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New Zealand for New Zealanders

19 August 2005

New Zealand for New Zealanders

New Zealand should be a country for Kiwis, including new migrants, not foreign investors who hardly ever set foot on our soil, the Green Party said today in launching its foreign investment policy.

"The Government has a responsibility to ensure that its foreign investment rules mean that Kiwis don't become serfs and servants in their own land," Green Co-Leader Rod Donald says.

"The Green Party welcomes new migrants who enrich our nation, but we're not interested in international speculators who want to rip us off and treat New Zealand as a plaything. If you want to buy a slice of heaven, you need to make New Zealand your home."

The Foreign Investment policy (attached), which Mr Donald is launching at Otago University this afternoon, includes:
- Halt further land sales to foreign investors.
- A tightening of the rules for other foreign investments in buildings, businesses and aquaculture by applying a National Interest Analysis to all proposed investments of more than $10 million where the foreign shareholding is more than 10 percent.

"The Green Party welcomes 'greenfields' foreign investments that create jobs and bring new technology to New Zealand," Mr Donald says. "What we don't want is asset-strippers who buy up iconic businesses and bleed them dry.

"The Government refuses to face up to the fact that its open-door policy on land sales is artificially inflating the price of all properties, including residential housing. It's not just the family farm or the bach at the beach that is out of reach - first-home owners are now losing out to foreign investors too.

"There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that overseas investors, particularly Australians, are buying up residential property at the low-end of the market. This is adding to the woes of first-home buyers who can't compete against these cash-rich interlopers."

"Even the Government recognises it is a privilege for foreign companies to own sensitive New Zealand assets.

"That's why the Greens believe foreign owners should be required to conform to a code of corporate responsibility or risk losing the privilege of owning assets here. This is to ensure we do not have a repeat of debacles such as the run-down of Tranz Rail and the Telecom rip-off."

ENDS

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