Ban wrong response to concerns over foreign ownership

The Green Party’s members bill seeking to ban overseas investment in New Zealand land over five hectares is the wrong response to concerns over foreign ownership.

The media release says:

Today Dr Norman released a Member’s Bill that would effectively stop the purchase of New Zealand’s productive dairy industry by restricting the sale of farmland over five hectares to overseas investors.

I think that should read restricting the sale of farmland over five hectares to New Zealanders because the Bill says:

4 Purpose

The purpose of this Act is to: prevent foreign ownership of sensitive land.

 5 Sections 16 and 17 deleted and replaced

Sections 16 and 17 of the principal act are deleted and replaced with

16 No overseas investment in sensitive land

No consent can be granted for overseas investment in sensitive land.”

This is  a knee-jerk reaction to concerns over the purchase of the Crafar farms by Chinese investors. 

If there is a problem with overseas investment in our land, this Bill isn’t the solution.

Not all land over 5 hectares is sensitive, nor is it all farmland.

 New Zealanders’ lack of wealth in comparison to that of people  from some other countries could make us vulnerable but overseas investment can have benefits too.

It’s not just who owns land but what they do with it, and its produce, which matters and most of that is controlled by local authority regulations and central government laws.

A blanket ban on land sales over five hectares is an overreaction to what, at least at this stage, is a problem of perception rather than reality.

We need to have a discussion on the benefits and risks of foreign ownership and if there is a need for legislation it should be based on facts not emotion as this Bill is.

3 Responses to Ban wrong response to concerns over foreign ownership

  1. Gravedodger says:

    So when this passes we can still sell government house to the Chicoms, that will be Keith Locke’s masterplan completed.
    Bloody muppets

    Like

  2. “If there is a problem with overseas investment in our land”

    If?

    Investment?

    “Today Dr Norman released a Member’s Bill that would effectively stop the PURCHASE of New Zealand’s productive dairy industry by restricting the SALE of farmland over five hectares to overseas investors.
    (Emphasis mine)

    Did you actually read what was written?

    Like

  3. pdm says:

    I fail to see any problem with overseas investors buying NZ land – especially if it gives the New Zealanders selling a better price.

    What is a bigger sin is the breaking up of productive land into unproductive lifestyle blocks. If you drive for 50k’s in any direction out of Hastings you see acres and acres of some of the most producing land in New Zealand on the Heretaunga Plains lying useless grazing a couple of horses or even worse growing thistles in some instances.

    Like

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