NZ for Sale? For Sure, says English
The current review of overseas investment rules, particularly those around sensitive land suggests that the ACT Party is unduly pushing National Government policy, said Green Party Overseas Investment spokesperson Dr Kennedy Graham.
No part of New Zealand is off-limits in the Government’s upcoming review of overseas investment rules Finance Minister Bill English confirmed today.
Mr English told Parliament in a reply to questions from Dr Graham that land defined as sensitive, such as the seabed and foreshore, would be included in the Government’s review of overseas investment rules.
The Overseas Investment Act 2005 tightened the law on what parts of New Zealand could be purchased by overseas investors – including off-shore islands and any part of the seabed and foreshore.
The policy difference between ACT and National in 2005 was palpable, as Dr Graham pointed out in Parliament today.
At the time John Key thought there was a "genuine concern – and I think a warranted concern from New Zealanders – that we do not want to become tenants in our own country. I think the long-term future for New Zealand is not that of a bunch of people running around serving lattes to foreigners who own our country."
In 2005 ACT stated that foreign investment is "overwhelmingly favourable" for New Zealand and that there is "no evidence that foreigners make poor landowners."
"John Key's view in 2005 was sound," said Dr Graham. "We do need to be careful with our foreign investment. But his 2008 policy is being pushed by his strange ministerial partnership.
Allowing more overseas millionaires to buy precious parts of New Zealand will do nothing to stimulate the economy.
"New Zealand doesn’t have a capital gains tax therefore the Government will gain nothing whatsoever from the sale of land. If an overseas citizen sells their little slice of New Zealand to another overseas citizen, no New Zealander will benefit.
"This review looks guaranteed to do nothing to stimulate the economy but appears more and more a sop the extreme free market dogma of the ACT Party. New Zealanders will gain nothing from this review other than a few more ‘Keep Out’ signs on land they once had access to," said Dr Graham.