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The Price of a Big Rubber Stamp

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Member of Parliament for Northland
New Zealand First Leader
20 OCTOBER 2015

The Price of a Big Rubber Stamp

New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters wants to know how much a bigger rubber stamp costs.

“The Overseas Investment Office has been merrily slapping the approval stamp on applications from foreign buyers, but now the Office indicates it needs more staff.

“It argues that applications are becoming more complicated, but it approves 100 per cent of applications most years, and does not follow up on promises made in applications.

“Why is so much staff time being taken when the outcome is known? That’s just window dressing.

“The Office is certainly understaffed to carry out a complex job under a strong interpretation of the Overseas Investment Act, but that is not happening at present. The lack of benefits from all these approved purchases is the evidence.

“Where is all the job creation from foreign buyers? Where are the innovations that could not be achieved under Kiwi ownership?

“New Zealand First wants the Act amended to stop the creeping foreign buy-up of our land and an end to rubber stamping applications,” says Mr Peters.

The OIO has 15 staff, and assessed 151 applications in the 2014-15 financial year.”


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