HELEN. DON’T JUST STOP AT SAVING ST JAMES STATION FROM FOREIGN OWNERSHIP
The Campaign Against Foreign of Aotearoa (CAFCA) congratulates the Government for buying the St James Station for the explicit purpose of keeping it from falling into foreign ownership.
This proves that its 2005 Overseas Investment Act is not working. At the time that was touted as affording protection to “iconic” land. The Government obviously doesn’t trust its own law to do that when it opted to spend $40 million to buy St James. In fact, all that Act does is put up a few more hoops for foreign buyers to jump through but it doesn’t actually stop them buying land, iconic or otherwise.
There is a simpler, and much cheaper, solution than ad hoc multi-million dollar purchases to prevent NZ land being sold overseas – institute a legal regime that much more severely restricts foreign ownership of land, or ban it outright. That is the logical conclusion of what the Government has done in the case of St James Station and we call upon it to admit that and put such a regime in place as soon as possible.