There are so many gross generalisations in this article supportive of privatising NZ assets and asset sales to foreigners.
Even if privatisation and asset sales are desirable, it does not mean NZ ought to be blaze about the process or results, and nor does it mean that market regulation cannot achieve a better outcome if properly implemented. NZ is not asset poor, it is income poor. The state of the Crafar balance sheet does not reflect the net or potential value of NZ generally. If the country can achieve population growth or global growth, there is really no problem if the govt does not artificially stimulate a housing bubble. Just because Telecom management has improved does not mean the process could not have been managed better.
There is the generalisation that foreigners bring expertise. That is not a given. Often its silly ‘bubble entrepreneurs’ buying in, who only bring money. They overpay for assets, they often have no farming expertise, and they often go broke because they are speculators. Is that a good thing? In the short term, it can mean high prices, but it might result in those farms being sold off to property developers.
In the 1980s, Telecom was government-owned, not privately owned, so that is striking at a straw man. It would make more sense to compare an Australian privatised concern with one which is now Singaporean. An example fails me.
Foreigners are buying commodity based assets because there is a commodities boom. You are suggesting they sell these assets before the boom spreads to food. How good is your investment sense? You would have them retain paper money during inflation, or pay off loans? Tangible physical assets should be held in this period as money is debased.
It is not a lack of capital investment which is the cause of capital investment in NZ, its the small size of the market. This means that Vodafone and Telecom need not worry about competition because they know that no other player is going to compete with their extensive networks, so why do they need to ‘over-capitalise’ their networks. Its a strategic decision that has nothing to do with public or private, but collusion, whether public or private.