02 June, 2016

Land bank

In NZ there are three types of Chinese: overseas Chinese like me, Beijing Chinese and Chinese from Taiwan. I meet quite a few of these playing golf with me in NZ. These are well to do Taiwanese who accompany children to NZ to study, retired school teachers or rich men looking for a place to retire in comfort.

A few are filthy rich. They buy land and use it as [land bank] in NZ. There is this chap who bought up farm land near Hamilton to plant tea, or so it appears. It is certainly more complicated than that. The jobs they advertised asked for 10 years experience in picking green tea! Not many Maori qualify for this job!

So he is allowed to import his own workers from Taiwan; quite a few of them too! Seems to me that this is one way for a rich man in Taiwan to give jobs to his relatives and cronies in NZ! Whether he is actually making money or not from this project, I do not know because I did not check his books to see whether he is paying his workers minimum wage or not.

Recently he bulldozed all these matured tea plants and moved further away to plant his tea. The gomen was forced to allow him to buy more land further away from Hamilton (nearer Auckland) to plant his tea because he had to move further away from Hamilton residential area due to noise made by helicopters when they operated at night, to prevent froze killing his fragile tea plants! Sounds like he is an ignorant rich man wasting his money planting tea in NZ.

The answer to this puzzle is of course the family of 6 living in garages in Hamilton! Auckland is very short of residential houses because Maori tribes are oredi using vast areas of prime residential land as land bank in the Auckland area. It seems to me that Taiwanese are not the only ones using land banks.

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