,"~,,~'"

*Manders Overseas Ltd, a of Manders Pic of

the [J,K is acquiring all the issued capital in Manders Holdings Ltd for £1,255,394. In August J 994, Manders bought Morrison-P.l.M. (Holdings) Ltd from the Skellerup Group Ltd for $27,500,000. In December it acquired Croda (NZ) Ltd, as part of buying shares and business assets of parts of the Croda Group world wide.

*The Toka Development Corporation, a subsidiary of .IFP

Energy has approval to carry on business

in this country. its activities focus on petroleum

ing and This a restructuring of

JFP's New Zealand business activities".

March 1995 decisions

A little publicised privatisation features this month, The Electricity Corporation has sold its maintenance and power subsidiary, Powermark to two huge European firms" Powerrnark has been ECNZ's installation and maintenance

HTH'IIIl,.,mu 850 million in the year to GE(' Alsthom New Zealand The General Electric

Alcate] Aisthom

tionally has staff in 23 countries and is involved "in

all aspects of electricity distribution and generation neering, including turn-key construction of power stations" including combined-cycle stations like that proposed for Stratford by ECNZ, The price paid has not been released but is understood to be $18 million, ECNZ said in selling Powermark that it "was now closely associated with national grid operator Trans Power and no fitted with the corporation's core business of generating and wholesaling electricity". GEC Alsthorn "states that it values the skills and experience of Powerrnark in transmission systems operation and maintenance, an area in which it does not consider itself strong, and which will complement its own expertise in other areas of power system engineering," Arguably then, this is technology transfer in reverse: to the European companies. It leaves our electricity without its own engineering expertise, GEC Alsthorn Australia said when the sale was announced that "it was intended to give the company a "springboard' into the New Zealand electricity market", so further developments may follow - possibly facilitating the building of private generating stations if that is allowed. They would also "take the company offshore", into Australia (where it is already operating) and then "hopefully" South-East Asia. (Ref: Press, "Powermark's new owners eye Asia", 11/3/95, p.2S.)

and

an after tax

now owned itself owned 5(J''/,.

Pic ofthe U.K. and 50'~,'1l

ICI New Zealand Ltd, subsidiary of leI Australia Ltd is buying Chemical Cleaning Ltd from Burns Philp and Company Ltd of Australia for a price that has been suppressed, Chemical Cleaning imports, blends and distributes bulk chemicals, The purchase includes 2 hectares of land at

Freezing works owner, AFFCO Holdings Ltd is 100 million new convertible notes to a number of overseas owned institutions which are AFFC'O creditors, It is fix Ole approval un-

likely, the conversion the notes to shares may make it

overseas owned "AFFCO state that

the issue is most

issue, various overseas persons and are creditors will take up mandatory convertible notes which are convertible into shares of AFFCO at the ofthe holder at any time. AFFCO advise that such conversion may result in it becoming an overseas person, sent to holders certainty that those vetted to shares." The

ANZ Banking Zealand,

South Australian Asset BNZ Finance and NZm Investments Ltd. According to press reports, a farmer co-operative, wants to raise $50 million to repay debt. After the issue of shares and the conversion of the notes (which could hap-

farmers"

Meats Association (a group of farmers that COH-

of North Island bobby

I reserved

entitlement shares (15

AFFeo

Farmers Investments farmer-shareholders), former AFFCO and C shareholders (2.9%), a Fletcher subsidiary (Sharnlee Holdings, 17.3%,), Primary Resources (owned by the Meat 11 I %), the syndicate of the above banks plus Fletcher Challenge Financial Services (l4,7f1o) "AFFCO Holdings to have two cornerstone shareholdings", 10/3/95, p.30).

A company is control of one of the country's leading computer suppliers, Renaissance Software. Renaissance is owned by Triumph industries Ltd, itself a listed computer distributor selling Apple products. Triumph is in turn owned 54,8'Yo by Electronic Mail International Ltd (EMIL) which is controlled by Acma Ltd of Singapore through 51 °/ .. shareholding. The other owners of EMIL are Mal R Thompson, Triumph's managing director (39%)

and Trevor A. (10%), managing director of Renais-

sance, The of ownership follows the volun-

tary liquidation of Triumph's former 73,8% shareholder, Electronic Mail (NZ) Ltd. Acma has a capitalisation of about $650 million, According to the Ol'C, it "operates a wide range of industries, including the computer industry and other areas, such as communications." According to press

Aetna's shareholding is via a subsidiary, Kelman (Press, "Singapore interest for Triumph", 29/3/95, p29). Triumph's other subsidiaries include CEO Distributors, an Apple wholesaler, and Computer Distributors, an Apple retailer "Triumph Industries prospers after switch", 13/

The $14 million, $7,012,500 in

shares issued at $1.40 each.

controlled company, Ascot Management

New Zealand Ltd is over Force Cin-

~r."".-cum"" Ltd for S20,600,OO() paid paradoxically The Tiong fam-

views the acquisition as an " Significantly, "the proposal to New Zealand ownership, as

50

the iSSUf: of the shares in consideration will dilute the

shareholding to ! 2%" In effect it is

a "reverse takeover" in that Force shareholders (the

Peter will own about 86% of the

company. The two Force own 50% of a

venture with Village Roadshow of Australia owning North Island multiplex cinemas, and various property interests. It has total assets assessed at $51.6 million and the proposal has been public since at least last December. (Ref:

"Ascot moves to buy Force Group", 17/12/94., pA3; and "Ascot reissues forfeit shares" 21/3/95, p.34.) See un~ der rural land below for another Ernslaw One acquisition.

The development of two adjacent buildings in Cathedral Square, Christchurch, are connected to a development in Queenstown. The Christchurch buildings are Carucca House (formerly the headquarters of the Christchurch Transport Board) and the Old Government Building, which has a Historic Places Trust Category I classification. The Queenstown development is at Fernhill and is to be known as Greenstone Lodge. A joint venture of Singapore and Aotearoa interests plans to develop both sites into a serviced apartment/hotel complexes.

The Singaporean companies are Pacific Cttylife (Christchurch) Ltd and Pacific Resorts (Queenstown) Ltd respectively, both of which are ultimately owned by the Pacific Development Trust, "the beneficiaries of which are associated with Messrs Tan, Sy, Tang and Pang of Singapore and Mr Horsburgh of New Zealand". "Mr Tan" is presumably Stanley or Freddie Tan who have been associated with George Horsburgh in a number of property companies, ineluding the Pacific Group Ltd, The Habitat Group, Firle Holdings Ltd, and New Zealand Land Ltd (see April 1994 commentary for more detail). "Mr Tang" is probably one of the family which controls the Singaporean hotel operator, Dynasty Hotels International, and who is associated, along with the Pacific Group, with a new company, Pacific Hotel Management (Press, "Pacific Hotel Management targets Asian tourists", 22/3/95, p.36).

The local partner is the Symphony Group Ltd which is controlled by Colin Reynolds and family. Reynolds ran the Chase group, one of the most spectacular failures in the 1987 sharemarket crash. It has developed a number of apartment projects in Auckland and in January took over the Greenstone Lodge suite and apartment complex development in Queenstown from the part Taiwanese-owned Woodland Group "Queenstown apartment development", 141 1/95, p.29).

Pacific Hotel Management is planning to have 1,000 beds under its management by early 1997 as part of national chain the Asian market In March it was appointed to operate two unnamed new apartment-sty I!; hotels in Christchurch and Queenstown "Pacific Hotel Management targets Asian tourists", 22/3/95, p.36) -- most likely the Government Building and the Greenstone Lodge developments.

According to the Press, ("Randolph charts bold new wa-

ters" the new Christchurch will be called the "Christchurch and will cost $26 million to the OICs information. Carucca House will become a 148 bed hotel and the Government Building's floor will become a restaurant and retail area. On

will be priced from $1 to

priced "much higher". There

will be a swimming spa pool, sauna and

and a four-storey carpark behind Carucca House.

The Queenstown development is valued at $27 million. in the OTC's decision. The associated company, New Zealand Land Ltd, which is ultimately owned by the same Pacific Development Trust, has undertaken to purchase the "Waterfall Block" of the complex after construction, and has also entered into an option to acquire the "Central. Lodge" block. The value of purchasing these blocks is put only at "over $!O million"

In a somewhat mysterious arrangement two Australian companies, Rifgac Seventeen Ltd and Yandina Investments Ltd are setting up in business here with a capital of $11 million to acquire "an equitable interest in a 45% share in an existing partnership between several banks and financiers in New Zealand. Rifgac is owned by Messrs Greenberg and Mekertichian, and Yandina by Mr Khoo, all of Australia.

Renegade ofthe apple orchards, Apple Fields Ltd (see cornmentary on January 1995 decisions) is reorganising its ownership of land in Canterbury, currently owned by its controversial Rural Super Bonds superannuation scheme. One subsidiary, Paxwell Holdings Ltd, is buying a Rural Super Bonds subsidiary, Plaskett Holdings Ltd, which owns 146 hectares of land, for $1,124,200. Another company, HOllar Holdings No J Ltd, "a nominee for the purposes of the Overseas Investment Regulations 1985 of Apple Fields Ltd" is buying Prenland Holdings Ltd and Runsham Holdings Ltd (of which more below) which own un hectares of land in Canterbury, for The Commission's "rationale"

"In 1 Apple Fields founded registered superannuation scheme known as "Rural Bonds". The

authorised investments of the scheme Include investment in the assets of Apple Fields and its related companies. The Commission is advised that by a scheme of arrangement the scheme, as part of its investment strategy, acquires land owning subsidiaries of Apple Fields. The states that once a property is transferred to the scheme Apple Fields continues to farm the land through one of its subsidiaries pursuant to a rather than as owner. The appli-

cant states it retains the to re-purchase the

or the land owning company" to a Deed of Option. The applicant now proposes to exercise this The applicant claims that there will be

of on the property and that the

scheme will enhance Apple Fields' ability to trade itably in the primary produce sector."

Ltd for

for another Apple Fields sub-

Ltd to 181 hectares of

Prenland Ltd and Runsham Holdings

per annum until I December 1997.

What the Commission does not mention is that it was this kind of conveniently loose arrangement with Rural Super Bonds that landed Apple Fields in trouble with the Securities Commission last year. It is a method of taxavoidance and was used Apple Fields to artificially increase Its apparent profitability.

In a separate but similar transaction, another Apple Fields subsidiary, Harbridge Holdings Ltd is buying out the 50% Apple Fields doesn't already own of .Iohns Road Orchard partnership No 1 (for a suppressed price) and Cathron Orchards Ltd (for a "nominal" amount) each of which owns exactly 5"6473 hectares of land in Canterbury. In each case the 50% being purchased was owned by the same four individuals and the sale "will allow retiring partners to be released from future liabilities in the partnership" and "allow Apple Fields Ltd to exercise complete control over the partnership, thereby creating the potential to increase efficiency"

Also interesting is the fact that Apple Fields is now regarded as an overseas company: it is 28.6% owned by T/A Pacific Select Investments, a Cayman Islands Limited Partnership owned in the U.S,A. A further 13.21 '% is owned "by various other overseas parties." TI A has OIC approval to own up to 29.99% of Apple Fields. As at September 1994, Apple Fields owned 660 hectares of apple orchards, plus 33 dairy farms,

In other rural land,

*Approval has been given for a U,S, family to purchase the pastoral lease of the 3,486 hectare Cone Peak Station near for $960,000. SVL Investments Ltd, which is "currently" owned 30'Yo by Cone Peak Partners Ltd, a company belonging to the Stroud family of the lIS, A, and 70% by S, of has been given to buy the lease. However, Cone Peak Part-

ners has also been

to "in certain circum-

stances" the own,

which would give it full of the station. "Ini-

tially the land will continue to be farmed pursuant to a

sublease. the applicant proposes to consider

various development fix the in-

cluding the possibility of establishing a vineyard on

of the property ... Mr Stroud, who is one of the

parties behind Cone Peak, has considerable agricultural including an extensive knowledge of soil man-

agement and of grapes."

*The Australian mining Martha Hill,

Waihi are 26 hectares of nearby land for

$1 "for the purposes of a 'buffer zone'

between the mine and to be most

affected by the Walh] Gold Com-

pany Nominees Ltd has provided an undertaking to return the land in an equivalent or better condition at the time of purchase to New Zealand ownership" [sic]. Waihi

Nominees Ltd is trustee for venture known as Waihi Hold which is owned 28.35"/., Waihi Mines Ltd of Austra-

lia,28,35'%, Welcome Mines Ltd 27.84"/" AUA!; Resources Ltd of Aotearoa, and 15.46'% by

Martha Ltd of Australia.

*A citizen of Aotearoa in the "due to busi-

ness commitments" buying a further 5'% of Ryton Station Ltd on of his existing 24.5243'% for $62,514, The rest of the company is "owned New Zealand residents". The station is 146 hectares of pastoral lease and 443 hectares of freehold land in Canterbury. He is similarly increasing his interest in Station Partnership for The partnership leases the land from Ryton Station Ltd to farm sheep.

*Ernslaw One Ltd, owned by the Tiong family of Malaysia is buying 1043 hectares of land at Glenelg, Owaka R U, Balclutha for $620,000 to expand its forestry holdings.

*Eight companies, each owned by different Hong Kong residents, are buying small blocks of afforested land in Peira, Far North District, In each case, the "rationale" is identically worded, the core being that "the forest will be developed to maturity, utilising expert management skills of New Zealand appointed agents and their managers. This is very similar to another scheme in Broadwood, Far North District, where one company has [or some time been selling off blocks of land to overseas residents as investments (see for example, December 1994). The companies, each with the area and price of land involved are: Everwin Properties Ltd, 7 hectares, $37,100; Goldfield Developments Ltd, 20 hectares, $95,000; Crossleigh Properties Ltd, 52,5 $265,600; Kingpin Developments Ltd, W hectares, $51,000; Bridgeston Properties Ltd, 13 $68,90(); Vinmark Properties Ltd, 21.3 hectares, SHU,1 Sapphire Properties Ltd, 5 hectares, $26,500; Oaktree Ltd, 19 hectares, $90,25{1,

*Thc V.S. RH New Zealand

the Nelson this time 211 Rai The purchase, for $60,000 is "as tenants in common" with Tasman Forestry of Fletcher Challenge Ltd.

development Juken Company Ltd both of Japan. 17" hectares of land at

Ltd is Lim ewo r'ks Loop

$1 It intends to

quarry with potentia! of about 200,000 of basalt mate-

rial per year. "The of this additional product

will increase in the market as Fulton

is able to be in the overall. task of road

own quarry materials." Fulton

Ltd is of Fulton Holdings

which is 37.5% owned by Shdl New Zealand Holdings Ltd.

*Fuiton Hogan is also its forestry operations in

It is 449 hectares of land on Mount Stuart

Adams 'Fiat for $850,000 from Holdings

Ltd, "This acquisition will help the Fulton Hogan achieve its approximately 1,500 hect-

ares of afforested land, in order to a sustainable

of 70 hectares of mature production per

year.

*A ILS, resident, M.H. Reid is leasing 93 hectares of land at Waipara, North Canterbury from House Vineyards Ltd, a company owning the land he and N.A. Reid were given approval to buy in April 1994 for $552,500. The consideration for the lease is zero.

*Two residents of Switzerland, Robert Nydegger and Erika Maria Lmiger, who have been granted permanent residency here, are buying 51 hectares of land on Rangatira Road, RD 1, Marton for $950,000. They "propose to operate the land as a pilot farm for what is known as integrated production type farming, which is midway between ordinary farming (using sprays and fertilisers) and green fanning, where sprays and fertilisers are prohibited. It is proposed that the applicants will reside on the property and actively farm the property. The applicants also intend to promote farm stays for Swiss residents and Erika Liniger will utilise her skills in textile art as a means of attracting Swiss people to New Zealand."

*A U.K. resident is buying a 390 hectare farm in Reeces Road, Omlhi, Christchurch for $1,425,000, He "is seeking New Zealand permanent residence" and "wishes to pursue farming as his sole occupation." Presumably he has another farm in mind, because "the proposal will result in the existing farm manager continuing to manage the farm on a full time basis." The farm is currently principally sheep and beef, but the applicant also wants to introduce deer farming and increase forestry on the property,

*A Singaporean company, Nigella Productions Ltd is buying 6 hectares of land in Quaifes Road, Halswell, Christchurch for $262,000. "The applicant proposes to use the land for the establishment of a market and/ or a fruit tree orchard. Nigella is owned 60% by four residents of Aotearoa (one of whom is the vendor), and 40% by three residents of Malaysia who appear be related to the other part-owners, It is not at all clear why the O[C describes the company as owned in Singapore.

*Two Australians are buying 3 hectares of land on Tutukaka Block Road, Tutukaka, near Whangarei for $H}O,OOO as a lifestyle block on which they propose to erect a house. "The applicants visit New Zealand for up to six months each year and will use the property as their New Zealand home."

*Another ceil phone site is being installed by Telecom Mobile Communications Ltd, a subsidiary of Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Ltd. It is 1400

square metres of land at south

purpose, for a price that has been suppressed.

In internal

*Telccom Corporation of New Zealand is the land

belonging to a number of its subsidiaries to another sub-

Birell for a amount.

The vendors are Ascar Securities Ltd, Telecom Auckland

Telecom Telecom South Telecom

Telecom and Telecom New Zealand JA(L *Serco Investments BV and Serco Asia Pacific

both subsidiaries of Serra Pic of the (J,K have

to the 98% of Serco New Zealand Ltd

Serco for market

1995 decisions

This is the by far the least number of decisions for

since 1990: 15 decisions compared to between 24 and SO since 1991 Perhaps investors are being scared off the current debate on overseas investment!

Tile Tiong of Malaysia has approval to be issued further shares in Regal Salmon Ltd, a public listed company currently 24Ji% owned by Sheikh Suliman Olayan of Saudi Arabia. The 47.2 million 25 cent shares will be valued at $U,8(JO,OOO and give the Tiongs "not less than 47% of the issued capital in Regal Salmon." However, the Tiongs are paying only $10 million because the shares will come from an issue of "unsecured convertible notes to a value of$10,000,000" which, along with the interest payable "are convertible to ordinary shares". The Tiongs had previously raised their ownership to J 0.06%, held through subsidiaries Callander and Oregon Forestry, but by May still had only a 11.33% holding (Press, "Regal Salmon stake", 1

pJ5). Regal, a commercial salmon farmer, has been in some trouble, with its shares at a very low level after a series of losses in recent years. In September l 994 its shares had a net tangible asset backing of 5,7 cents each and a

ously high debt to debt plus equity ratio of 91.8%

"Regal Salmon narrows loss after asset sales", 15/12/94). It has recently disposed of assets including its Christchurch salmon feed mill run Salmon Services (New

Zealand) Chchplant", 8/2/95,

selling or the Appellation Wines group rows loss after asset sales", I

to take control of company Mainzeal to 50.95%, of the issued share

A Chi!1laflJSA. consortium has construction and n"~"','rh

Ltd

capital

/\ very

to the concern of some observers who feared unethical tactics. Though revived in notice it did not receive (HC apuntil after the event The consortium now

RE, Rainwater of the

lLP, H of the 'iU' ,

W,R Frist of the

of the T ,i<'rist of the P,C Frist

KMetz of the ,J,M,R. Syme of

rhe

operator to

"Given the difficulties which have arisen in the introduction of the fast

and certain issues which have arisen between the neither two New Zealand shareholders wish to remain involved with the company !VIr

Mena states that he is committed to the success of the venture and

nority interests." "Certain issues" included a very fall-

out between Aotearoa prima donna Mckenzie, and family, and the Uruguayan dismissed as general manager in February but continued as a director after clashes with the company's Picton manager with a captain of their fast ferry (Mckenzie had "interfered with the navigation" while it was on sea trials on Harbour and then threatened to sack the objected) and with the company's first caterer. peated mechanical problems, the fast banned from Tory Channel in darkness or bad

because of poor visibility from the and failure to hold

a straight course. In March, a after Mena assured

staff of their jobs, all were made redundant. All were on individual contracts with 110 provision for object lesson, said Seafarer's Union

gan, The union had been to

tract for 26 cabin crew and deck staff.

owned by a company controlled by Mena and his son

(Juan Patricio Lopez): of Buenos

tina. Buquebus also the Mckenzie and Christchurch businessman the Aotearoa shareholders.

Glass Ltd from its

Australian open Eltil]

Nissan Motor

for New Zealand

to establish a holistic clinic".

*A from the FXA. have approval to the Rimu

Ltd which owns 6 hectares of land on Bronte Nelson for $310,000. "The ap-

plicants wish to establish a winery and retail shop in the Nelson area."

"who for New Zealand per-

has approval to buy 68 hectares ofland It will be converted from arable

to "Because of the poor soil quality, this

will result in a better economic use ofthe land" claims the

site: Telecom Mobile Communica-

has permis-

4900 square metres orland at for

suppressed amount, It will be used to extend its cell phone

coverage.

company.

creditors whose debts have been tors,

the Iiquida-

And Properties Investment Pte of Hotel Royal Ltd of Singapore buying the Grand COOl-

in Wellington from the Bank of New Zealand Officers Provident Association for $49,000,000, Royal "is an experienced real estate investor (and) is purchasing the property for investment purposes." It is probably connected with the same Kumar brothers (the "Royal brothers group" see October 1993 decisions) who own two-thirds of the Novate] (formerly ParkRoyal) Hotel, corner Queen Elizabeth Square and Customs Street East, Auckland and 60% of the Holiday Inn Hotel, Queenstown.

Four November 1994 decisions have been released by the OIC on appeal by CAFCA.

The consent given by the Commission to allow Utilicorp United Inc to buy up to 20% (and "in certain circumstances up to 37.5%) of the share capital of Power New Zealand Ltd now has the price paid for those shares released. It is $40,905,060 for "approximately 9.09%",

Three others were released in part, having had all but the country suppressed when first supplied to us.

Rotorua Lakeside Resort, which owns a one hectare lakeside property in central Rotorua is being sold to a Thai company, Challenge Company Ltd, The price remains suppressed. RLR has approval to develop the property as a hotel convention centre, but the existing owners don't have the money to complete the project "Challenge who already have investments in various hotels and resorts see the pro-

c

M

Two very large, aggressive and extremely transnational corporations (TNCs) have hit the limelight in Christchurch this year. They deserve closer attention.

Serco

For the past couple of years, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) has been hammering away at the Christchurch City Council. BOMA was joined this year by our old friends, the Business Roundtable, the mouthpiece of the TNCs. It made a submission on the draft annual plan and budget, for the Council to divest from all its business activities, By this it meant not only South power, the airport and port companies, but also Council housing and Mayor Vicki Buck's pride the employment scheme. This went down like a lead balloon across the political spectrum of councillors - the local Tories have no desire to see their little empires whittled away into by Wellington-based fanatics.

to

its hotel interests to New

The other two consents relate to two of land in

over which Wenita Forest Products Ltd had obtained an

to Owhiro Farm

were 205 hectares

Ltd and 75 hectares belonging to a couple who, judging from the wording of the appear to be the ultimate owners ofOwhiro Farm Ltd as well, In both cases, the price is still suppressed. "Wen ita has identified the land as a preferred site to construct an integrated wood processing complex which would extend from log processing through to industrial processing into a range of market end uses. In March 1995, Wen ita "applied to the Dunedin City Council for planning permission to build a $320 million timber processing plant ncar Mosgiel, on about 68 hectares of land off State Highway One" (Rural News, "Timber plant planned" 20/3/(5). Wenita is owned 45'% by China National Foreign Trade Transportation Corporation of China, 45% by Togen Enterprises Ltd of Hong Kong, and 10%, by Chell Wen Dong of Hong Kong.

Following a review by the Ombudsman, requested by CAFCA, eleven other decisions from the period September J 993 to February 1994 have been released in full by the Ole. In all cases but that of February 1994, the information released is the consideration for the transaction; all other details in these cases had been previously released. In the released February 1.994 decision released, Prime Pine Ltd, a locally registered Australian company with a sawmilling business in the Nelson region bought two pieces of land from a neighbouring orchard in order to form an "environmental buffer zone" for the sawmill. The land totals just under 3 hectares and is being purchased for $115,00(},

F

I

One other has now joined the multipronged assault - the Contractors Federation, It has called for the Council to dispose of its in-house Works out ali work. Indeed the Council has allowed some outside contractors to get a foot in the door, in areas such as park maintenance in particular suburbs.

Serco for the maintenance of 45 parks

it lower than that of Works

The Federation screamed blue

this undermined of the Council's

process, and cil remained Sercos

staff would have

at cost to of $49,000, It

been no obligation to

also reiterated that there the lowest bid.

the Government's massive

It bought the Works I''-,,,"'C''''''

Labour in foothold at the national off local bodies.

rs We arc indebted to the fort-

paper of the Communist of Australia Marxist!

Leninist. It devoted story Serco entitled "Multinational

h

teachers' union made it

that its members would not

of Serco into any area of education work. its foothold in Australia

weren' t even

cd,,,·,).~bd items. Serco ' s response was not to take the sub contractor, but to ask staff to de-

This is the crowd that has now well and got its hooks into New at both the national and local levels. Judg-

the way our heading, they

suitable to their London hospital ex-

Waste

ate the

where its wheelie rubbish outside thousands of private to build and operWaste Man-

anonymous in Christchurch. It has got

its foot with an whee lie bin col-

lection scheme in selected suburbs.

it was into the headlines by out standover tactics towards the Council The problem is that the Burwood landfill was believed to be available for another 20 years - but the Council ruled that dumping can years. Waste Manthis to the Planning back to five

environmentalism.

otherwise. It offered to drop its threat of venture with council-

environmental based Waste

to

minded corporate citizen.

"The best refutation of Waste

claims

is its own record. the company's rise

the of the waste disposal industry, WMI has left a trail of broken poisoned communities and angry

The company holds the dubious distinction of

the most heavily fined disposal finn in the country and is financially responsible for cleaning up a record 130 Superfund dumps. It has also chalked up a long list of felony convictions for price

"In addition to hauling garbage and operating landfills and transfer stations in virtually every US state, WMf, through its 76% owned subsidiary, Chemical Waste Management, operates nuclear and chemical waste landfills and incinerators and conducts toxic cleanup work for the US Government Other divisions handle asbestos abatement and pest control services. Waste Management international operates in Europe, Kuwait, Argentina, i\ ustralia and many other nations ...

"Waste Management has been hi! with a bewildering array of fines and citations for environmental violations. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company has paid more than $US50 million in penalties and related settlements for environmental violations. At least 45 WMI waste sites have been found to be out of compliance with federal or state environmental regulations, according to Greenpeace. and, between 1984 and 1 the company was issued with more than 600 pollution violations ..

"The company a major contributor to political cam .. paigns and its donations have not been above board ... WMI's deep have enabled it to make inroads into the environmental 1987 WMI has made donations of more than to (a list of US environmental

made several to become

a member of the Environmental Grantrnakers ciarion (EGA), loosely knit group of foundations that fund environmental organisations and

I WMi was rebuffed. In a letter, EGA

that Waste of abusive repeated violations of'both with the effect

criminal and civil

and degrading the environment' ...

"Much of the has come from

black and Latino communities where, critics

number of WM I' smost

to

and their workers'

with the California Rural

an ASSistance

munitics

WMI customer within 20 years. WMTs Europe where it holds contracts with more than 300 communities ~ and in other such

as Mexico, are also

Waste Management's record of lowed it to New Zealand. In

one of its operators who was crushed to death in a com pactor. The judge set the fine level as a deterrent and

cally censured the company Department

Labour advice before the to stick with

"inadequate" American standards. A Department of

Labour spokesman said: "It was unfortunate that it took the death of a person to convince the company there

was a foreseen risk they should against" (NZ

31

This is the international ofthese two TNCs which are very hard to bust into the lucrative Christchurch market We must that the Council doesn't have a bar ofthem.

s

available

direct investment Zealand increased from $1

lion in 1994 a 1500,;':,

The of shares on the New Zealand stock

owned overseas increased from 19% 1989 to

In 1994 the Overseas Investment Commission approved foreign investment billion" (the Commission only has to approve company $10 million or

The area of rural land sold to has increased from

41,900 hectares in 1991 to 72.500* in I the value from

$69 million in 199] to $353 million in ]994.

From 1987 to 994, the Commission considered 7,IOO ap-

plications. It rejected four The last was 1990.

The biggest foreign owners of New Zealand are:

America, Britain, Canada, Europe, Japan, Hong

Singapore. The Asian countries come a way behind.

Transnational corporations (TNCs) are massive profits out of New Zealand. For the 1994/95 financial year, USowned Telecom made a $620 million It paid out more than 90% of that as dividends to its owners,

"investment". In the investment at all.

is actu-

docs not guarantee more jobs, In it

often adds to unemployment U'S-owned Telecom is 40% of New Zealand workforce redundant

n",,,',v,. New Zealand's and public forit is $67 billion -

ownership does nothing to debt problem, In 1984, total debt stood at $16 billion. In I

a decade of public asset sales and takeovers.

Ownership means political power. The finance markets conthreaten to move their money out if policies are enacted that they disapprove of

control means recolonisation, but by company this time, not country

Everything that has been done to New Zealanders in the past decade has been done "to make the NZ economy attractive to foreign investment" This is what it all means to ordinary New Zealanders - we are involuntary competitors in the race to the bottom.

"' Figures since revised downwards by OIC, for no apparent good reason See Page 1 I

/.foOr;c,p./

reasons that the Accord doesn't apply to it But it's not all doom and From one end of the country to the other, local communities are fighting the forestry' TNCs, whether in where there is a vigorous campaign to stop Chinese-owned Wenita building a processing plant on the Taieri Plains elsewhere in this or in Kaitaia where

both Maori and pakeha, picketed Japanese-owned

.I uk en Nissho when it its activities.