Who owns New Zealand?
Some key facts
Information supplied by CAFCA: the Campaign Against Foreign Ownership of Aotearoa (contact details below) and reprinted here with their permission.
|Foreign direct investment (ownership of companies) in New Zealand increased from $9.7 billion in 1989 to $50.7 billion in 1997 - an increase of over 500%.|
|Foreign owners now control nearly 65% of the share market. In 1989, the figure was 19%.|
|In 1997 alone, the Overseas Investment Commission approved foreign investment totalling $5.2 billion (the Commission only has to approve company takeovers involving $10 million or more). [latest available statistics]|
|The area of rural land sold to foreigners has increased from 42,000 hectares in 1991 to 62,000 in 1997.|
|The biggest foreign owners of New Zealand are: Australia, the US, Canada, Britain, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and China.|
|Transnational corporations (TNCs) are making massive profits out of New Zealand. For the 1997/98 financial year, US-owned Telecom made an $820 million profit. It pays out never less than 70% of annual profits as dividends to its owners, and some years more than 90%. TNC profits can truly be called New Zealand's biggest invisible export and have a major deleterious effect on our balance of payments.|
|Foreign "investment", in the great majority of cases, is actually a takeover, not investment at all.|
|Foreign investors are not big employers - they only employ 18% of the workforce. Politicians and media "experts" are peddling the myth that "one in three" New Zealanders owe their jobs to foreign investment. We have challenged this figure - resounding silence has been the answer. So the fact remains - at most, only one in five or six New Zealanders owe their jobs to foreign investment. Foreign ownership does not guarantee more jobs. In fact, it quite often adds to unemployment. US-owned Telecom is making 40% of its New Zealand workforce redundant.|
|Foreign ownership does nothing to improve New Zealand's foreign debt problem. In 1984, total private and public foreign debt stood at $16 billion. In 1998, it is $99 billion - despite a decade of public asset sales and takeovers.|
|Ownership means political power. The finance markets constantly threaten to move their money out if policies are enacted that they disapprove of.|
|Foreign control means recolonisation, but by company this time, not country.|
|Nearly everything that has been done to New Zealanders in the past decade has been done to "make the New Zealand 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.|