An overwhelming majority of nzherald.co.nz readers are railing against the just-approved sale of the Crafar farms to a Chinese Government-backed investment group.
Shanghai Pengxin's bid for the 16 Crafar farms was approved by Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson and Associate Finance Minister Jonathan Coleman today.
The sale came with strict conditions, including that the owners continue to be of good character, invest $14m in the properties and cannot become majority owners of milk processing facilities in New Zealand.
A poll of nzherald.co.nz readers has been voted on 4500 times, with about 70 per cent of respondents saying they did not agree with the sale.
Nan from Hibiscus Coast said: "Government is running the risk of NZ being swallowed by those bigger than us Make no mistake, we will lose our individuality and Lord only knows what else goes when that goes."
Krystal said the sale would take money away from future generations of New Zealanders.
"Nice for those who want the capital gain, but what do our kids have to look forward to? Low wages and the ever-increasing struggle to buy a home in their own country. New Zealand land should not be sold to any foreigners - I don't care where they come from - UK, Asia, America or wherever."
MJ said the move was making New Zealanders "tenants on their own land".
"We cannot buy land in China so why should Chinese be able to own ours? Ask the Irish what happened when their land was controlled by those elsewhere - they starved even as grain grown on Irish soil was sent overseas."
NZ Citizen simply said: "Big mistake Mr Key. My vote will be changing."
However, other readers voiced their support for the sale, accusing opponents of racism and xenophobia.
Thomas said the main opposition to the sale came from the fact the buyers were Chinese.
"Good grief. The sale of private property is none of the government's business. Imagine if you needed Government approval when you sold your house or car?
"This xenophobia and government meddling has no place in New Zealand."
Taruts said the concerns over the sale were addressed by the stringent conditions of purchase imposed by the Overseas Investment Office (OIA).
He said the Shanghai Pengxin had opted to work in tandem with New Zealand state owner enterprise Landcorp and make other contributions to the country.
"The xenophobia witnessed here is simply overwhelming.
"Previous local owners have run the farm to the ground. More able overseas operators are aiming to restore the farms."