Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Winston Peters, NZ First Party
Under National over one million hectares of New Zealand land has been sold to foreign interests in just five and a half years – this is about selling off New Zealand.
As a result Kiwis face more competition to own land, farms and houses.
With every purchase by a foreigner of land or a house prices are rising
The Overseas Investment Commission that is supposed to keep watch on applications for land does little except record the sales. They just get ticked off.
We can’t compete against foreign money, particularly when many overseas buyers have access to interest rates of 2 per cent - some are lower.
This week a United States report says a huge wave of Chinese buyers is about to leave China and buy up property in the US.
In 2013 Chinese buyers snapped up $11 billion of real estate in the US. The report this was just the start.
New Zealand will not be left out. We have always been a favoured destination, hence the housing bubble in Auckland. We can expect this property buying tsunami to hit here too. It is time to act.
National is not worried about land or the housing sales. They are always dismissive of any concern and are content with the sell-off of farms that have been developed by hard-working Kiwis over generations. National claims foreigners have only bought 1 per cent of New Zealand. Nonsense.
As the government does not keep records on foreign purchases no precise figure can be given for past sales but estimates show such sales rising. One economist says a conservative estimate is about 10 per cent of farmland and forestry land have gone to offshore ownership.
New Zealand First has a bill written that will mean comprehensive sales figures are kept on a register in future.
New Zealand First will ban sales of land and houses to non-residents. This will go a long way to stabilising prices and give Kiwis a better chance to get into a home and on to the land. Foreign investment will be allowed only if significant benefit to New Zealand can be shown.
It is not just banking but forestry land and vineyards have also been targeted by foreigners in their buy up of New Zealand. Remember, overseas buyers export their profits back home. A big loss to our economy.
In the last five years the countries who bought up most land include the US, Canada, Israel, the UK, Switzerland, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Monaco, China, Italy and Malaysia.
Our assets are popular. We must keep a watch over our land and housing. There is an urgent need to keep the country for ourselves and our benefit.