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ACT Opposed To Green Party's Xenophobic Bill

ACT Opposed To Green Party's Xenophobic Bill

Overseas Ownership (Restriction on Foreign Ownership of Land) Amendment Bill First Reading

Speech By ACT Leader John Banks

Wednesday, August 15 2012

I rise on behalf of the ACT Party to oppose the Overseas Ownership (Restriction on Foreign Ownership of Land) Amendment Bill.

The ACT party opposes this xenophobic exercise in economic nationalism wholeheartedly.

This bill would be a move diametrically opposed to New Zealand’s best interests, past, present, and future.

Members should know that when it comes to welcoming foreign investment we are already an international laggard.

Every few years the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development measures how open countries are to Foreign Direct Investment, including investment in land.

Members used to the idea that New Zealand was opened for business in the 1980s might expect us to rank highly in that index.

The same Members might be surprised to hear that out of fifty-five countries measured, New Zealand is the sixth most restrictive country on foreign investment.

Saudi Arabia, China, Indonesia, India, and Japan are the only countries that have greater restrictions on Foreign Direct Investment than we do. The rest of the developed world is more welcoming to foreign investment.

There are now fewer restrictions on investing in all the former Soviet countries than here.

If we wish to prosper, we need foreign investment.

Foreign investment brings capital, know how, and jobs.

We know this because up until approximately 1000 years ago there was no foreign investment in New Zealand, and there were no jobs, either.

The history of New Zealand is a history of foreign investment.

We also know that countries more open to foreign investment get more foreign investment - and that those economies grow faster.

Take the example of James Cameron. The best film director in the world will soon live within an hour of this parliament.

He’s bringing his capital, his know how, and perhaps jobs to New Zealand.

Only the Green Party would want to discourage that kind of investment.

This bill actually tells us quite a lot about the Green Party.

They are a party of old dudes and young fogeys.

One of the older Members, Steffan Browning, said that this bill is, quote, ‘totally timely’.

As modern as that sounds, this bill would be a step back toward the fortress New Zealand of old.

One of the younger Members, the Member responsible for this bill, has said that this bill addresses concerns about investment by a Chinese group.

Watch out Winston! The Greens are taking your turf.

This bill would be a disaster for New Zealand.

It would close down New Zealand when it needs to be opening up, and leave the nasty after taste of green xenophobia in our mouths.


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