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Questions for Key

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, July 30th, 2013 - 60 comments
Categories: housing, overseas investment - Tags:

Why is it acceptable to his government that, under the current law, Kiwi families can be outbid for Kiwi houses by overseas speculators who have no intention of living here?

What good to the New Zealand economy is created by non-resident foreigners buying existing New Zealand houses?

In the new sprawl suburbs he wants to create, how many houses being bought by foreign speculators would be acceptable to him?


60 comments on “Questions for Key”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Must win the votes of those with portfolios of 5, 10, 15 investment properties…

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      But surely those people too would prefer less competition from overseas owners?

      • Molly 1.1.1

        You would think so, but I guess a lot will also appreciate the increase in capital value of the homes they own. It allows them to borrow for deposits on any future purchases, ie. no need to save that 20% – just withdraw it from increased equity.

      • Lightly 1.1.2

        no, they want to be able to sell their properties for more, therefore, they want a larger pool of demand to force up prices

    • johnm 1.2

      The Cult of get rich by buying houses for capital gains Promotes Disastrous Politics

      “But by encouraging mainstream middle-class families to make large leveraged investments in houses, ( And Capital Gain further house buys) you create politics around promoting housing scarcity. The problem here is that although any given person can certainly profit from the house he or she owns (or, more plausibly, the land it sits on) appreciating in value more rapidly than average, it’s extremely difficult to see how a nation as a whole is going to become more prosperous by houses becoming more expensive.”

      ” but, alas, the majority of the middle class population which actually votes is heavily leveraged in property and so will vote for politicians who promise to restrict supply of housing and who will keep interest rates at zero percent. By sheer numbers they will elect the politician promising to back their ponzi scheme.”

      ” it’s extremely difficult to see how a nation as a whole is going to become more prosperous by houses becoming more expensive.” The simple answer is no!


    • burt 1.3

      Must win the votes of those with portfolios of 5, 10, 15 investment properties…

      Like the best PM ever …..

  2. King Kong 2

    1.So we can trade unimpeded with our largest international customers, the receipts from which keep us from all living in shacks.

    2. See 1

    3. 2%. As it is currently

    • Lightly 2.1

      the China FTA clearly isn’t breached by this policy.

      The exemption for Australians arises automatically from the CER agreement, which was signed before the China FTA. The China FTA says that Chinese get any special treatment that any other country gets (known as most-favoured-nation status) EXCEPT for stuff in FTAs signed before the China FTA

      • erikter 2.1.1

        Of course it is.

        • NickS

          How exactly? As the FTA is only for trade goods and laws related to them, not investment stuff per China not having drop it’s investment restrictions.

          And given your prior posts, I don’t expect you to come up with anything intelligent or evidence based.

      • dumrse 2.1.2

        I think you gloss over it a bit lightly.

  3. Sable 3

    As long as the money keeps rolling don’t expect change from National. They have shown again and again they do not care about their own countrymen and women, only about themselves.

  4. jcuknz 4

    My reading has me believe that the exemption should apply to the Chinese too according to the FTA that Labour set up.
    Sables comment is pure nonsense … in difficult times National have done quite a good job over the past few years in looking after us all.
    Labour could be accused that in good times they sat on their hands and built up captial instead of state housing. But that of course is 20/20 hindsight.
    Unfortunately for the socialistic dream every human wants to be a capitaist looking out for themselves and most have a very short sighted view and cannot see the long term advantages of being a responsible citizen

    • Sable 4.1

      A Few Facts for National:

      >Increased regressive taxation
      >Watered down laws aimed at limiting loansharking and gambling
      >Tax beaks for the rich
      >Sale of State assets=loss of revenue that helps to keep tax low
      >Human Rights abuses: illegally spying and draconian laws that limit freedom of access to information

      So how is this looking after us, chum?

      • Bob 4.1.1


        >Some facts backing this up would be nice
        >Watered down additional laws i.e these still are an improvement on the old laws, just watered down from the extent they could have been taken too
        >Tax breaks for all NZers including those on welfare (from 12.5% down to 10%), not to mention the benefits of doing it in the first place http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/8456336/Report-highlights-personal-tax-cut-benefits
        >Labour is calling out for the Government to not take a dividend at all, and I thought you were against tax cuts i.e keeping tax low?
        >You mean fixing Labours legislation from 2003 that contradicts itself, on one hand saying that the Police, Defense Force and NZSIS can apply for a warrant so the GCSB can spy on NZ Residents and Citizens, then on the other hand providing legislation saying the GCSB can’t spy on NZ Residents and Citizens, this is the only reason the spying was illegal.

        I shouldn’t expect much from someone that can’t even get the Prime Minister’s name right though. FYI it’s John Key, not John Keys

        • tricledrown

          bob mugabKey

          • Bob

            Not at all trickledrown, unlike Mugabe I am completely against ethnic cleansing and printing money.

            All I am saying is, if you are going to start a post with the words ‘A Few Facts’, maybe Sable should then provide some, rather than going on a emotive rant with no facts to back himself/herself up. In this particular post the facts, in most cases went against him/her.

      • Binders full of women 4.1.2

        But it’s Labour tax policy that has everyone up to 150K pay LESS tax. Depends on your def of rich but I would put people in the 130-150 area as rich and they pay less tax with Labour policies.

  5. insider 5

    Same reason speculators like Helen Clark and David shearer, Phil Goff etc etc can accumulate multiple properties, outbidding kiwi families when they have no intention of living in those properties. What’s the qualitative difference in outcome?

    • Sable 5.1

      You are right Labour are a party of property owners, more-so than National. The argument though is a quantitative one not a qualitative one (this should be obvious). More than that they are Kiwis paying tax here and keeping profits from capital gains mostly in New Zealand not siphoning it off to other countries.

      • insider 5.1.1

        If the argument is a quantitive one then 100k nzers owning multiple properties is far more of an influence on prices than a few thousand foreigners.

        most NZ ers I know with multiple properties structure their affairs around paying as little tax as possible. So not sure your assumption is a good basis for policy supposedly aimed at lowering prices.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          What a good thing there’ll be a CGT and Kiwbuild going alongside it.

          PS: is the benchmark “lowering prices”, or “reducing the rate of (housing market) inflation”?

          • insider

            Where have cgts worked to constrain prices in recent times?

            I’ve seen it variously described by labour as lowering, reducing pressure and stabilising prices. Take your pick.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead

              [citations missing]

            • Arfamo

              Treasury and the OECD both say a CGT is expected to lower house prices. But even if it doesn’t why does that matter as long as the government gets tax from the gains as revenue?

        • Arfamo

          most NZ ers I know with multiple properties structure their affairs around paying as little tax as possible.

          I don’t understand why you apparently see this as a virtue. I see it as ripping off their country. Why don’t you want people paying their fair share of tax?

          Is anyone else experiencing long delays in comments appearing here after pressing “submit comment” today?

          • insider

            Where did I claim tax avoidance was a Virtue? I was suggesting the assumption of local taxes being greater may not be true due to the leveraging games people play.

    • burt 5.2


      What’s the qualitative difference in outcome?

      These are the people telling us we shouldn’t be doing this – therefore we need to ignore that they do it themselves… National party people on the other hand – they are filthy scum when they do it.

  6. Adrian 6

    High prices or even low prices for property are driven at the margin which is only a few percent of the housing stock. Therefore big money looking for a home ( sorry, pun couldn’t be avoided ) only needs to influence 1 or 2 percent of the market to set the new price, but if 20% of the stock was dumped on the NZmarket the real price would be revealed, and it would be bugger all.

    • insider 6.1

      Are housing prices really driven at the margins? There are so many variables between houses even next door to each other that I find it hard to believe that they respond directly to prices at the margins.

      food for thought, would getting rid of the Auckland grammar zone do more for affordability than banning foreigners?

    • infused 6.2

      Try just pricing materials for a house and see how your argument works.

    • Colonial Viper 6.3

      Adrian: correct.

  7. Wayne (a different one) 7

    I have heard Helen has confirmed she will rush back from the UN to sell her 4 properties immediately if Labour win the next election – just so she will be compliant with the new legislation.

  8. Foreign Waka 8

    Capital gains tax and GST paid nonrefundable would go a long way to eliminate overseas speculators. Only exemption: Citizen, permanent resident holders plus proof of living in the country.
    This would be equal for all no matter where they are from.

  9. tsmithfield 9

    The evidence suggests that foreign sellers out number foreign buyers. (3.6% buyers to 4.5% sellers)

    Hence the pressure on prices from non-residents should be downwards not upwards.

    • lprent 9.1

      Interesting survey. Even more interest in that you give much credence to it.

      It is a sample of between roughly 2.5% and 5% of realators, answering subjectively on subjective questions with no real incentive to dig into records, and where many of the intentions relate the the responses and intentions of others. In other words it can be described as horseshit if you are looking at it for statistical accuracy.

      It’d be useful for looking at trends if it’d been running long enough, but two years at this level looks kind of light. It’d also be more interesting if they explained the methodology especially if they were trying to get a representative spectrum across all real estate companies and across areas. But just looking at the regional numbers, the sample sizes are screwed.

      The BNZ rightly point out

      This publication has been provided for general information only. Although every effort has been made to ensure this publication is accurate the contents should not be relied upon or used as a basis for entering into any products described in this publication.


      Bank of New Zealand strongly recommends readers seek independent legal/financial advice prior to acting in relation to any of the matters discussed in this publication.

      Basically rubbish for the type of anal analysis that has been coming from kiwiblog on this junk. Trying to suck policy out of it is akin to getting it from talkback

      • tsmithfield 9.1.1

        It does make the point though, that consideration needs to be given to the sell side of the equation as well as the buy side. Focussing on the buy side in isolation is meaningless.

      • insider 9.1.2

        Based on what shearer and parker have said, that survey is probably a far higher level of research than went into labours policy…

    • Colonial Viper 9.2

      And we can make it even more downwards by getting rid of foreign buyers.

      • tsmithfield 9.2.1

        All very well to say, except if it was your house, I bet you would go for the highest buyer, regardless of where they come from.

  10. Chooky 14

    +1 Kvapai

  11. Nick K 15

    You don’t know they’re speculators. But if writing it makes you feel better then so be it I guess.

  12. Fair call 16


    [lprent: Already banned and now subject to an extra 8 weeks ]

  13. Mr Interest 17


    This is the story of your enslavement…

    …how it came to be
    and how you can finally… be free
    Like all animals, human beings want to dominate and exploit the resources around them.
    At first we mostly hunted and fished and ate off the land…
    but then something magical – and terrible – happened to our minds.
    We became – alone among the animals –
    afraid of Death…
    and of future loss.
    And this was the start of a great tragedy – and an even greater possibility…
    You see, when we become afraid of death…
    …of injury and imprisonment…
    …we become Controllable…
    and so… valuable…
    …in a way that no other resource could ever be.
    The greatest resource for any human being to control
    is not natural resources or tools or animals or land
    You can frighten an animal, because animals are afraid of pain…
    in the moment.
    But you cannot frighten an animal with a loss of liberty…
    …with torture or imprisonment in the future…
    …because animals have very little sense of ‘tomorrow’.
    You cannot threaten a cow with torture, or a sheep with death.
    You cannot swing a sword at a tree and scream at it to produce more fruit…
    …or hold a burning torch to a field and demand more wheat.
    You cannot get more eggs by threatening a hen…
    …but you can get a man to give you his eggs by threatening him.
    This ‘Human Farming’ has been the most profitable…
    …and destructive occupation throughout history….
    Human society cannot be rationally understood until it is seen for what it is…
    …a series of Farms…
    …own HUMAN Livestock.
    Some people get confused because governments provide healthcare..
    …and thus imagine that there is some ‘benevolence’ at work.
    Nothing could be further from …the reality.
    Farmers provide ‘Healthcare’ and …’Irrigation’…
    …and training
    to their ‘Livestock’.
    Some people get confused because we are allowed certain liberties
    ..and thus imagine…
    But farmers plant their crops a certain distance apart to increase their yields…
    …and will allow certain animals larger ‘Stalls’ or ‘Fields’
    if it means they will produce more meat…
    …and milk.
    In your country…
    …your ‘Tax Farm’…
    …your farmer grants you certain freedoms – not because he cares about your liberties…
    …but because he wants to increase his profits.
    Are you beginning to see the nature of the cage you were born into?
    There have been 4 major phases of Human Farming…
    The first phase, in ancient Egypt, was direct and brutal human compulsion.
    Human bodies were controlled but the creative productivity
    of the human mind
    remained beyond the reach of the whip, and the brand, and the shackles.
    Slaves remained woefully underproductive and required enormous resources to control.
    The second phase was the ‘Roman model’
    wherein slaves were granted some capacity for freedom, ingenuity and creativity
    – which raised their productivity.
    This increased the wealth of Rome – and thus the tax income of the Roman Govenment
    and with this additional wealth, Rome became – an Empire,
    destroying the economic freedoms that fed its power…
    …and collapsed.
    I’m sure that this does not seem entirely unfamiliar…
    After the collapse of Rome, the feudal model introduced the concept of ‘livestock ownership’
    and taxation.
    Instead of being directly owned, peasants farmed land that they could retain
    as long as they paid off the local Warlords.
    This model eventually broke down due to the continual subdivision of
    and was destroyed
    during the Enclosure Movement, when land was consolidated
    and hundreds of thousands of peasants were kicked off their ancestral lands
    because new farming techniques made larger farms more productive
    with fewer people.
    The increased productivity of the Later Middle Ages created the excess food
    required for the expansion of towns and cities.
    which in turn gave rise to the modern Democratic Model
    of Human Ownership.
    As displaced peasants flooded into the cities, a huge stock of
    cheap human capital became available to the rising industrialists..
    and the ruling class of Human Farmers quickly realised
    that they could make more money
    by letting their ‘Livestock’ choose their own occupations.
    Under the Democratic Model, direct slave ownership has been replaced
    by the ‘Mafia’ Model.
    The Mafia rarely owns businesses directly
    – but rather, send thugs around once a month
    to steal from the business owners.
    You are now allowed to choose your own occupation
    – which raises your productivity –
    and thus, the taxes you can pay to your masters.
    “Value this time in your life, kids”
    ” ’cause this is the time in your life when you still have your choices”
    “and it goes by SO fast!”
    “When you’re a teenager, you think you can do anything… and you do!”
    “…your 20’s are a blur”
    “…30’s, you raise your family, you make a little money…”
    “…and you think to yourself… – what happened to my 20’s?”
    “…40’s you grow a lil’ pot belly, you grow another chin!”
    “…the music starts to get too loud…”
    “…one of your old girlfriends from highschool becomes a grandmother…”
    “…50’s you’ll have a minor surgery – you’ll call it a ‘procedure'”
    ” – but it’s a surgery…”
    “…60’s you’ll have a major surgery, the music is STILL loud but it doesn’t matter”
    “because you can’t hear it anyway!”
    “…70’s You and the wife retire to Fort Lauderdale…”
    “you start eating dinner at 2 o’clock in the afternoon..”
    “you have lunch around 10, breakfast the night before!”
    ” – then spend most of your time wandering around malls”
    “..looking for the ultimate soft yogurt muttering “How come the kids don’t call? -How come the kids don’t call”?”
    “In your 80’s you’ll have a major stroke, and you end up babbling to some Jamaican nurse who your wife can’t stand,”
    “but who you call ‘Mama’..”
    “Any questions?..”
    The great challenge of the Democratic Model
    is that increases in wealth and freedom
    threaten the ‘Farmers’!
    The ruling classes initially profit from a relatively ‘free’ market in capital
    – and labour,
    but as their livestock become more used to their freedoms – and growing wealth
    they begin to question why they need ‘Rulers’ at all…
    Ah well… Nobody ever said that Human Farming was easy!
    Keeping the Tax Livestock securely in the compunds of the Ruling Classes…
    …is a three phase process.
    The first is to indoctrinate the young
    through government “Education”.
    As the wealth of democratic countries grew, governments schools were
    universlly inflicted
    in order to control the thoughts – and souls of the Livestock.
    The second phase is to turn citizens against each other
    through the creation of ‘Dependent Livestock’.
    It is very difficult to rule human beings directly through force…
    …and where it can be achieved, it remains cripplingly underproductive
    – as can be seen in North Korea.
    Human Beings do not breed well or produce efficiently in direct captivity.
    Ah, but if Human Beings believe that they are ‘free’,
    then they will produce much more for their ‘Farmers’.
    The best way to maintain this ‘illusion’ of freedom is to put some of the Livestock…
    …on the payroll of the Farmer.
    Those ‘Cows’ that become dependent on the existing hierarchy
    will then attack any other ‘Cows’ that point out the violence, hypocrisy and immorality
    of Human ownership.
    “Officers positioned ‘Grant’ face first on the floor with one officer near his head…”
    ” – a second near his back and a third officer standing nearby.”
    “There appeared to be a brief struggle, then a 2 year veteran Bart officer stands, ”
    “…draws his weapon”
    “and fires.”
    [observing crowd shrieks]
    Freedom is Slavery.. …and Slavery is Freedom.
    If you can get the ‘Cows’ to attack each other,
    whenever anybody brings up the reality of their situation,
    then you don’t have to spend nearly as much controlling them directly.
    Those ‘Cows’ who become dependent upon the stolen largess of the ‘Farmer’
    will violently oppose any quesioning of the vitrue of human ownership.
    …And the intellectual and artistic classes – always and forever dependent upon
    the ‘Farmers’, will say to anyone who demands freedom from ownership
    “You will harm your fellow Cows”.
    The ‘Livestock’ are thus kept enclosed by shifting the moral responsibillity
    for the destructiveness of the violent system
    to those who demand real freedom.
    The third phase is to invent continual external threats so that the frightened
    Livestock cling to the protection of the Farmers.
    This system of Human Farming is now nearing its end.
    The terrible tragedies of modern Western economic systems
    has occured, not in spite of, but because of past economic freedoms.
    The massive increases in western wealth throughout the 19th Century
    resulted from economic freedoms
    …and it was this very increase in wealth that fed the size and power of the State.
    Whenever the Livestock become exponentially more productive
    you get a corresponding increase in in the number of ‘Farmers’
    …and their dependants.
    The growth of the state is always proportional to the preceeding economic freedoms.
    Economic freedoms create wealth…
    …and the wealth attracts more thieves and political ‘parasites’
    whose greed then destroys the economic freedoms.
    In other words, freedom metastasizes the cancer of the State.
    The Government that starts off the smallest will always end up the largest.
    This is why there can be no viable and sustainable alternative
    A society without political rulers – without human ownership
    – without the violence of taxation and statism.
    To be truly free, is both very easy – and very hard.
    We avoid the horror of our enslavement because it is so painful
    We dance around the endless violence of our dying system
    because we fear the attacks
    of our fellow Livestock
    But we can only be kept in the cages we refuse to see.
    Wake up.
    To see the farm is to leave it.

  14. Saarbo 18

    Real estate heads doubt Labour plan

    NZ Herald 31 July 2013


    Why would anyone think that Real Estate Agents would say anything else, they are the dodgiest profession (if you can call it that) around. Yesterday morning RNZ interviewed one:


    The Real Estate Industry dont even keep any statistics on foreign buyers, I wonder why?

    But this statistic in todays NZ Herald says it all: “Twenty out of Barfoot’s top 25 agents were of Asian ethnicity but they worked harder than many other agents….” Yeah right!

    In the end of the day the philosophy that should be driving New Zealand’s housing policy is that Homes are for people to live in, and I am sure that the social benefits of owning a home are well documented. Any policy that effectively increases supply of “houses for sale” will get my support. I would like to see more policy around disincentivising houses as investments.

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    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disconnected thinking dirties the water
    Iain Rabbitts’ belief that drinking water quality, charging for water use and the land use that leads to water quality degradation should be treated separately is part of the problem we have right now in this country. The connection is ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Report back from Hands Off Our Tamariki hui
    This week I attended a hui in Otaki organised by Hands Off Our Tamariki about the proposed reforms to the Child Young Persons and their Families Act. Moana Jackson and Paora Moyle spoke.  They expressed deep, profound concern about the proposed ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s visionless immigration policy
    National’s recent immigration announcement is a continuation of the visionless approach to government that it has displayed in the last three terms. Rather than using the levers of government to implement a sustainable immigration policy that benefits new and current ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seclusion rooms in schools
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    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Public should get a say on new Waikato power station
    I had an opinion piece published in the Waikato Times about a controversial proposal to build a new gas-fired power station. It’s not on their website yet, so here it is: If you think the public would get a say ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • MSD and their investment approach
    The Government talks about investment but there is no investment. It is not investment if it isn’t over the whole of life and if there is no new money  — Shamubeel Eaqub   Investment sounds like adequate resourcing but this ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Certainty needed for community services
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    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Domestic Violence – some advice for the media
    For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to use Domestic Violence (DV) as a proxy for intimate partner violence. DV is not isolated to physical abuse in a relationship between people with the same power. DV is a pattern of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 weeks ago
  • Leroy’s New Paw Prints
    Leroy, an Auckland great dane recently received a new 3D printed bionic leg after cancer was discovered. I think this is a fantastic story and highlights the real potential of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing Leroy’s prosthetic was printed in titanium and was ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 weeks ago