Fran O’Sullivan, writing in the NZ Herald today about the controversial Crafar farms sales process has this exactly right, in my opinion:

Who benefits from a protracted legal dispute? The lawyers. (image:

The door is open to Shanghai Pengxin to change aspects of its original application. The OIO said yesterday this often happens during the application process as “applicants refine their applications and agree to conditions of consent.”
It is not hard to foresee an outcome where the Chinese firm submits a new application which places stronger emphasis on the value proposition to New Zealand from its proposed joint-venture with Landcorp to manage the 16 farms, and on its plans in the export space.
It is also not hard to see that if that application is recommended for approval, then approved by Cabinet ministers, that it will again be challenged through a new judicial review.
The Crafar farms saga will continue to play out.

Yup and yup.

In my other life I often see disputes occur (or engineered?) which enrich the lawyers* and lighten the pockets of everyone else involved. It’s a real trap.

On Fran’s other desiccated talking points about farm sales being an eternally good thing for New Zealand’s involvement in a global economy — and to fend off “upward pressure on domestic interest rates, increasing the risk of exposure to economic shocks” (Oh noes!) … meh, not so much.

– P

* and other ‘professionals‘ like Matthew Hooton.