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National doesn’t know what it’s doing on foreign buyers

Written By: - Date published: 11:41 am, July 20th, 2015 - 158 comments
Categories: housing, national, spin, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

National really doesn’t know what it’s doing on the issues of foreign buyers of NZ land. They’re clear about the need to put the boot in to Labour of course:

John Key criticises Labour’s desperate attempts on property data

Prime Minister John Key has criticised Labour’s use of leaked real estate data as desperate, and believes most people with Chinese-sounding names who buy property have a real connection to New Zealand.

“It’s desperate in my view, they know the information is wrong and they know the information is misleading and they can claim whatever they want…it’s very different from the Labour Party I always knew,” John Key said.

Thanks for your “concern” John.

“No one is arguing that we don’t need better information, the Government has moved on that. But they know that, they know that there is better information coming.”

Well now, is no one arguing that we don’t need better information? Nick Smith on Saturday:

‘No foreign-buyers register’ says Housing Minister

Housing Minister Nick Smith says he won’t be introducing a foreign-buyers register for New Zealand property.

In 2014 this was also reported as the government’s position:

NZ government rebuffs calls for register of foreign homebuyers

The New Zealand government rebuffed moves to start a register of foreign homebuyers on Thursday after earlier appearing to soften on the idea in response to Australian moves to record overseas buyers. … On Thursday, the opposition New Zealand First party introduced a bill in Parliament to establish a Foreign Ownership of Land Register, but it was knocked back by the government.

Compare and contrast:

Officials quietly working on foreign buyers register, Bill English admits

Officials have been quietly working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand real estate even as the Government shrugged off the need for such information, it emerged today.

Last week however, Finance Minister Bill English and Prime Minister John Key said officials were keeping an eye on Australia’s work towards a register of foreign buyers and wouldn’t rule out following suit. This morning Mr English said he understood some work was already underway amongst New Zealand officials on the issue.

So the right hand of the National party doesn’t know what the far right hand is doing? Thank goodness Judith Collins is here to sort it all out:

Debate continues over foreign buyer register

Ms Collins say calls for a register are unjust as “we’ve never had that in New Zealand” but admits perhaps it’s time the Government considering having one.

Thanks for that Judith, clear as mud.

National are all over the place on this issue. The only thing they’re clear about is the need to bash Labour.

158 comments on “National doesn’t know what it’s doing on foreign buyers”

  1. Stuart Munro 1

    I think your graphic is a little charitable to National really – it bleeds, but it doesn’t run.

  2. maui 2

    Unfortunately when your opponent has a point and you focus on attacking their character you come across looking like a dork, which Key is very well known for at times.

    • Hanswurst 2.1

      Unfortunately, Key’s behaviour, together with the results of the past three elections, provide fairly strong circumstantial evidence that he is a popular candidate for PM precisely because he seems to be a dork.

  3. Rolf 3

    I live in China, and have done so for a long time. Chinese are by nature vivid speculators. Likewise kiwis are the same. China has been successful in putting a lid on property speculation, likewise has places as Hong Kong and Singapore. How do they do it, make it unprofitable. If one action does not give result, implement another and keep going. Resident or non resident is unimportant. New Zealand is just a failure.

    • Colonial Rawshark 3.1

      Exactly – ensure that housing is not considered a financial asset class for capital gains.

      It’s that easy.

      Of course, Labour won’t do the heavy restructuring needed to do that, but will point the finger at Chinese.

      • Stuart Munro 3.1.1

        Labour is afraid that the Gnat story that they lost due to the CGT has some truth in it. If they can set a few sensible policies in place without getting king hit by media assassination they may be ready to roll out a few more. Comes across as weak to the Left but conceivably reassuring to those who aren’t paying much attention.

      • aerobubble 3.1.2

        Rubbish. Whenever the housing debate get pointed Key jumps and calls us all racist for daring to talk about the Chinese. Key did it today, he did it last week, now desperately Labour produce stats that everyone can see shows asian buyers entering the market heavily, and Key once again has nothing so gets out the racist card. Facts are not racist, housing is not a race issue, i am not a racist, Labour are not racists, Key is the racist for using race.

        Sure Cunliffe could have left the CGT open ended by calling for tax reform and a commmision to inquiry, instead they fumbled and fudged what a cgt would mean.
        Looking weak and untrustworthy.

        Like Key now as Labour have realized, just make it easy for Key to call every kiwi a racist, over and over, for daring to talk about housing.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Sorry mate, I don’t understand which part of my comment you are calling “rubbish”?

        • Phil

          Facts are not racist

          Labour doesn’t have facts. They have a bunch of names and have undertaken piss-poor “analysis” that would get a fail mark in a high-school Statistics class.

          Nothing Labour has produced has added any value to the debate around housing.

      • Grant 3.1.3

        Ahem. Labour isn’t in Government in case you didn’t notice? It’s up to the Government to do “the heavy restructuring needed”.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          And is Labour calling for it? Is Labour proposing it? Is Labour setting the conversation up around it?

          Nope. Nope. Nope.

        • Chooky

          +100 Grant…and lets hope Labour takes action on overseas ownership of NZ houses and land…It would be an election winner!

      • mikesh 3.1.4

        Whilst I’m not generally in favour of Capital Gains taxes, I think a 100% CGT on land would make sense. This is because I believe land belongs ultimately to all of us, and if we would countenance private ownership then any capital gain on land should pass not into the pockets of private landowners but into the coffers of the state where it can be used for the benefit of everybody.

        • Colonial Viper

          the concept of a land value tax is useful (i.e. taxing the value of land annually, not just the capital gains on sale).

          • cancerman

            A land tax is a brilliant idea. Even if just brought in on commercial property it would rake in heaps. Not that it should stop there. It should come in over all residential property as well as commercial property.

        • Puddleglum

          Henry George was the political economist (and politician) most famous for advocating the ‘single tax’ on land (to replace all other taxes on Labour and Capital).

          Even The Economist sees merit in such ‘land value’ taxes.

          There are dissenting voices on the left – such as this blogpost, though note the lengthy comment in rebuttal at the end of the post.

          The book in which George’s analysis is laid out is ‘Progress and Poverty‘.

          Interestingly, the right wing libertarian Ludwig von Mises Institute also hosts a copy – which is a bit chilling.

          In effect, land ceases to be an asset – in and of itself – which can appreciate in value for the owner by virtue of what happens around it (e.g., more people occupying neighbouring land, more businesses setting up nearby, more public amenities – schools, transport links, etc. – built nearby).

          Presumably some right-wingers are favourably disposed to it because it encourages ‘productive’ – i.e., profitable – uses of land.

  4. G C 4

    “No one is arguing that we don’t need better information…” – except Nick Smith, PUBLICLY~!!! PM John Key must think New Zealanders are brain-dead. I’ve tried to be level-headed and give National the benefit of the doubt, but when the PM comes out with rubbish like this…

    …well – time for a change? What is he hiding?

  5. Observer (Tokoroa) 5

    John Key, Billy English, Nick Smith – and the entire National Party – have been so good looking after foreign speculators. It gets them many sizable donations to their shallow political party.

    The question is, why have they not done anything to assist the NZ population, with the exception of the very wealthy. The Nats and The Herald have earned their right to the shameful phrase “traitors to their own homeland”.

    It’s as if they hate the common New Zealander. As a result fewer and fewer Kiwis will have any property. It will please Key, English, Smith no end. Shame on them.

  6. Colonial Rawshark 6

    Banning foreign buyers may mildly slow the price rise of the typical Auckland house over $1M. That’s all. A full restructuring of the Auckland housing market is required for anything more.

    • vto 6.1

      My 2c says banning foreign buyers will cause a slump in the property market nationwide, with the most exaggerated effects being felt in areas like Southland dairying, Auckland housing and Queenstown luxuries.

      I think the effect is being under-estimated in those regions.

      • cogito 6.1.1

        “like Southland dairying”

        So more locals could buy their own dairy farm at a fair price? Great.

        • dukeofurl

          Dairy land is classed as sensitive so you need to be classified through OIO.

          Good luck with buying the land just for speculative purposes

          • Colonial Rawshark

            And what % of hectares does the OIO actually finally turn down? Any?

        • vto

          Yep, that’s right. Not only great but magnificent as those locals should be able to own at way way lower cost – which is good in anybodys book (except the banks of course who prefer higher land costs).

          • cogito

            And then they might even employ a few locals, instead of importing foreign labour.

            NZ needs to get back to basics, with NZers owning businesses that employ NZers and support NZ communities.

            Winston, where are you???? LOL.

      • mikesh 6.1.2

        Certainly, many would be left “underwater”, but perhaps that is the lesser of two evils.

      • cancerman 6.1.3

        So we reset the market and then start again. Those greedy people who chased speculating profits foreign or not I don’t really care about.

    • Skinny 6.2

      The smart debate should now turn to an over supply of migrants into Auckland and not enough housing to cope. Pushing new immigrants into the Regions would be a sensible debate ‘which the opposition party’s should consider.

      • Chooky 6.2.1

        sorry we dont want Auckland’s problems!..absolutely NOT a vote winner!

        ….New Zealanders are leaving Auckland and dreaming of leaving Auckland to get away from its problems!

        …you dont solve problems by spreading them

        …nip the problem in the bud and in Auckland

        …it requires detailed data and legislation ( not necessarily in that order)…Nact does Not want this ( it would prefer to feed the racist debate against Labour)…so it is up to Labour and the Left…we owe it to our youth and future generations of New Zealanders

  7. cogito 7

    “it’s very different from the Labour Party I always knew,” John Key said”

    Sanctimonious reptile.

    • Policy Parrot 7.1

      “it’s very different from the Labour Party I always knew”.

      Such comments represent exactly the John Key we’ve come to know.

  8. Skinny 8

    I heard Matthew Hooton’s views of the matter during the political show on Nine to Noon this morning. I don’t agree with his wedge politics thoughts that National are failing to engage and take the bait. Everything being said by their MP’s including John Key, snarl at Labour for singling out Chinese investors. This issue won’t go away till the Nats take action.

    • cogito 8.1

      This govt won’t do anything re the Chinese because the Chinese are filling their greedy pockets every day of the week.

      • Bill 8.1.1

        If you mean Chinese property speculators, then say “Chinese property speculators”. If you mean, overseas investors, then say so. But whatever, quit with the lazy, discriminatory stereotyping.

        • cogito

          mea culpa

        • tinfoilhat

          Yep the amount of commenters who have a very large streak of xenophobia on this website is concerning.

          Helen Clark was 100% right wen she remarked to Ian McKellen that we had a nasty racist streak in our country every now and again.

          • cogito


            The population of China – or the PRC if you prefer – is nearly **1.4 BILLION**.

            The population of NZ is just 4.5 MILLION.

            Consider that for a few minutes, and then ask yourself if we are doing enough to safeguard our country.

            • te reo putake

              Yep. It’s not xenophobia, it’s class war. And we’re losing because our government won’t put up a fight.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Ah great a Yellow Peril rerun.

            • tinfoilhat

              “The population of x – is nearly **insert figure**.

              The population of NZ is just 4.5 MILLION.

              Consider that for a few minutes, and then ask yourself if we are doing enough to safeguard our country.”

              xenophobia is xenophobia is xenophobia

              • Lanthanide

                A phobia is literally an irrational fear.

                I don’t think fearing foreign interests will buy up our land and assets is an “irrational” one, given the limited controls preventing this scenario from happening. Clearly this is a desirable place to live, and for those with the foreign cash, affordable.

                • tinfoilhat



                  dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries.

                  “racism and xenophobia are steadily growing in Europe”

                  synonyms: racism, racialism, racial hatred, ethnocentrism, ethnocentricity;

                  • Lanthanide

                    Your definition of xenophobia highlights my point.

                    Nowhere does it say “concern about foreigners buying up land and assets in your country”, which is what people are actually concerned about.

                    I have no problem with *people* from other countries. Some of the *actions* they are take when it comes to buying up our land and housing, is however problematic.

                    • tinfoilhat

                      “Your definition of xenophobia highlights my point.”

                      Not sure how ?

                      Cogito made the following two comments..

                      “This govt won’t do anything re the Chinese because the Chinese are filling their greedy pockets every day of the week.”

                      “The population of China – or the PRC if you prefer – is nearly **1.4 BILLION**.

                      The population of NZ is just 4.5 MILLION.

                      Consider that for a few minutes, and then ask yourself if we are doing enough to safeguard our country.”

                      I commented that these comments were xenophobic because they clearly display a dislike of or prejudice against Chinese.

                      Please explain how I am wrong ..

                    • Lanthanide

                      Your comment at says that if anyone talks about any country having a greater population than us, then that is a xenophobic comment. It isn’t, because there’s nothing inherent in that statement that says there is any problem with the people from that country, merely the potential actions of people from that country.

                    • tinfoilhat

                      Lathanide, that you have chosen to ignore Cogito’s earlier comment..

                      “This govt won’t do anything re the Chinese because the Chinese are filling their greedy pockets every day of the week.”

                      … speaks volumes

                    • Lanthanide

                      I’m not replying to Cogito’s comment, I’m replying to yours, which quite simply states that highlighting the population of any country is apparently xenophobic.

                    • tinfoilhat

                      Lathanide, can I suggest you read the entire thread.

                    • mikesh

                      I have no particular problem with foreigners buying our land. I just don’t like seeing our own citizens being shut out of home ownership.

                    • ropata

                      I have a big problem with foreigners buying up Aotearoa.

                      I also have a problem with PC dickwads who think its more important to crusade against impure statistics and shoot the messengers of inconvenient truth,

                      than to stand up for kiwis who have NOWHERE TO LIVE

              • cogito

                Better to be xenophobic today than homeless or landless tomorrow.

                In the past plenty of Maori lost land to pakeha, and they are still paying the price today, generations later.

                • Lanthanide

                  Maori were just being xenophobic! {/sarc}

                  • cogito

                    I don’t get your comment.

                    NZ could be swallowed up by PRC Chinese interests just as easily today as Maori lands etc were swallowed up by colonial pakeha interests back then. The power imbalance is probably about the same. And the consequences could be similar too.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Ah the Yellow Peril tripe

                      In reality of course, NZ’s sovereignty is going to be destroyed by the US led TPPA pro-corporate agreement.

                      Funny how you have not mentioned that.

                    • ropata

                      As opposed to the observable destruction of Pacific nation’s sovereignty that the PRC is involved in right now?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hey ropata. If you have a strategic approach for NZ dealing with the rise of China in the pacific, let’s hear it.

                    • ropata

                      Sheep with frickin laser beams..?
                      Well in a few decades it won’t matter because 70% of species will be extinct, the oceans will be acidic, there will be numerous wars over water and arable land, NZ will probably be no more than a vassal state of the USA or an Asia-pacific power bloc. All the millionaires who are buying up bolt holes in NZ will probably be forcibly repatriated to their home countries and executed for fraud/money laundering/treason (a la Kim Dotcom)

              • And this isn’t xenophobia., by your own definition. Nobody has yet managed to put up a robust argument that it’s xenophobia or racism, let alone that it was intentionally either of those things. But haters gotta hate.

                • tinfoilhat

                  “But haters gotta hate.”

                  ..and apologists for xenophobia and racism gotta apologise apparently..

                  • Except there ain’t any xenophobia, as you yourself showed in your definition.

                    • tinfoilhat

                      Goodness you must have been a champion debater at school.

                    • Bill

                      Singling out one ethnically identifiable portion of overseas buyers for ‘special treatment’ – ie, focus and scrutiny – is most certainly xenophobic.

                      The opportunity was there to widen the debate to include other sources of overseas money. Wasn’t taken.

                      The opportunity was also there to widen the debate and talk about wealthy NZers pumping up the housing market as they built their portfolios. Wasn’t taken.

                      the opportunity was there to widen the debate to include institutional investments in property. Wasn’t taken.

                      The opportunity was there to widen the debate and talk of rent controls and tenant rights and a slew of other related and pertinent matters. None taken.

                      One focus. One ethnically identifiable group of investors. And that against a fucking sad historical backdrop of NZ treatment of Chinese peoples.

                      Not xenophobic you say? Wow.

                      And did I mention how fucking dumb it has proved to be, not from the perspective of Labour Party fortunes, but from the perspective of having the wide-ranging debate that’s needed? Not happening. It’s become schoolyard bullshit as loyal foot soldiers rally around their standard and – really fucking ironically – defensively shut down debate they say they want, by circling around on the same point of denial again and again and again.

                    • But, whatever your analysis of the fallout, Bill, still not xenophobia. Which is cool.

                      And, tinfoilhat, I most certainly was a champion debater. Won as a third former against the rest of the school(though as part of a team, I hasten to add).

                    • mikesh

                      “Singling out one ethnically identifiable portion of overseas buyers for ‘special treatment’ – ie, focus and scrutiny – is most certainly xenophobic.”

                      The “special treatment” referred to amounted to holding them up as evidence that overseas buying was occurring. I’m sure Mr Twyford would have liked to have been able to point to other races who may have doing the same thing, but this information was not available from the data at his disposal.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Problem is that Twyford didn’t emphasise foreign investment in general, and he did not emphasise that China was just one source of foreign money flooding into the Auckland property market. He pointed the finger at Chinese because that’s the clear and simple message he wanted to send to the electorate.

                • trp – I put up a robust argument but you disagreed with it but that doesn’t mean that there was no robust argument just that it didn’t fit the narrow wee parameters that you wanted to fulfill, to have the debate you wanted to have .

                  • Bill

                    I believe it’s all as I said some days ago…which was along the lines of some people who arguably over identify with the Labour Party and with everything they say or do, are going to keep on shouting until everyone else has ‘gone home’.

                    At that point they’ll pat one another on the back at ‘a job well done’ vis a vis convincing everyone (actually, no-one but themselves) that what the Labour Party did was good and true and proper.

                    I keep getting ideas about loyal foot soldiers of Oliver Cromwell’s army for some reason…

                  • Yes, you did Marty. You are, as far as I’ve seen, the only person in the entire country to mount an argument. Even if it didn’t get over the line. The rest are just going on ‘I say it is, so it is’.

                    • yeah sure … and Keith and a few others

                      If you need clarification, let me restate it: The method is fine, the data is broken, and those problems render it unscientific and utterly useless. Not sound. Not robust. Not accurate…

                      … I said that Phil Twyford was knowingly “straight-up scapegoating” Chinese New Zealanders and offshore Chinese alike and “fueling racial division in this country”. I said it was “cynical, reckless dogwhistling”.

                      What part of this was ambiguous for you??? Did you think I meant “cynical, reckless, but ultimately well-intentioned dogwhistling”?


                    • But not actually racist or xenophobic, marty. Nobody has actually managed to show that it was.

                    • lol – well can’t argue with that for sure – but it is not ‘discussion’ or ‘conversation’ imo

                    • Well lets try another track.

                      TRP – What would twyford have had to say to make it racist – how would that look, what would someone have to say to ‘get it over the line’ – what words or statements would show definite racism for you. Please help me out – you asked and I answered the other day and I’d be so pleased to read your answer on this one.

                  • Bill

                    Thinking more downright embarrassing over ‘juvenile and insulting’ Marty.

              • Bill

                The clear implication of the original comment was that the population of China presents a cause for concern. And as CV says or as tinfoilhat says…

                • So not what was actually said, not what was shown, not was meant, not what was intended but what some people think it implies, based on er, nothing racist or xenophobic. I think we’ve got to the nub of the problem!

                • Lanthanide

                  Of course the population is a cause for concern.

                  If the population of NZ was 2 billion, then we wouldn’t really care if every single inhabitant of a 5 million population country bought property in NZ (assuming they didn’t all try to buy in the same city/area).

                  It’s all about scale.

                  I’d be just as concerned with the population of Italy if they decided to buy up property in NZ, and we had compelling evidence that they in fact were doing that.

                  I wouldn’t have much of a concern if the population of Samoa were buying up property in NZ, and we had compelling evidence that they in fact were doing that.

                  Again, it is the action of the people – and the number of people taking that action – that is the problem. Not their ethnicity or nationality.

                  Specifically in the China case, you can throw in the already well-documented buying spree that Chinese people are doing all over the western world, and the forthcoming weakening of foreign exchange restrictions their government is considering. That only adds to the underlying concern, and again has to do with the actions of these people (and their likelihood of acting), not their nationality.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    The size of the Chinese population is near-irrelevant in the debate on foreign investor demand for Auckland housing – it is the volume of available hot capital out of China which is the concern.

                    Put another way, its not the 250M middle class who are the problem, it is the 250,000 multi-millionaires looking to move their funds offshore.

                • cogito

                  The economic ambitions of the people of an expansionist and imperialist one party communist dictatorship known as the People’s Republic of China, which is the most populous country on earth, should be of very real concern to the people of a small South Pacific nation called NZ whose population would barely fill a couple of suburbs in one mid- size city of the aforementioned People’s Republic.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    fuck off, with your Yellow Peril bullshit. China isn’t “expansionist”, if you want to check out who has over a hundred military bases scattered around the Pacific over 20 or so countries, or who is trying to lock Pacific nations into a dead end pro-mega-corporation alliance, I’ll clue you up: its not China.

                    • cogito

                      China isn’t expansionist? Dream on, and cut out the bad language. It shows you up as a peasant.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      hey dickwad, spell it out: which country has over 100 foreign military bases spread across the Pacific.

                      Clue: it’s not China.

                      Clue: having all those foreign military bases is the definition of “imperial” and “expansionist”.

                      It shows you up as a peasant.

                      I’m pleased to disappoint you.

                    • yep yellow peril from cowards – all coming out like headless cockroaches from the putrid wood now.

                    • tinfoilhat

                      CV I’d avoid engaging with Cogito, having just done a search on his previous comments on this site he/she appears to be openly xenophobic and racist.


                      “How about this for a solution: the Chinese stay in China and we keep NZ for NZers. Racism issue solved.”

                      “What is pretty evident is that China is engaging in its own particular version of “lebensraum”, and that little ol’ Niu Zilan is being gradually swallowed up.”

                      “But it’s fine for the Chinese to thumb their noses at struggling kiwis is it, flashing their fat wads of off-shore cash?

                      kiwis of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chin*s.”

                    • Colonial Viper

                      tinfoilhat – chur dude

                    • Smilin

                      The real TPPA AGREEMENT

                    • mikesh

                      The Chinese, unlike the Europeans, have never felt the need to expand beyond their own borders.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Having said that, the Chinese have a pretty long memory of the maximum historical extent of their borders…

                      Worth remembering that to China, they are simply returning to their normal role at the centre of civilisation, after a short break away of 150 years.

                    • ropata

                      except for Taiwan, and Tibet, and the Senkaku Islands, and various bits of the Philippines, …

                    • cogito


                      As an aside, it may surprise you to know that in my younger days I was actually privileged to meet and spend some time (through family connections) with one of only two Europeans to accompany Chairman Mao on the long march. The guy’s name was Alfred Bosshardt. You can google him. I also studied Chinese history at university…. many moons ago…

                      So, I am not quite as ignorant as you may suppose.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Ropata – yep, China is a rising military and economic power in the Pacific. There will be many tensions between them and the USA in the years to come.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Then I would have expected you to know that the way to deal with the rise of China as the pacific power of the 21st century is through strong national self interest identifying where possible mutual areas of win-win co-operation, and in all other areas utilising alternative pragmatic strategies and goals to safeguard Kiwi interests.

                    • cogito

                      “Cogito – are you for trans-national corporate rule over NZ?”

                      I am for a NZ government that rules in the interests of all NZers in an open and accountable manner, without fear nor favour, and that defends the democratic rights and institutions that underpin our nation, that thousands have fought and died for.

                      The current government is the very opposite of the above.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And out of the $15B or so extracted out of our country by foreign corporations every year – hardly any of it goes to Chinese interests. Australian banks and other western corporates take the largest shares, by far.

                      Given that, what makes you so worried about Chinese economic dominance of NZ?

                  • tinfoilhat


                    I was prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt after your first comment in this thread and subsequent apology.

                    Since you have decided to labour your point again and again i decided to search your proviso comments on this site and have to report that they bear more than a strong whiff of xenophobia and outright racism.

                    • cogito


                      Fortunately, in Aotearoa NZ we are blessed with something called free speech. This is a privilege which enables us to hold and respect differing views.

                      I am not – nor have I ever been – anti-Chinese on a person to person basis.

                      I am, however, very much anti the one party communist dictatorship of China.

                      I am also very much against China’s increasing political and economic influence in NZ.

                      And I am opposed to the hysteria that arises whenever anyone dares to criticise China (PRC).

                    • ropata

                      hear hear cogito

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Step up to reality my friends. China is on the rise in the Pacific and the USA is on the decline. NZ has yet to formulate a clear strategy to deal with this very different future.

                      Cogito – are you for trans-national corporate rule over NZ?

                  • Chooky

                    +100 cogito (many times)

              • Chooky

                ‘xenophobia’….tell that to the Tibetans

            • cancerman

              Japan has 120 million in a similar geographic area, It’s not really much of a problem granted we have new immigrants contribute to network/infrastructure growth.

      • Colonial Rawshark 8.1.2

        This govt won’t do anything re the Chinese because the Chinese are filling their greedy pockets every day of the week.

        You better look at all the New Zealand MPs and others of the NZ leadership class with big Auckland property portfolios.

  9. Saarbo 9

    it’s very different from the Labour Party I always knew,” John Key said

    I agree wth Key on this, because this move is courageous and gutsy. And lets hope it leads on to more courageous announcements that fight for our vulnerable and poor, these are the people suffering because Nats wont reign in foreign investors.

    • Colonial Rawshark 9.1

      Meh Labour is just protecting the interests of the comfortable middle classes who are sick of being outbid on $800,000 Auckland villas.

      This has ZERO benefit for the “vulnerable and the poor” who have been locked out of the Auckland housing market for over a decade.

      • Back to the old familiar strawman, CV? Two unrelated issues, remember?

        • Colonial Viper

          They are separate issues? Then you better remind Saarbo who seems to have conflated them.

          • te reo putake

            Nah, I’m pointing out you pretty weak strawman for the umpteenth time. Two related but separate issues. However, there is a tenuous link. If the heat can be taken out of the middle of the market (where most sales are) then that means ‘affordable’ housing may not be instantly snapped up by investors, giving the working class a a slim chance of getting on board.

  10. Ms Collins say calls for a register are unjust as “we’ve never had that in New Zealand” but admits perhaps it’s time the Government considering having one.

    But then, Tree Stump Collins would say that, she being up to her usual dirty tricks.

  11. leftie 11

    The media are showing that the housing crisis is being fueled by non resident foreign speculators in numerous articles, but as soon as public pressure goes on the National government, the media says don’t look here, look over there, its Labour’s fault.

  12. Ad 12

    Fully agree about the government’s incoherence both on land sale information, and on its response to speculators.

    But Labour needs to start preparing its next big hit now.

    IMHO Labour should start directly attacking Fonterra.
    New Zealand needs to do a lot more hating if there’s going to be a change in government. Feel the blood rise.

  13. Nick Morris 13

    Actually we don’t need better data. Correcting the overseas real estate purchasing imbalance by stopping off-shore buyers purchasing land in New Zealand, to bring us into line with much of the developed world, is the right thing to do whether a big problem or a small one. Our available land area is tiny by comparison with many other territories.

    It can hardly be argued that the block will stymie the financial advantage to us of the flood of foreign money coming into the country, while arguing that the amount is insignificant.

    If it is significant, it should be stopped, if it isn’t it can be stopped without harm to the market.

    • Colonial Rawshark 13.1

      yes something like this.

      Or the simple principle – NZ land is only for NZ citizens and permanent residents.

      • gsays 13.1.1

        hi there cr, isnt there an issue with changing laws around land ownership and the recent free trade agreement nz has with china?

        • Colonial Viper

          Hmmmm I am unsure of the details…certainly we could not treat land purchases by Chinese nationals any differently than the nationals of any other country.

        • cancerman

          We are a sovereign country we can past any laws we want. If they don’t like it fine no more treaty but that a decision we make. Equally the same reason I don’t know why everyone is SO paranoid about the TPP. If it’s as shit as it seem then BYE!

  14. feijoa 14

    Arguments about racism / xenophobia just keep National rubbing their hands with glee, as they neatly divide the left

  15. sabine 15

    Oh come on, lets just get on with it.

    All these people that buy up Auckland, Whangarai, Whakatane, Tauranga Bay o Plenty, Wellington, ChCH and other places are good for Kiwi Land.

    Look there is soooo much land for only 4.5 million inhabitants (give or take a few ) so really it should be no issue to sell a third or two thirds or maybe four fifths of the country.
    And clearly, we are old, so it does not matter at all. Why care about the children and the children childrens, we will all be dead by then, and history can’t judge us.

    Houses are for suckers anyways, real Kiwis are happy to live in cars, ditches, City Missions and Shelters and in their parents basement etrrr strike that, Kiwi Houses don’t have basements.

    And hey if they are not happy, they can just move, somewhere else, where there are no keen buyers, be they national or international. And why would anyone want to know if a buyer is national or international? Really what difference does it make to us who will be living in ditches. We should know our place and not complain, and to want better.

    All that matters not, what matters really is that no one calls us racists. Because being called racists, by those that have vested interest in not disclosing the facts about who buys what for how much in NZ is very very important. Lest we put a blemish on our lefty blouse, even if the blouse is very very dirty because those that live in ditches usually don’t have washing machines.

    So ofcourse we must support National in not providing data, and we must tar and feather those pesky non repenting lefties that would want to have a foreign registar of land purchases, That is what non racists do.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      If you want to get serious about the issue, get serious about restructuring the treatment of houses so they are no longer considered financial assets associated with capital gains, and also push for changes which say that only NZ citizens and permanent residents can purchase NZ land.

      Labour’s opportunistic finger pointing does neither.

      • sabine 15.1.1

        I have left a few comments on what I believe should be done, in earlier threads. Alas the same response to all was that those of us that support Labour making the data available are racists.

        You know what Colonial Viper, i don’t need to do anything.
        I don’t have children, I have a passport that allows me to leave NZ when it becomes a fully fledged Banana Republic, owned by overseas interest that really does not give a flying fudge about this country or its citizens.

        I am not drowing out comments calling Racism, Racism to everything that is said.

        labour opportunistic finger is what got this conversation underway, because just about two weeks ago all we had was rumor, anecdotes, undercurrants of resentment and a government that striktly refuses to do anything.

        So maybe Colonial Viper it is you that has to do something. Maybe you should lobby the National Party and Nick Smith in providing the data that labour has sought for a while now. Maybe you should lobby the National Party to provide the data that would either a. confirm what Labour has said, or b. denounce what Labour has said.

        But you are doing neither, all you do is slag Labour this and labour that. And you know what its ok. Really it is. But don’t tell me what I have to do, because I am not the problem.

        • ropata

          +999! Sabine.

        • Bill

          …to all was that those of us that support Labour making the data available are racists.

          Who is saying that making the ‘data’ available is racist and who is saying that the way the ‘data’ was presented was racist?

          ‘Cause I’ve read plenty of the latter in comments and none of the former.

          • dukeofurl

            Whats the difference between data that shows disadvantage by ethnic group and data which shows social advantage by ethnic group.

            Even Statistics NZ say they have difficulty collecting data from some groups

            ” However, estimated census coverage does vary across the population. For example,……… Maori, Asian and Pacific people are more likely to be missed than other ethnic groups.”

            They dont kid themselves that they have the perfect data that some seem to expect from ad hoc collected data about house buyers

          • sabine

            Data in itself is not racist, nor biased for that matter, and you would know that.
            However using this data and the conclusion derived by labour was and still is labelled racist. And this is what I am refering too.
            I think I have been quite consistent in my stance that I believe it is not, and in fact that at this stage we should just let it go. Forever you will have this discussion now which side were you on to no avail and with litte change in believe.
            At the end of the day, opportunity hit labour in the form of a simple sales report, and Labour looked at it, and gave it to the public with their interpretation. This is a hundered times better then National who could have demanded that sales data of property records is made available to the public a long time a go. So frankly I guess I am over this racism cat calling. It is just too simple to shut the discussion up with it, as already National is making it clear very boldly that they just simple will not provide the information, in fact have not even thought about doing so judging by comments made today by John Key and others.

        • Colonial Viper

          But you are doing neither, all you do is slag Labour this and labour that. And you know what its ok. Really it is. But don’t tell me what I have to do, because I am not the problem.

          Just pointing out that what you are pushing for and cheering for, is not going to lead to the positive results you think that it will.

          • dukeofurl

            I suppose thats why China itself is lifting any previous restrictions it has on non residents buying property ?

            Of course they are doing nothing of the sort

            • Colonial Viper

              Is Labour committing to any relevant new policy such as banning ownership of NZ land by non-citizens?

              If so please point it out. Because at the moment all I see is a media ploy aimed at “collecting data” but committing to nothing else.

              • sabine


                Is it perfect? No
                Will it be a start? yes.

                maybe now that the discussion is started, we can look at issues and action change.

                One can not end Housing Speculation, it has always existed, and to an extend it can make for beautiful Cities, when the property is in the hand of the same owner family for may years / centuries.

                But one regulate the heck out of it, and more importantly create and implement tenant rigths. One could look to Germany in regards for
                Tenant rights as I believe they have a system that works fairly well. A good Mix of ownership, rentals, leases, shares and the likes. Plus Cities that are design to no only sleep thousands, but also to house, feed and entertaint them once t hey have finished working.

                We need to start demanding, very loudly and consistently, that the National Government institute a registar of all property sales to foreign interest that is non resident or citizens.

                WE need to start demanding tenancy laws.

                WE need to start housing the people of this land, because clearly we can’t have them living in the streets.

                BTW. Where is the Post on John Minto and his excellent work on behalf of the Statehouses that are on teh axe to some Ozzies for other reason than no one is talking about.

                We need to stop calling ourselfs names, just so that the others don’t have too.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Well, I back your suggestions and I believe that the entire housing market needs serious restructuring and intervention.

                  We have to force Labour to follow through on such.

                  One can not end Housing Speculation, it has always existed, and to an extend it can make for beautiful Cities,

                  They;ve basically ended it in places like Singapore and Germany. So it can be done.

                  • sabine

                    Germany has speculation, like any other place on earth. Humans like to forecst, invest, speculate and scheme. But as I said, you can regulate the heck out of it. And that is where NZ is unlucky. Its a free for all as you have money being thrown around as if there is no tomorrow and no regulations on who can buy what and where that record is kept. That issue you won’t have in Germany.

          • ropata

            CV has a problem with science-y things like “data”

            • Colonial Viper

              Especially when its an excuse not to commit to anything new and gutsy in terms of policy and action.

              • dukeofurl

                They are backing the restrictions on overseas buyers of residential property.
                Because you are impossible to please doesnt mean it isnt ‘new and gutsy’

                • Colonial Viper

                  Its policy from early 2014, which you have to admit isn’t exactly new. And it doesn’t limit the purchase of NZ land to citizens and PR holders – which is a higher standard (lol).

                  • sabine

                    Okai, mate, so you go and bring up something better.

                    Personally I am a socialist, whith a firm believe that NO individual should own land, the only one to own Land is the country everyone else can lease. That would include citizens and others alike.
                    In my books preventing individuals and coroporations from ever aquiring land wealth is the only way to prevent speculation, abuse and wealth concentration in the hands of the few.

                    now NZ does not have a socialist Party, (and I don’t see the Greens as anything even remotly interesting or possible in the future. They have lost guts and glory along time ago and replaced it with feel good measures of cycleways and the occasional good speech, Mana imploded by themselves essentially, and then you have had it with Parties on the left)
                    So that leaves only two options, NZ First or Labour. I will go with Labour, while not the most awesomest party it is the best that NZ actually has if ever you want to get power away from the current lot at National Party.

                    I have added the link as to what the policies are, these were the policies they went into election with, they were decent policies then, and considering they are still good policies.

                    Now its your turn, and frankly I expect better then nothing. And you have provided nothing.

        • Skinny

          Fat lot of use lobbying National, Key has said even if data shows high numbers of foreign buyers he may choose to do nothing. I guess that figures as he is a free market kinda guy.

  16. Mike S 16

    Am I missing something here or is it being made to seem as though creating a register of foreign buyers is some sort of massive, difficult task, where groups of “officials” (whoever the hell they are? Maybe from the same dept as the “authorities”) are working away in the background on the task?

    Seems to me you would just amend the relevant statute so that anyone who buys a residential property must show proof of citizenship or permanent residency. Anyone who doesn’t have one of those two things gets their name on a list . (register)

    That’s pretty much it???

  17. Observer (Tokoroa) 17

    Just a moment people. As others have pointed out, it is silly to say that Data is racist.

    So why are the supporters of National and Act so keen to call the data gathered from Barfoot & Thompson racist? Because they are silly people.

    The Nationals and Act have shown no intention of doing anything to protect the NZ born and reared from predatory divestment. Like the great great John Key himself they believe that assets, land and housing should be taken from Kiwis and given to non Kiwis.

    No amount of abuse and stupidity thrown by right wing commentators on here will alter the fact that they are slavishly protecting their great great leader … the unflawed, and all seeing brilliant and dazzling Mr John Key.

    Internationally, that same leader has about the same standing as a failed cockroach. A man not to be admired, but to be pitied. A man who utterly believes that all wealth should belong to the very few. Citizens are just there to be used and abused.

    His eager followers show by their comments the same pathetic shallowness.

  18. Thanks Sabine for adding the Labour Party Policy for the last election on restricting foreign non resident ownership of houses. They have repeatedly advocated this. They need to fix it in concrete, not just of houses but land, swamp Kauri, farms, dairy factories and subdivisions. The Lochinvar Station is still under consideration to be sold to the Chinese Shanghi outfit that bought the Crafer Farms for next to nothing. That sale will be the biggest mistake ever. I wonder how many kiwis will be lining up to buy a section in the Hobsonville Subdivision. The one National freed up to make available much needed sections for your average kiwi to own their own home. Not much chance of that after the Chinese NZ alleged residents bought up 23 of them in 5 minutes.

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