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Overseas Takeover Of Strategic Land

27 June 2002

Govt Failing To Prevent Overseas Takeover Of Strategic Land

Green co-leader Rod Donald said news of the sale of Young Nicks Head to an American financier showed the need for the next Government to take measures to stop the sale of strategic land to foreign buyers.

"The Green Party's policy is to stop the sale of any more land to foreigners unless they are coming to live in New Zealand," he said.

"Too much of our farmland, our coastline and are businesses are owned offshore. Instead of offering incentives to foreign investors so that they can control even more of our economy Labour should be encouraging New Zealanders to buy back what we have lost.

"At the very least the Overseas Investment Commission should be protecting these pieces of land and keeping them in New Zealand ownership," said Rod Donald.

"New Zealand is not a large country but we have some of the world's most outstanding country. People around the world are realising this and, unless we can put the proper protections in place, overseas buyers will continue to snap it up. This is land that defines us as a nation."

Mr Donald said Labour had been very weak on the sale of strategic New Zealand land and this was another area where a strong Green presence in the next parliament could strengthen Labour's spine.

In the year 2000 the OIC approved the sale of 93,000 hectares of rural land to foreigners. Last year this temporarily dropped to 37,368 hectares - the lowest level since 1993.

Ends


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