PM warns against Kiwis becoming ‘tenants’ – The Herald
John Key says that we’ve got to make sure we don’t sell too many of our assets and end up sending the profits overseas. Good stuff, it’s exactly what the Left has been saying and the opposite of National’s policy until now. I guess we’ll have to see if Key backs up his words with action.
Back when Labour protected Auckland Airport being taken over by the Canadian Pension Fund, Key said they were just “play[ing] politics” and refused to back the new restrictions on foreign ownership of sensitive land. Now, he seems to have woken up.
The rest of the world owns $292 billion worth of assets in New Zealand.In a typical year (not last year), we send about $14 billion worth of profits overseas on those assets. That means about 8% of our economy goes to paying the profits of foreigners on money they have effectively* lent us to fund our consumption.
That’s not the formula for being a sustainably wealthy, independent country. Ultimately, when you borrow you put yourself at the mercy of the lender. New Zealand’s debt undermines our sovereignty, the choices we can make as a nation can’t piss off our debtors too much.
So, it’s great news that both major parties, along with the Greens, Progressives, and Maori Party, now oppose increased foreign ownership of our economy. It’s a stark contrast from 20 years ago, I guess we’ve learned a few of the lessons from the failure of neoliberalism.
But will the government back it’s talk with action? That’s what really matters.
Key could do worse than looking at the Greens’ ideas on foreign ownership of land and looking at Labour’s ideas on monetary policy.
*more complicated than that of course but if we hadn’t received that foreign capital we would have had to reduce our consumption to fund the investment instead, or not undertaken it.