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Another slice of heaven goes west

16 September, 2004

Another slice of heaven goes west

Green Party Co-leader Rod Donald says the sale of a large slice of iconic South Island high country to American Country and Western star, Shania Twain will send a loud message to the world's wealthy that New Zealand is up for sale.

"I applaud the Government for placing public access and conservation caveats on the sale," said Mr Donald. "But I deplore the sale of another slice heaven to absentee owners with no links or loyalty to this country.

"If people from overseas think New Zealand is worth the investment, then they should be making our country their home and actively contributing to our society.

Mr Donald warned that the sale of these "trophy" properties would also push up the asking price for land in the Wanaka region, which is already getting out of reach for ordinary New Zealand buyers.

"The Kiwi dream of owning a bach at the beach or beside a lake is now just that: a dream which will never come true for most of us. Meanwhile, young farmers' hopes of owning their own land are becoming increasingly remote as land prices now bear no relation to their earning potential as farms.

"I have drafted a private members bill which would stop all land sales to people who don't choose to make New Zealand their home but simply want to make money out of us or treat us as a rich person's playground," said Rod Donald. "New Zealand should not be for sale to the highest bidder."

ENDS

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