Wednesday, 27 March 2019 10:15

Neutered?

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When in Opposition, ‘Winston First’ used to enjoy standing on the sidelines criticising the sale of New Zealand companies to Chinese interests.

However, now that Peters’ party is in government it is forced to curb its ‘look-at-us’ xenophobia. 

As political commentator Richard Harman says on his website politik.co.nz, “NZ First looks powerless to stop the takeover by Chinese dairy company Yili of the troubled Westland Co-op Dairy Company. They will have to stand back and let the independent Overseas Investment Office decide whether to approve the purchase [of Westland by Yili].”

When Shanghai Maling bought 50% of Silver Fern Farms in 2016 Peters kicked up merry hell, frothing at the mouth about foreign ownership, inciting the usual chorus of anti-Chinese sentiment from certain quarters.

Harman notes Peters’ response to the Westland deal is more... muted: “Peters said Westland shareholders were entitled to sell their assets to ‘who they might’.”

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