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King Hit To Foreign Investors

King Hit To Foreign Investors

The government has delivered yet another blow to rural landowners, said John Aspinall of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (FFNZ)

His comments follow the Minister of Finance unveiling changes to the Overseas Investment Commission that will result in foreign ownership decisions on land subject to the whim of government ministers.

“Slapping archaic compliance and monitoring regimes on foreign investors wishing to invest in New Zealand land will lower property values and drive away would-be investors,” said Mr Aspinall, a national board Member of FFNZ.

“The aspects under consideration are already subject to a range of legislative requirements, such as the Resource Management Act. The new proposals simply add an over arching level of legislation and bureaucracy.

“While the Federation supports regular reviews of Acts and Regulations, the foreign investment review appears to be driven by short term political pressures rather than any quantified deficiencies with the current regime.

“It is ironic that New Zealand preaches the virtues of free trade and open access to markets on the international stage yet ignores its own advice when formulating domestic policy.

“The new regime will allow Ministers to decide the criteria to apply to land transactions. This emphasis on particular criteria is likely to be highly subjective depending on the mood of the Ministers and results of political polls of the day.

“The current structure provides certainty to overseas investors but today’s changes will further reduce New Zealand’s attractiveness as a place to invest and do business,” he said.

Federated Farmers will be taking up the Prime Minister’s offer to talk to the Finance Minister to express our concerns.

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