Mahon sends Crafar warning

He warns that debate must now “shift from the current xenophobic, and at times racist, context, to the larger and more valid question of commercial sovereignty, and the costs and means by which it may be achieved”.

Mahon is MD of Beijing-based Mahon China Investment Management which has been operating in China since 1985.

He says there has been almost no reporting of the Crafar farms sale in Chinese language media so far.

“[But] continued virulent criticism of the transaction within New Zealand risks turning one of the better relationships enjoyed by small Western country with Beijing into one marred by distrust and uncertainty.”

He adds that the fact that the “Crafar deal carries more stringent conditions of partnership and compliance than any placed on the Judaeo-Christian buyers of the previously sold 350,000 hectares will be perceived in China as discriminatory”.

Among other points he says concerted drive to attract Chinese investment into New Zealand SMEs would allow many to develop into companies of scale.

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