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Controls on foreign ownership of land needed

Controls on foreign ownership of land will help save camping sites

Press Release from Russel Norman, Green Party Co-Leader

The announcement by Conservation Minister Chris Carter, that there has been a significant decline in the numbers of upper North Island commercial camping sites, is yet more evidence of the need to take some of the development pressure off coastal land by restricting foreign ownership of land, says the Green Party.

"Chris Carter's announcement, at the New Zealand Recreation Summit in Wellington today, of a new Department of Conservation report showing a big drop in commercial camping sites is another wake-up call," says Russel Norman, Green Party Co-Leader.

"The film The Last Resort graphically documented just one case of the loss of coastal camping grounds but Chris Carter's comments are an official acknowledgement of the extent of this process," says Dr. Norman, the Green Party Economics Spokesperson.

"It is extremely worrying that one third of all commercial camping sites in the Coromandel have been lost in the last decade.

"Anecdotal evidence from coastal dwellers all around New Zealand shows that one of the big pressures to develop coastal land comes from non-residents wanting a slice of New Zealand paradise. It's understandable that non-residents want to own property here but not at the expense of residents and Kiwi's summer holidays.

"Chris Carter's idea to develop more DoC camping sites is a good one but we also need to take some of the heat out of the coastal property market by restricting the sale of land to overseas owners.

"The Overseas Investment Commission did a dreadful job protecting New Zealand land from foreign ownership, the Government should direct the new Overseas Investment Office of LINZ to do a better job."

Ends

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