This local campaign to buy a little nondescript beach shows that ownership of New Zealand by New Zealanders really matters politically.
Thousands of New Zealanders have pledged money to buy a bit of beach in Abel Tasman National Park. Whether they win the tender or lose it, there’s a will to collectively organize to make sure our land stays owned by New Zealanders for the benefit of all. Is this enough for the opposition parties to work together on a common policy on land ownership by foreigners?
From the New Zealand First manifesto:
Base New Zealand’s foreign investment strategy upon the premise that such investment must be in the interests of New Zealand. The private interest of foreign shareholders is not our concern, the public interest of New Zealanders is.
Establish KiwiFund as a state owned saving scheme so New Zealanders can invest in New Zealand assets and infrastructure.
Establish priorities for foreign investment in New Zealand that require such investment to bring new technology and lead to employment and export growth or import substitution.
Create a comprehensive register of foreign ownership of land.
Labour Party’s Phil Twyford last year proposed a Bill:
Labour’s Member’s Bill to ban foreign buyers from purchasing existing homes will achieve what the Government failed to in its Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.
“The Government should adopt the Overseas Investment (Protection of New Zealand Homebuyers) Amendment Bill and get New Zealand the carve out Australia secured through its negotiations.
“The sovereignty of the New Zealand Parliament should never have been traded away and this Bill is a case in point.”
Stuart Nash also said, on January 7th last year:
Foreign direct investment is crucial to the continued growth of the New Zealand economy. But selling off vital productive land to overseas investors who simply suck the profits out of the country is a dead end street.”
From the Green Party policy platform:
Green Party Trade and Foreign Investment Policy:
Land ownership for New Zealand citizens and permanent residents only.
More stringent conditions on overseas investment.
A Code of Corporate Responsibility for all corporations in New Zealand.
By the thousands, and with their money in their hands, the public seems to be saying there’s a will to identify and to defend our common ground. Can the opposition find that common ground?