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Overseas Investment necessary for New Zealand

NZ Sending Terrible Message to Global Investment Community

Overseas Investment necessary for New Zealand

Parliament needs to address problems with New Zealand’s overseas investment rules rather than deter the current and potential foreign investment it desperately needs, according to Property Council New Zealand.

Property Council chief executive Connal Townsend said debate about the future ownership of the 16 Crafar dairy farms appeared to have tapped a racist vein, when the real issue was New Zealand’s willingness to value its own landholdings and provide certainty to people who can commit capital, generate local employment, and encourage economic growth.

“The Green Party co-leader, Dr Russel Norman’s reported called for changes to overseas investment rules so foreign interests can only lease New Zealand property sends a terrible message to the global community that this country is off limits to much-needed capital.”

Mr Norman’s sweeping comments ignored the reality that New Zealand operates in a global capital market and desperately needs investment. “This debate risks damaging this country’s attractiveness to foreign investors across all sectors, including commercial property.

“The review of the Overseas Investment Act 2005 is an opportunity to de-politicise the process for determining consent applications. Ministerial involvement in investment decisions needs to be limited so that applications for foreign investment can be considered on merit.”

Property Council argues the Overseas Investment Office needs to be restructured and appropriately resourced so that applications can be considered in a timely manner.

“Many applicants are left hanging by processing delays that can stretch for months and months. These delays are not fair or efficient,” Mr Townsend said.

Property Council lobbied for changes to the Act in order to encourage foreign investment, not inhibit it.

“New Zealand is a multi-ethnic nation that is home to people who have emigrated from all corners of the globe. Just as we have welcomed migrants such as Dr Norman, we should also continue to welcome global capital that is helping to fuel economic growth and job creation,” Mr Townsend said.


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