Westland District mayor Bruce Smith isn’t buying suggestions that productive farmland at Franz Josef should be abandoned to the flood-prone Waiho River.
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, the West Coast-Tasman MP, says the impending sale is “personally of concern for me coming from the West Coast”.
NZ First MP Mark Patterson expresses similar sentiment: “Let’s hope Westland Milk shareholders think long and hard before selling the family silver”.
NZ First was highly critical of the sale of agribusinesses to Chinese interests before the election. However, the party has toned down its criticism since stepping into coalition Government with Labour and the Greens.