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Greens announce non-racist policy; 3News decides to make it racist

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, March 1st, 2013 - 49 comments
Categories: greens, making shit up, racism, tv - Tags:

The Green Party are supporting moves to limit the ability of non-New Zealanders to buy property in New Zealand, following a poll which showed 2/3 of respondents agreed with the idea.

3News decided in its infinite wisdom to jazz up this story by staking out several auctions on Auckland’s North Shore and reporting on how many of the properties went to people who looked Asian.

Sadly, journalist-of-the-people Patrick Gower (and of course it was Patrick Gower) was unable to detain these filthy home-purchasers and demand to see their papers, meaning we may never know how many people-who-can-service-mortgages-and-also-have-different-shaped-us-to-us-white-folk are living among us.

One of them could be behind you right now.  Maybe more.  They are ninjas, after all.  *rimshot*

So all Patrick Gower can tell us is that in 20 minutes, 3 houses were auctioned, all to Asians.  He apparently doesn’t even have the services of an intern to check – and add boring old context to the story – that the Asian population of the former North Shore City was 18.5% in the 2006 census.

Personally, I haven’t thought enough about the issue to have a stated opinion either way, but the fact is that while many of the people who answered “yes” to the Reid Research poll are almost certainly racist, and almost certainly picture people of colour – probably their idea of “Asians” – when they think about Foreigners Taking Our Houses, the fact is that a blanket ban on all non-New Zealand residents buying property here isn’t inherently racist.

It’s pretty xenophobic, but that is, actually, a different thing.

It may become racist in practice if our immigration laws unfairly give advantage to white English-speaking people, which they probably do.

Story-time, though:  I was in a lecture in my first year of uni, waiting for the lecturer to arrive, when one student – who, yes, was of Asian ethnicity – was approaching by another student of Asian ethnicity and asked to take part in a survey of international students.  After sending the inquirer politely on her way, the first student burst into an epic rant on why the fuck did she always get asked to do those bloody surveys, she’s a fucking Kiwi for fuck’s sake, her family have been here forever but everyone always assumes she’s an international student who can’t speak English just because she looks Asian!

It was an eye-opener for the young Queen of Thorns, because of course I too had assumed she was a foreigner based on her physical appearance.  Turned out her family had probably been in New Zealand as long as mine.

The earliest Chinese settler in recorded NZ history was Wong Ahpoo Hock Ting, who arrived here in 1842.  By 1869 there were over 2,000 Chinese men living in New Zealand – women migrated very rarely.  From 1881 to 1944 an unquestionably racist poll tax sought to keep the number of Chinese people entering New Zealand down, which makes this whole story kind of ironic.

The basic fact is:  Patrick Gower and 3News ran a racist piece of shit masquerading as in-depth reporting.  They deliberately conflated “foreigner” with “Asian”, which is especially terrible of them given this little nugget from the 2008/09 North Shore City Council annual report:

For people born overseas who are now living in North Shore City, the most common birthplace was England.

Maybe next week Paddy could stake out some auctions and breathlessly report on how many of the successful bids came from people with BBC accents.  No?  I rest my case.


49 comments on “Greens announce non-racist policy; 3News decides to make it racist”

  1. karol 1

    Patrick Gower, “leader of the pack”, manufacturing news, and now including reinforcing (negative erroneous) racist stereotypes.

    NZ needs a better MSM.

  2. fenderviper 2

    Gower and the word journalist should never be in the same sentence. This kid is like the son of a business owner given a job only because daddy owns the company. He really should be with the ‘Truth’, he could be in charge of the aerosol can following Slater around in an attempt to hide the stench of the rotting blubber.

    • David H 2.1

      I view Gower in the same vein as that smelly something you step in accidentally when crossing a park at night.

    • Murray Olsen 2.2

      I would vote at least twice for any political candidate who promised to give Gower a Liverpool kiss. He is a completely horrible little man, exactly as beautiful on the inside as he is on the outside.

  3. Poission 3

    All the greens are suggesting is that non residents bring no benefit to NZ in owning residential property.

    In Hawaii for example the State has seen that ex non residential Bankers for example bring little benefit to Hawaii ,and should be charged s a non resident tax of 15% in addition to Federal capital gains.

  4. vto 4

    Best thing is to ignore the racist Gower and the racist Dunne and simply carry on punching the message out there that there is benefit to having foreigners owning land. They are the racists – leave the call on their heads, where it belongs.

    A stronger community is always one which is owned by the people who live in it. A community owned elsewhere is a weak one.


  5. Colonial Viper 5

    QoT shoots, and she…gets another headshot. Bloody typical. 😀

  6. Rogue Trooper 6

    *high hat* (and a snare) Yep! Bring It On! X marks that 3-spot.We are all Red, through and through.
    impossible to stop the rising tide, no matter where you Hide.

  7. Watching 7

    “The Green Party are supporting moves to limit the ability of non-New Zealanders to buy property in New Zealand, following a poll which showed 2/3 of respondents agreed with the idea.”

    Forget about the TV3 item – I was confused by the Greens statement as to what they mean by non-Zealanders. Some questions based on real examples, do they mean:

    1. A New Zealanders turns up with his non-New Zealanders husband/wife/partner. So who can buy the property and what happens if they spilt before the non- NZ becomes a citizen. So can the non- New Zealanders then buy their own property. What if the couple are not in a legal relationship and the non NZr’s visa status is independent of this relationship.

    2. The non- New Zealander does not want to become a New Zealander say due to already being a USA citizen but has a kiwi husband/wife/partner, kiwi children and calls NZ home but cannot buy the family home. You live here for 20 years and vote but still cannot buy a property.
    What happens if the non-New Zealanders is the main income earning – how does the New Zealander in this relationship get a mortgage.

    3. What about the New Zealanders who have lived overseas for 20years plus with no intention of returning, but can still buy property here while a non Zealander living and working here cannot. Is this fair?.

    4. Should New Zealanders be banned from buying property in say Australia or UK (I know countries have some laws regarding this issue but its not a blanket no in Australia or the UK like the Green proposal)

    This is getting into NZ First sound bites – after all 2/3 of the country did not support the ‘smacking’ law changes

    • wtl 7.1

      1-2) I would assume that the policy would treat NZ citizens and permanent residents equally. This makes sense because anyone who is entitled to permanently live in NZ would be entitled to buy property. Most partners/children etc. of New Zealand citizens (and residents) are easily able to obtain permanent residence (if not citizenship), so neither of these cases is an issue.
      3) Yes, it is fair. Anyone who is entitled to permanently live in NZ is entitled to buy property. Those on temporary visas and permits are not. The New Zealanders living overseas are entitled to return to New Zealand to live and are therefore entitled to own property.
      4) That’s up to Australia or UK, and nothing to do with us.

    • Richard29 7.2


      1. Probably a good case for an amendment clause in the legislation. Logically I would say they wait till residence is granted or buy the property in the name of the NZer and then change it later. I expect any law would have to have rules about majority NZ ownership in the case of multiple people so they could always split it 51% / 49%.

      2. You can be a citizen of any country and still hold residence in NZ its just dual citizenship that some countries don’t allow (Nz does). As long as sales are restricted to residents and not to citizens then it’s no problem.

      3. A non NZer living and working here without residence would be wise not to buy property given that they’ll need to sell if their temporary visa is not extended. Banning overseas NZ citizens from owning property in NZ would probably encourage them not to come back which I don’t think anybody wants.

      4. That’s really up to those countries isn’t it. we can’t make laws for them.

      • Arfamo 7.2.1

        As long as allowing NZ cits overseas to purchase property in NZ (which I agree we should) doesn’t permit them to act as a legitimate purchaser for non-residents.

      • Arfamo 7.2.2

        edit* “…doesn’t all them to act as legitimate purchaser for non-citizens.”

        • Tigger

          I’m sure we can look to some other countries for appropriate wording of legislation. China, for example…

          And as for the main point, are we surprised about TV3? No. Times are tough in broadcasting and they’re all sinking to the lower common denominators…racism, especially the ‘Yellow threat’ is an easy target… Yet another reason I don’t watch local broadcast news…

  8. Matthew 8

    It is only xenophobic to exclude foreigners from buying NZ homes if the purpose is to keep foreigners out of NZ. If the purpose is to ensure a level playing field and to help raise the rate of New Zealand home ownership, it is not xenophobic in the slightest.
    The fact is, you cant be a homeowner, living in your own home, in New Zealand, if you dont actually live in New Zealand.

  9. Colonial Weka 9

    “but the fact is that while many of the people who answered “yes” to the Reid Research poll are almost certainly racist, and almost certainly picture people of colour”

    Maybe. But where I live, it’s known to be the North Americans and English that are buying property, not Asians. When locals think about foreigners owning land, they’re picturing white folks.

    I seem to remember some debate some years ago, about preventing foreign ownership of NZ land (not just residential properties). Under Clark’s reign I think. It wasn’t framed as an Asian issue though. The problem now is that the real concerns about foreign ownership are going to morph with anti-Asian sentiments (thanks and fuck you TV3), because now some of the noticeable land buying is being done by Chinese interests (eg Crafar farms).

    • Mark 9.1

      would this apply to the non taxpaying perpetual trougher Clark living overseas and continuing to increase her portfolio of NZ rental properties.. and trusts of course?

  10. Colonial Weka 10

    Can anyone link to where the Greens talk about this issue?

    • karol 10.1

      Here on the Green Website on their Housing policies:

      To reduce pressure on the housing investment market the Green Party will:

      Tighten the rules around Loss Attributing Qualifying Companies (LAQCs) and equivalent tax deductions. Any tightening of the rules will be phased in to allow existing investors time to readjust.
      Introduce a capital gains tax on all but the family home (see Capital Gains Tax policy for further details).
      Limit residential land sales to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents (refer Trade and Foreign Investment Policy for further details)

      – See more at: http://www.greens.org.nz/policy/housing-policy-living-well#sthash.DGJuS1TJ.dpuf

      • Colonial Weka 10.1.1

        Right, so nothing recent then, as in a media release. What prompted TV3 to go after this now?

        btw, those links both go to the same place.

        • karol

          Sorry about the double linkage, which I now can’t edit. The Greens site added the second link with my copy-and-paste. (I get annoyed when sites do that because I always link to sources & want to do it my own way.)

          Why now? Ask Gower!

          • Colonial Weka

            Ask that weasel?! (apologies to good mustelids everywhere).

          • Draco T Bastard

            (I get annoyed when sites do that because I always link to sources & want to do it my own way.)

            QFT and I’ve had it truly eff up a comment as well.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    It’s pretty xenophobic, but that is, actually, a different thing.

    It’s not even that, it’s just the basic understanding that we need to take care of the people already here and that we can’t do that if we sell all of NZ off to foreign owners.

    The basic fact is: Patrick Gower and 3News ran a racist piece of shit masquerading as in-depth reporting.

    And this is new how?

    The MSM have been making shit up to boost ratings and misinform people for a long time.

  12. Populuxe1 12

    Ah, but then why when NZ First proposes virtually identical legislation the catcalls of racism and xenophobia can be heard echoing loud and clear here and elsewhere. I would not that 3News didn’t play anywhere near as hard as it likes to playing up supposed anti-Chinese sentiment when NZF is involved.

    • karol 12.1

      Because, unlike the Greens, NZ First explicitly and via dog whistles targets Asians, especially the Chinese.

      • Populuxe1 12.1.1

        Karol, I don’t believe that has been true since the 1990s and is largely a product of the media’s hatred of Winston Peters – PS, I notice the second most recent notification there is “The Ambassador of China has invited Andrew Williams to attend a dinner function at his residence” for the fifth of December LAST YEAR. I’m afraid you’re going have to do better than that.

  13. jules 13

    In fact NZ has numerous (just taking Auckland as an example) companies with innocuous names that have overseas investors and directors taking profits from ‘property development: Tuen Yee Hung of Hong Kong, is a director of Colwall Property Developers, and Ammon Acarapi is a director of another two Fuzo and Investor Development Limited, then there’s the Low’s Grange Consultants and Foon Peng of Regis – I could go on but yes, there are Asian and other developers buying up land and monies from investments in property going offshore not benefiting us our conservation needs or our homeless and poor or Maori dispossessed of land. So not ‘scaremongering’ not racism, factual statements of what’s happening. And yes, I have Asian and Maori relatives, a degree at Master’s level in Chinese history and politics and I am concerned at the implications of developers taking land/houses and not giving back to the environment or our people in Aotearoa. Green leader Russel Norman has my vote on this.

    • QoT 13.1

      Well, it’s a simple question, jules: are you concerned about all overseas investors buying New Zealand property, or just the ones who look Asian? One of these is racist.

      I would say I’m pretty sure you can work out which one, but you *did* feel the need to note that some of your best friends are Asian, so I’m not sure.

  14. Rogue Trooper 14

    can’t stand with the finger in the dyke all day (it all began with those jolly tu lips) and before that the Khans (which reminds me, apparently folk from the sub-continent are susceptible to our obesogenic / diabetic environment; sigh. guess that’s not Korma

    • Rogue Trooper 14.1

      btw Queen, is there still a photo of the GPZ1000R floating around out there? that’s what happens when one does ones recycling when one wants to (now, would you like to know how fast the Kaikoura coast can be crossed two-up? before the obligatory Seddon tary ticket… 🙁

  15. Pete 15

    Okay, I like the intention behind this proposal, but it would be easy to circumvent. E.g. a foreigner sets up a New Zealand company, becomes sole shareholder of that company and that company buys the property. I would expect most farms in NZ are actually owned by companies established by the farmers themselves, rather than owned directly by respective farmers. The same with rental properties. So it would be a nightmare just to suddenly declare that a company cannot own real estate.

    Obviously tightening up who can set up a company in NZ would be an option, but that wouldn’t prevent one set up by a lawyer leasing the property back to a foreigner for some nominal sum.

  16. Murray Olsen 16

    I’d have no problem with restricting land ownership to citizens and permanent residents. I would also have no problem with an immigration policy that welcomed people of all races.
    As far as I can see, the only benefits from selling land to foreigners accrue directly to the sellers, as an influx of foreign money will act to push land prices up. This ends up with even more residents of all races paying exorbitant rents, without any hope of escaping the rental trap.
    As always with land and housing, nothing that can’t be fixed by a decent state house building program by a government that considered a roof as something to keep the weather off instead of something to help catch anyone whose neighbours don’t think they should be painting it.
    In short, while Winston First are obviously xenophobic and racist, with TV3 not far behind, I can’t see any reason to condemn the Greens on this. I can see plenty of reason to condemn the hairpiece from Ohariu, for whom this is just another pathetic attempt to be relevant.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      We increase the time needed for someone to become a NZ citizen.

      We allow both NZers and foreigners to lease residential property for the long term, but not buy it.

  17. Jim Nald 17

    To follow up something in the post re “women migrated very rarely” – what actually was the real story?

    Did the women not want to migrate? Did the men not want the women to migrate to set up families in NZ?

    Or did Government policy of the day discourage Chinese women migrating to NZ?

    • QoT 17.1

      The blue text in the post is what we call “a link”. It is clickable. Sometimes it contains knowledge.

  18. bad12 18

    The problem is not that foreigners are coming to New Zealand and buying houses, the problem is that we have artificially increased our population through immigration in a short period of time from 3.3 million to 4.4 million without having the housing to provide for them all in place befor these immigrants arrived,

    The simple solution would be to halt all immigration and begin a proper State house building program, no-one in the political spectrum seems to be interested in doing this as they are all probably busy speculating in the Auckland housing market to be bothered butchering the fatted cow they created and are likely now to be reaping the profits of,

    The State it’self is indulging hand over fist in profiteering, increasing prices and increasing demand for rentals while spilling weasel words over actually doing anything about the situation,

    Housing NZ a couple of days ago sold 2 of it’s rental properties in the auckland suburb of Sandringham for 2 million dollars for the pair, they plan on selling at auction 17 more in the coming months,

    You could bet your life on it that NO replacements for these rentals have been built…

  19. ropata 19

    Kiwis and those that profess to govern in their interest are stupid for allowing the sale of ANY land to foreign interests of any kind. It always ends badly for the natives.

    Unless you are a Chinese citizen, you cannot buy land in China. You can get land on lease, but not freehold. The same is true in many other countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Phillipines, many of the pacific islands and so on. Many of these countries have learned from the colonial experience and explicitly outlaw the sale of land to foreigners because of that experience.

    Prof Keith Woodford writes:

    Currently, it is our forest plantations where much of the foreign ownership is found. However, the only comprehensive statistics I have found are from the FAO document database and relate to 1999. At that stage about 72% of our pine forests were foreign owned, with United States companies owning about 35% and Asian companies about 12%. More recent data is incomplete but foreign ownership appears to have further increased.

    Our wine industry is also predominantly foreign owned. Montana is owned by French giant Pernod Ricard. Nobilo, Selaks, Kim Crawford and Monkey Bay are owned by American company Constellation. Well known brands such as Cloudy Bay, Matua and Wither Hills are all foreign owned. Although many other wine companies are still Kiwi, they tend to be the small companies, and on a volume basis about 70% is foreign owned. The foreign owned companies have their own estates and then purchase additional grapes from Kiwi contract farmers.

    Particularly in the South Island, there are many dairy farms owned by immigrants. These people have in many cases led the way in using new technology. Most have become permanent residents. However, there are some dairy farms that are owned by non residents. New Zealand Dairies at Waimate is Russian owned but Kiwis still own the farms. Synlait in Canterbury, which owns several thousand hectares of land as well as dairy processing facilities, has minority Japanese ownership and now needs more equity. Where will that come from?

    In the sheep industry, it is mainly iconic South Island high country that has caught the eye of foreigners. Shania Twain received media attention, and before her it was Tommy Suharto. There are others who have managed to keep a lower profile.

    The reason why foreign ownership is going to increase, unless the legislation changes, is very simple. Foreigners have capital and Kiwis don’t.

    Land sales to foreigners are only part of a much bigger picture. Who owns and profits from our banks, media, telecommunications and insurance companies, supermarkets, airlines and transport companies etc, is a matter of national significance that affects everyone in the country – a country that is rapidly becoming a branch office economy dominated by transnational corporations.

  20. Poission 20

    One of the overlooked statements here is that by key,and where the placement of a full stop really states the truth.

    QV Asked, if to make houses more affordable the Government should put restrictions in place to stop foreigners from buying up investment properties here, 63 percent said yes, 30 percent no and the rest didn’t know. Under law, in Australia non-residents cannot buy established dwellings as investment properties. The Greens want a similar ban here – at least on investment properties – but the Prime Minister won’t go there.

    “I don’t think foreigners buying the odd house in New Zealand is what’s driving the escalation of prices,” says John Key.

    The correct statement is

    “I don’t think.Foreigners buying the odd house in New Zealand is what’s driving the escalation of prices,” says John Key.

  21. The Chairman 21

    Back in 2004, investment seminars were behind the Aussie invasion.

  22. The Chairman 22

    The economic rational against offshore ownership is sound.

    Allowing offshore investors to partake in the local property market exacerbates the problem of offshore borrowing.

    Offshore investors increase buyer demand, driving up prices, resulting in locals having to borrow far more.

    The high cost of property is drying up disposable incomes and contributing to the economic slowdown.

    Selling productive land reduces the opportunity for locals to own and capitalize off the means of production, limiting the nation’s overall growth potential moving forward.

    One of the main drives of our current account deficit are the returns of foreign investment heading offshore.

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    Helen Clark showed her characteristic drive and determination in her campaign to be UN Secretary General, and most New Zealanders will be disappointed she hasn't been selected, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. "Helen Clark has been an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori need answers on Land Court job losses
    Māori landowners, Māori employees and Treaty partners need answers after a Ministry of Justice consultation document has revealed dozens of roles will be disestablished at the Māori Land Court, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Key’s ‘efficiencies’ = DHBs’ pain
          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    3 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    3 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori Party all hui no-doey on housing
    The Māori Party should stop tinkering and start fixing tragic Māori housing statistics in the face of a national housing crisis, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesman Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to eliminating child poverty
    Labour accepts the challenge from Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft to cut child poverty and calls on the Prime Minister to do the same, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago