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Tighter controls needed on foreign investment

7 April 2005

Kiwis call for tighter controls on foreign investment

The Greens are urging the Labour Government to listen to the concerns of over 7000 New Zealanders who have signed a petition calling for tighter controls on foreign investment.

The "Stop the Sell-Off of New Zealand" petition, which was launched by the Greens before Christmas, will be presented to Parliament next Tuesday in time to reach the Finance and Expenditure Committee before it deliberates on the Government's Overseas Investment Bill.

"I have been heartened by the widespread support for this petition," said Green Co-Leader Rod Donald. "There has been a steady stream of signed forms arriving at my office and now that the petition is closing, I hope there will be a last-minute flood.

"The Government needs to listen to the thousands of New Zealanders who oppose their plans to make it easier for foreign investors to buy up our land, farms, forests, buildings and businesses."

Mr Donald said the petition called for an end to all land sales to foreign corporations and people who are not permanent residents and for stricter controls on foreign investors wanting to buy buildings and businesses, to ensure that these investments genuinely benefit New Zealand.

"The Overseas Investment Bill takes New Zealand in the opposite direction. While claiming to protect iconic sites, it will actually make it easier for even more of our country and our economy to be controlled off-shore.

"If people want to buy a slice of heaven, they should make a real commitment to our country by living here and contributing to our society. And if companies want to invest here, they should demonstrate that they will bring new technology and create new jobs rather than asset-strip."

Completed petition forms should be sent to Green MP Rod Donald, Parliament Buildings, Wellington (no stamp required) to arrive no later than Monday 11 April. The petition can be downloaded from www.greens.org.nz.

ENDS


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