The Dom Post reports:
Greens co-leader Russel Norman says his member’s bill to restrict foreign land ownership is likely to be narrowly defeated
tonight by an ‘‘evil coalition’’.
If anything is evil, it is xenophobia.
The bill aims to retain New Zealand ownership and control of sensitive land and has the support of Labour, NZ First, the Maori Party and Mana.
However, Dr Norman said it was likely to be opposed by National, UnitedFuture and ACT.
‘‘The job of Parliament is to represent the will of the people and people don’t want land going into overseas ownership,’’ he said.
What hypocrisy. One week after around 80% of New Zealanders voted that parental correctional smacking should not be a criminal offence, the Greens voted down a members’ bill that sought to do just that.
If people do not want land to go into overseas ownership, then they should not sell their land to someone overseas. But it is quite a different matter to ban fellow citizens from selling their property to the highest bidder.
Under this bill, James Cameron would be banned from buying his Wairarapa farm, even though the benefits to NZ of having one of the world’s most influential movie makers owning land here is huge.
Norman’s bill would ban any foreign investment in land over 0.05 of a square kilometer! It would not matter how great the benefits to NZ are – a total ban. It is xenophobic hysterical nonsense.
Applications for purchases over 0.05 of a square kilometer are assessed against the national interest, under the criteria in the Overseas Investment Act. Deciding on the merits if each application is far more sensible than a xenophobic ban.