Peters: Overseas buyers a blow for businesses

Winston Peters says the sale of businesses to overseas companies "will concern many New Zealanders". Photo: File.

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters claims the sale of the Cook Strait ferry service Bluebridge and trucking company Freight Lines to Australian investors is yet another example of foreign owners gaining increased control of Kiwi businesses.

The Northland Member of Parliament also hailed the late Jim Barker, who established the Strait Shipping company, saying he was a man of "great ingenuity" and that it is "sad to see control now going over the ditch".

“This is just one of several large sales just approved by the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) which will concern many New Zealanders," said Mr Peters.

“Another is the purchase of Hunter Valley Station beside Lake Hawea in Central Otago to New York couple Matt and Annette Lauer.

“This will disappoint many Kiwis who wanted better access through the station to public conservation land at the head of Lake Hāwea and beyond.

Also on the list of latest approvals by the OIO is the sale of New Zealand’s largest general aviation company Airwork, for more than $203 million, to Chinese company Zhejiang Rifa Holding Group Co. Ltd.

“Airwork has a long history in New Zealand having started in Wellington in 1936 assembling Tiger Moth biplanes," he added.

“These sales are deeply disturbing for New Zealand as we are becoming like puppets controlled by foreign owners.”

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