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Government Crackdown On Foreign Farm Buyers Welcomed


Government Crackdown On Foreign Farm Buyers Welcomed

29 November 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


The government’s decision to tighten rules on farm purchases by foreign buyers is being welcomed by Fish & Game as long overdue.

The move - part of the new government’s pledge to strengthen the Overseas Investment Act - has just been announced by Environment Minister David Parker and Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage.

Fish & Game is welcoming the move, saying the Overseas Investment Office has been falling short of its obligations in recent years.

Fish & Game chief executive Martin Taylor says the Office’s poor performance has been hurting New Zealanders wanting access to the outdoors.

“Kiwis have been increasingly shut out of their own outdoors because the OIO has been aiding and abetting exclusive capture of our recreational resources,” Mr Taylor says.

“There is frustration among the outdoor recreation sector that the OIO under the previous government was effectively allowing the privatisation of our wild places and that has been hurting the average New Zealander.

“Kiwis wanting to get into the mountains to tramp, fish, hunt, raft and climb were losing access to public land because of the exclusive capture of recreational access and resources. This is just plain wrong and it is time it stopped,” Mr Taylor says.

Martin Taylor says it is time New Zealanders’ interests were put first.

“What Fish and Game and other recreation organisations want is for the Overseas Investment Office to properly implement the law governing sales of sensitive land to foreign buyers.

“It is time the Overseas Investment Act was used in kiwis’ interests, not those of foreign buyers wanting to get control of the outdoors and wild places that are becoming so rare in the modern world.

“Fish & Game looks forward to working with the government and the Overseas Investment Office to make sure New Zealanders are no longer locked out of their own country,” Martin Taylor says.

ENDS

WHAT IS FISH & GAME?

Fish & Game is a statutory public entity, established by Parliament under the Conservation Act, to manage, maintain and enhance sports fish and gamebirds, and their habitats. It is not a lobby group but an organisation with specific responsibilities under Acts of Parliament, including the Conservation, Resource Management, Walking Access, Public Finance and Overseas Investment Acts.

The New Zealand Fish & Game Council represents the interests of anglers and gamebird hunters nationally. The Council and the 12 regional Fish & Game councils are collectively known as Fish & Game New Zealand. Fish & Game receives no money from the government. All funding is provided by freshwater anglers and gamebird hunters – a “user pays, user says” tradition dating back 150 years.

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