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Calling for a Freeze on Foreigners Buying Land

Rt Hon Winston Peters

New Zealand First Leader
25 SEPTEMBER 2014

Calling for a Freeze on Foreigners Buying Land

As yet another farm is sold to a foreigner, it is time for Prime Minister John Key to freeze foreign purchases and fully investigate the impact of land sales, says New Zealand First.

“The sale of our land is going unchecked, with no proof that there are benefits to New Zealand,” says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“With a million voters supporting four political parties that realised the need to ban sales to foreign interests, Mr Key has an obligation, at the very least, to call for a breather.

“Clearly, foreign dollars are driving the price of land higher and higher, and out of reach of New Zealanders.

“Mr Key needs to explain in detail how New Zealand and New Zealanders have become better off from previous sales. What significant rewards have been achieved by foreigner owners over and above what a New Zealand owner could achieve.

“Can Mr Key explain how the purchase of farms in Wairarapa by American film director James Cameron added jobs, increased productivity and created export earnings. Apart from the formation of a tramping track, how did the purchase of a high country station by Canadian singer Shania Twain create more permanent jobs and add to agricultural wealth.

“Now we have a German paying around $8 million for 487 hectares near Havelock North. Will he do more than the owners of Canterbury high country station Flock Hill, who promised to increase stock units and the farm’s economic viability but appear to have done little, except damage the business of a tour operator.

“No other country has such open-ended rules over property and land ownership as New Zealand does. It is high time some sense was brought to this issue.

“To suggest that buyers have to be scrutinised by the Overseas Investment Office is complete nonsense. As we have said all along, it’s a rubber stamping machine.”

ENDS


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