“State-owned enterprises shouldn’t be competing with Kiwi businesses, and there’s no greater example of this than Landcorp,” says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron.
“The Government has no business being in farming, it’s interfering in the free market and New Zealand has plenty of ambitious, talented farmers who deserve the opportunity to farm the land currently owned by Landcorp.
“An independent review into Landcorp that was undertaken in 2021 said the organisation failed to meet financial forecasts, had high corporate costs, and invested in unprofitable off-farm ventures.
“No private operation would be able to fail like this, Landcorp is taking taxpayers for a ride.
“ACT would sell Landcorp off in chunks and use the proceeds to fund conservation on private land. Where Treaty of Waitangi concerns precluded the sale of particular pieces of land, we would retain them in Crown ownership and provide long-term leases to the SOE.
“Landcorp not only provides a poor financial return to taxpayers but the Governments’ ownership of these farms is keeping Kiwi farmers out of the market.
“The role of government is to provide essential services – not to run businesses. In the hands of expert, profit-focused private owners, these enterprises can prosper on their own merits, maximising productivity without threatening taxpayers with costly corporate welfare or risk on investment.”