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Easy passports for the rich

Written By: - Date published: 9:11 pm, May 7th, 2011 - 26 comments
Categories: Economy, im/migration, jobs, overseas investment - Tags:

The National Government has relaxed the rules for so-called business migrants, those who can get easy access to a passport by investing in New Zealand. The Minister is proud that the scheme has now raised $562 million. He says it is part of the government’s economic growth programme. The key relaxation seems to be that rich would-be migrants can now invest in residential property. As one of them says:

“Asian investors, especially the Chinese, are happy and comfortable to be investing in residential properties,” said Ming Tiang, a licensed immigration adviser from Chiwi Immigration Services.

So National’s growth strategy is the same old residential property bias that we are told has been the cause of all our problems.

Then again maybe this is part of the growth strategy – kitset houses from China.



26 comments on “Easy passports for the rich”

  1. Armchair Critic 1

    I saw this in the Herald today and thought it was satire.
    Investment in residential property for rent now counts? Absolutely ridiculous, National demonstrate, yet again, that there are no limits to stupidity.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    We have all the skills we need here and so we don’t need more immigration – we’re failing to develop them. This immigration policy just fails to develop our own even more while also pushing up house prices leading to even more NZers heading over to Australia.

  3. RedLogix 3

    Madness. Our real estate market needs a decade or so of unwinding the unsustainable debt we have built up… the absolutely last thing it needs is stimulating by cashed up overseas speculators.

    And I neither can I imagine that these Asian investors will be employing many locals at anything over the legal minimum wage, further stressing established builders who play by the rules. Asia has already dismantled our manufacturing economy, now the building industry is getting lined up for the shit-can.

    John Key is an economic traitor whose job it is to sell us out.

    • uke 3.1

      Unfortunately, in this matter as in others, JK is aided and abetted by the tacit approval of a majority of NZers. Do they all think of themselves as little Donald Trumps-in-waiting? This Babylon in which we live is so f–king sad.

    • Bill 3.2

      Asia didn’t dismantle ‘our’ manufacturing base.

      Those who controlled the manufacturing did by moving their operations off shore.
      And share holders demanding bigger returns did.
      And the politicians signing off those ‘free trade’ deals did.
      And the downward push on wages did.

      • HC 3.2.1

        This is exactly correct!

        • Colonial Viper

          A large manufacturing corporation employing tens of thousands of workers is generally controlled by 5-10 major shareholders (investment banks, hedge funds, other corporates etc.)

          It will typically also have 15-20 people on it’s Board of Directors.

          What you basically have then is a group of roughly 30 people who get to the make the call on what work stays, what work goes, which factories get shut down and moved, which product lines are offshored, how many thousands or tens of thousands of jobs go.

          That’s undemocratic and it’s unfair.

          At a guess the NZ economy is controlled by roughly 500-1000 people. That number includes a few Ministers, CEOs, Boards of Directors and major shareholders. Many of them won’t even live in NZ.

          Together they control a few hundreds of billions in NZ assets and as a group they have more say over the size and shape of our economy (and hence our entire society) than the other 4.4M people put together.

          Again that’s undemocratic and it’s unfair.

          Time to change this game.

          • Jan

            It’s bad enough having our so called business entrepreneurs looking after real estate value / directors interests / stock price without the government having this as their over-riding focus.

            My favourite Tony Benn quotation is useful here.
            “If one meets a powerful person….. Ask them five questions:
            ‘What power have you got? Where did you get it from?
            In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable?
            And how can we get rid of you?'”

  4. Salsy 4

    So now if your rich, even cash poor with *assets*, you can get citizenship to NZ just by living here for 44 days per year, or 1.5 months. So this, I imagine is how National will sell Kiwi assets/farmland off to Mum and Dad (Chinese) investors.

    • my thoughts exactly Salsy – their plans are well underway.

    • Jim Nald 4.2

      Step 1 – get your mates’ rich contacts into NZ more easily?
      Step 2 – sell them the right to vote?
      Step 3 – sell your assets?
      Step 4 – they scratch your back. with cash and pecuniary favours?

      Neo-libs and neo-cons welcome neo-colonisation to National’s Neo Zealand

  5. Samuel Hill 5

    This is stupid. Get skilled immigrants to help upgrade our own skills. The last thing we need is more pre-historic farmer/finance/property economic schemes.

  6. george the awesome 6

    the bills national has passed are soo messed up i just cant get them through my head how they work

  7. HC 7

    Nothing new from ‘Immigration New Zealand Ltd’!

    We have had such similar “baits” offered to “new investors” in the 1990s and even in recent years.

    The requirements have just been “loosened” a bit once more.

    Is it new that NZ – Aotearoa is for sale? No it is not.

    Immigration NZ is part of the economic strategy of this government. NZ is competing with other countries like Tonga, Vanuatu, Swaziland and some small caribbean “investor friendly” states for quality migrants with big wallets and fresh chequebooks.

    Now even forex outlets can transfer funds swiftly into a NZ bank account for buying a couple of houses or apartments for rental investment, or for opening another take away or small restaurant employing 5 family members for a couple of years.

    Sign at the dotted line, no further questions asked where your money comes from and here is a freshly printed NZ passport opening the doors to you to live in the transit lounge for even greater rewards in Australia in a few years down the line.

    This keeps the economy running and MPs get votes from new migrant entrepreneurs highly qualified to operate in a third world economy.

    The next real estate bubble will grow, a new round of investor madness will follow and we can borrow more by mortgaging the houses we live in to buy the groceries and other consumer items we need for day to day life.

    I come from Niu Zeeland from where we export milk powder, butter, cheese, meat, logs, seafood and passports. We offer an easy back door entrance to Australia, where you can move on to for a 1st world living standard.

    Wow this government is really gearing up for a thrilling election year with ingenious economic recipes for safeguarding our future survival. Sell NZ slice by slice.

  8. gnomic 8

    Classic stuff from the party that’s always wrong. Whatever it is, whenever it is, they always stuff things up. Computer, count the ways this is utterly wrong. Big sum. As for the insufferable Minister of Broadcasting, not nice to see yer, wouldn’t wanna be yer. A murrain on you and yours for your insidious attack on what remains of public broadcasting.

    I fear Jim N above has pretty well summed up what this is all about and has been since the nasty nineties. Lackeys and running dogs indeed.

    Oh by the way, the building industry is already well on the way to being harmonised with globalised wage levels. The Waikato Times leads me to believe that some of the recent ghastly sprawl in the north of Hamilton has been constructed by labourers from overseas who sleep on the sites. Seems they have to do so in order to prevent the buildings under construction being looted for electrical wiring, appliances and so forth.


    “The Government has pulled in more than half a billion dollars in business migration investment since it came to power – at least eight times more than Labour had attracted in two years, the Immigration Minister says.

    Jonathan Coleman said at an Auckland briefing yesterday that the Government had a “tight timetable to return to surplus” and immigration was central to that plan. After addressing skills policies, there was merit in devoting resources to business migration, he said.”

    He said ‘a tight timetable to return to surplus’. Obviously it would be completely wrong to call this individual a lying hound without a shred of integrity.

  9. BLiP 9

    Selling passports? Well, I suppose its consistent with the sale of legislation and workers’ rights as Warner Bros showed us.

  10. HC 10

    This is the “legalised” passport scam! If certain Tangata Whenua immigration specialist entrepreneurs sell certain documents or passports for $ 350 or so a piece, then it is a “crime”. If the Crown does this via their system to selected rich “investors”, then it is fine and legal. Maybe it is considered to be “in our national interest”???

  11. RedLogix 11

    And while Key sells out New Zealand, the Aussie banks who’ve been mortgage mining this country for decades are now down to bedrock.

    While Bryers lives in a luxury Sydney apartment and carries on his dubious brand of property investment, the once financially secure West Auckland couple are homeless and staring down the barrel of bankruptcy.

    Westpac sold their Massey property last month, and they and their twin 12-year-old daughters have until Wednesday to get out of their family home of seven years.

    It is likely to be the first of many Blue Chip-related foreclosures.

    What really gets me is the way our spineless justice system gave Bryers protection. Someone ended up with the cash Byers stole off these people… where is it?

  12. Jenny 12

    Plutocrat Planet

    Imagine if the country was divided up with barriers like the world is.

    There would be large fences around Otara and Central Auckland The rich of course could pass through these barriers in their limosines with hardly a hindrance, free to travel or live wherever they liked. Everyone else would be trapped, if they tried to get through the barriers “illegally” they would be separated from their families, and imprisoned indefinitely in concentration camps.

    The wealthy would let people cross the barriers to work for them on temporary work visas, for very low wages and zero employment rights.

    • Drakula 12.1

      Jenny; ‘Plutocrat Planet’ that is exactly the way globalisation is heading a global slave state something I would describe as ‘virticle sovereignty’.

  13. SHG 13

    Yeah, so how about that Bill Liu?

  14. Ahhh the irony. When I put the line about “row upon row of ostentatious houses”in Howick into Winston’s mouth it was primarily the left who screamed “OMGZ RACISTS!!11!”

    Yet “business” migrants whose “investment” in NZ amounted solely or mainly to just such a house were the very people we were highlighting. The houses were purchased there as opposed to elswhere so it could be used to lever their teenage child into the zone of an upmarket school – with the child(ren) usually left alone in the house while mummy and daddy were back making money in Asia, benefitting from their freshly minted NZ passport.

    And made it plain that that was the case… with statistics, and everything!

    That didn’t stop the quite nasty bile that flowed from some left commentators at the time, as well as many a Labour politician. One journo went out of her way to set me up as having made a racist slur by lifting it out of a sentence that went “We want nothing to do with the kind of knukle dragging morons that ride round Johnsonville screaming [racist slur] at new migrants” and asking me live on TV “did you or did you not utter the phrase “[racist slur]” to our researcher today?” Nice.

    Glad to see you’ve all woken up. Twenty years too late, but yeah, well done.

  15. HC 15

    How great! Kitset houses imported from China, I wonder why Housing NZ has not got in on that business yet.

    We could evict thousands of tenants from the traditional, well located Housing NZ homes in suburbs like GI, Panmure, Mangere and so forth, sell that stock for a profit to overseas investors and invest the proceeds in purchasing these wonderful, wethertight cubicle homes that can possibly even be stacked on top of each other to save space.

    The previously evicted HNZ tenants can be housed more cheaply and the net profits used to pay off our government debts to balance our books.

    This is another miracle solution the government has not even thought about.

    Oh, hush, hush, I better shut up and do not let them get knowledge of this.

  16. Drakula 16

    I was going to say HC better not give the bastards any ideas.

    They might be putting the above ‘tin cans’ in East Christchurch, heavans above that would be insult to injury!!!! Where are the windows?

    Isee; If cheap laborours brought in dirt cheap can work 18 hours a day they will not be seeing any sunlight so therefore windows won’t be necessary.

    Forget the election isn’t it time to pick up the pitch forks?

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