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New Zealand sold to overseas bidder

Alliance Party media release
Tuesday 13 February 2007

New Zealand sold to overseas bidder – but no details available as yet, or ever

The bureaucrats who are supposed to oversee any overseas selloff of New Zealand can't be bothered supplying a report to the New Zealand public, or even Parliament.

Alliance Party President Victor Billot says a refusal to hand over detailed statistics on foreign ownership by the Overseas Investment Office is a sign that it's time to raise the banana republic flag over Parliament Buildings.

He says the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has declined a request from public interest watchdog group CAFCA to supply six monthly and yearly reports as previously done for many years – and in an email today told CAFCA it no longer even has to report directly to Parliament.

Mr Billot says CAFCA were told the information they sought was [quote] "refused in terms of section 18 (e) of the Official Information Act 1982 as the documents requested do not exist."

CAFCA were informed there is no longer any obligation for the Office to file reports with Parliament, and the reporting obligations of the OIO now occur within the annual report of LINZ, where the OIO is now buried somewhere in.

Mr Billot said the OIO should find the time to provide a report to the New Zealand parliament and New Zealand public.

He says it will give people something to read as they wait in vain to be able to afford to buy property in their own country.

"This is an indictment on the system and represents a complete failure of democratic Government to maintain a careful oversight of bureaucratic procedures and powerful private interests."

"It's hard to say what the OIO actually do apart from say yes anytime some global corporate or millionaire calls in to pick up a cheap slice of South Pacific paradise."

Mr Billot says the work of CAFCA over the years on documenting the privatization and overseas selloff of New Zealand has been tireless and remarkably indepth.

"We don't expect CAFCA to receive any thanks in the New Years Honours list – that will no doubt go to those who helped along the process of turning New Zealanders into tenants in their own country."

"But CAFCA should be given the information as the leading public watchdog on these matters."


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