Migrants say Labour’s housing policy potentially racist

August 9th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The president of a nation-wide organisation that represents Chinese migrant groups says David Shearer’s policy is “picking on” Asian people.

leader David Shearer says the party will restrict the ability of non-residents to purchase New Zealand houses as part of its package to help Kiwi first-home buyers.

Shearer says IRD records show more than 11,000 overseas investors own New Zealand properties they don’t live in.

That data would include people like Helen Clark. Actual sales data has shown that non-residents comprise only 3.2% of house purchasers (and make up 4.5% of sellers).

However, the president of the NZ Chinese Association Virginia Chong is concerned the policy is targeting Asian buyers.

Chong says there is a flawed perception that Chinese nationals are out-bidding Kiwis in the Auckland market.

The second generation New Zealander says people just see Asian faces in the auction rooms and assume that they are foreigners.

“It’s all very well saying it’s Asians who have pushed up the price but I don’t think it’s Asians, we are just a convenient fob-off,” the Epsom resident says.

Again the actual sales data shows only 0.4% of house purchasers are non-resident Chinese.

She says while the policy may be a Band-Aid on the problem, it will not have any long-term effect.

“From my perspective it’s potentially racist and it’s contrary to existing free trade agreements,” she says.

It is designed to make people think that Chinese New Zealanders are foreigners and stealing houses off “real” New Zealanders. And it does breach several free trade agreements we have signed, including those negotiated by Labour.

Tags: , ,

35 Responses to “Migrants say Labour’s housing policy potentially racist”

  1. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    ACHTUNG! CHINAMEN!

    I think this is Helen Clark’s legacy to Labour… she hasn’t exactly built up a lot of depth. Presumably this policy is their best idea at the moment, as they keep on flogging it.

    Vote: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. niggly (779 comments) says:

    So Labour don’t resonate with Asians very well anymore and yesterday Labour didn’t resonate with the 3000 workers (and voters) of Southland (re Labour attacks Govt re $30M for the smelter).

    What the fcuk does Labour stand for apart from their own self-interest and Wellington belt-way politics?

    Vote: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. tom1980 (33 comments) says:

    Raymond Huo: Labour’s Uncle Tom.

    Vote: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. swan (651 comments) says:

    Yes,

    The amount of times I have heard – oh the auction room was full of Asians! But I have never heard – oh the auction room was full of Europeans buying New Zealanders’ houses!

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    What does she mean “potentially racist”? Of course it’s bloody racist!

    Now if they said they would not only prevent Islamists from buying houses but stop all immigration from Islamic countries they might be on to something…

    Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Ross12 (927 comments) says:

    Calm down David. She is just showing abit of Chinese politeness. But you are right ,it is racist and xenophobic. I suspect this is partly responsible for the reaction to the Fonterra issue is the Chinese press. We Kiwis have great ability to “shoot ourselves in the feet”( with the help of a certain Aussie !!).

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Jack5 (4,216 comments) says:

    What whingeing hypocrisy. Asian immigrants should consider their home countries’ rules on foreign property ownership. If Labour’s policy is racist, so are the policies of Asian countries. For example:

    China – foreigners cannot buy or own land

    India – foreigners of non-Indian descent cannot own property unless they are residents for at least 183 days a year (tourist visas are 180 days)

    Malaysia – foreigners are banned from owning most agricultural land and from owning “low cost and medium cost” property as determined by State authorities. There seem also to be reserved “Malay” only areas (this seems to exclude Chinese, Indian etc Malaysians as well as foreigners).

    Singapore – if foreigners buy houses they cannot sell them for five years and are not allowed to rent them.

    Thailand – foreigners cannot buy property

    Taiwan – foreigners cannot buy or sell real estate for property. Whether they can buy or sell houses depends on reciprocal rules with their own countires.

    Indonesia – foreigners can buy only condominiums.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 10 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Jack5 (4,216 comments) says:

    In my 9.49 post, the Taiwan restriction on foreign property ownership should read “foreigners cannot buy or sell real estate for profit.”

    That seems to indicate a foreigner can own only one house, and only if Taiwanese can own property in the foreigner’s home country.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. swan (651 comments) says:

    “Asian immigrants should consider their home countries’ rules ”

    Jack5,

    Given they are immigrants, their home country is now New Zealand. Not sure why we want to hold ourselves to the standard of authoritarian nationalistic regimes.

    Vote: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Cunningham (746 comments) says:

    I don’t agree that it is racist. A stupid policy that will achieve nothing – yes, but racist? no. However by exempting Australians that is how it is being percieved. They should have included Australians. I know we can buy properties there, but as their welfare policy shows we don’t need to have exactly the same agreement as them. I personally think it will make very little difference regardless but this policy is completely pointless with that Australian exemption in place.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Jack5 (4,216 comments) says:

    In the Asian countries stated, the rules apply to those who migrate to the countries as well as to other foreigners.

    Swan, you sound like the pacifists and peaceniks who thought, in another context, that unilateral pacifism by their own countries would end all war.

    Unilateral free-market in capital flow and migration by a tiny Pacific country is madness. Successful capitalist countries such as the Republic of Singapore, Switzerland, and the Hong Kong region of China are far more practical in their approaches to such matters.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Jack5 (4,216 comments) says:

    Cunningham posted at 10.02:

    …They should have included Australians….

    Especially Aussie bankers, Cunningham.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. leftyliberal (601 comments) says:

    “It is designed to make people think that Chinese New Zealanders are foreigners and stealing houses off “real” New Zealanders. ”

    Where are the words “Chinese” or “Asian” mentioned in the policy statement? Indeed, Twyford has specifically stated that it is not anti-asian, as it targets more UK investors than Asian investors. I ndeed, if one is to believe the numbers DPF gives, very few Asian investors would be affected at all. Bloody poms doesn’t have the same ring to it though, huh?

    The ones playing the race card aren’t Labour or the Greens in this case.

    [DPF: It's called a dog whistle. When you rant on about stopping foreigners, most Aucklanders will take that as many stopping Asians. They are the ones who "look" foreign. If a British couple win an auction no one thinks of them as foreigners.]

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Brian Harmer (686 comments) says:

    Swan, if they are immigrants, with either PR or citizenship, then they are not excluded from buying houses. It’s not as if they can’t have a house in NZ. As I understand it, if you don’t have PR, then the way to home ownership is build a new house.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Weihana (4,475 comments) says:

    [DPF: It's called a dog whistle. When you rant on about stopping foreigners, most Aucklanders will take that as many stopping Asians. They are the ones who "look" foreign. If a British couple win an auction no one thinks of them as foreigners.]

    Very true. But if non-residents cannot purchase property would people therefore presume that any Asian at an auction must be “one of us”? :)

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Weihana (4,475 comments) says:

    David Garrett (4,067) Says:
    August 9th, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Now if they said they would not only prevent Islamists from buying houses but stop all immigration from Islamic countries they might be on to something…

    Now go tell that to our first Muslim police officer next time she pulls you over.

    Mr. Farrar… you were saying something about a dog whistle? :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Mark (1,301 comments) says:

    I do not like the policy but lets not forget it is a policy our Australian neighbours have had in place for 20 years or so. If foreign buyers are limited to buying new dwellings the theory is that it provides a boost to the construction and development sector. All well and good except am not at all convinced that artificially constraining demand is the answer to Auckland’s overheated residential property market. If population growth dictates that x number of new houses are built and year after year you build less than half that number then perhaps that gives a clue to what needs to be done to address the problem.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. gazzmaniac (2,266 comments) says:

    There will be loopholes you could drive a bus through. A New Zealand administered trust owning a house? A New Zealand company owning a house?
    Given that most investors already buy properties using a trust structure, I doubt Labour’s policy will even change anything.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    If a British couple win an auction no one thinks of them as foreigners

    Of course they do, just not other Caucasoids.

    I guess your rationale is, if you’re not a Caucasoid you’re a no one?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    David Garrett (4,067) Says:
    August 9th, 2013 at 9:43 am
    Now if they said they would not only prevent Islamists from buying houses…

    You hear that Sonny Bill Williams ?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Now if they said they would not only prevent Islamists from buying houses but stop all immigration from Islamic countries they might be on to something…

    In order for that to work we would need to first identify and group people by their religion. Perhaps the Jews could wear yellow stars, so as not to confuse them with the Muslims. People from that region all look similar.

    Great idea Dave, but I think it has been tried before …

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. Alan (908 comments) says:

    Of course it’s not racist as it’d apply equally to all overseas countries, Australia excepted.

    I don’t think that there is much anti china sentiment, esp not in Auckland. I live in Howick and I’ve never heard a negative word spoken on the topic. Seems to be much more a redneck small town south island thing.

    In policy terms it’s not a golden bullet to high house prices; it could be a useful tool though, alongside increased land supply, lower regulation costs and more robust tax treatment on LAQs

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Ross12 (927 comments) says:

    ” I don’t think that there is much anti china sentiment …. ”
    Alan you might be right about Howick. But we only have to think back the Crafar Farms episode to remember how the MSM and the left of politics ( in particular) whipped up the Xenophobia. Even when the Chinese company invested in Synlait there were similar comments. This is what the people in China hear about and remember and what the Asian communities in NZ take note of ( they may not say much but they do not ignore it).

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. gazzmaniac (2,266 comments) says:

    So what you’re really saying is that anti-Chinese sentiment is actually a beltway phenomenon and the rest of the country doesn’t have a problem with people from China.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. All_on_Red (941 comments) says:

    “sales data has shown that non-residents comprise only 3.2% of house purchasers (and make up 4.5% of sellers).”

    One of my friends sells apartments in Auckland. She says that often Chinese buy an apartment for their children while they do their study. They do that so they have continuity and that they can be sure they have a good living environment.
    Then when they are finished in 1-3 years, they just sell it.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Jack5 (4,216 comments) says:

    Ross12:

    …this is what the people in China hear about and remember and what the Asian communities in NZ take note of ( they may not say much but they do not ignore it)…

    Shh! Shh! Don’t say anything that might upset the Reds in Beijing and the Chinese migrants who came to NZ presumably to get away from the Reds.

    For fuck’s sake, Ross, finish the kowtow and stand up like a man.These aren’t shy introverts we’re talking about. Like us they can be rough and tough, as the Tibetans and Uighurs can tell you.

    If they call us racist because we hint of applying the same house ownership rules their homeland applies to us, our reaction should be to laugh, not to lick their shoes in apology.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. kowtow (6,690 comments) says:

    tom1980

    Raymond Huo?

    More like Raymond Who. The guy Labour can trot out for Chinese voters.

    The Nats have their equivalent though.

    In these multi culti days everyone has to have one.Just to be able to point to. It’s a perverse form of racism.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    kowtow: You are quite right. The Nats have a tame Muslim Indian called Kanwaljit Bakshi or something…He is about as effective as Ashraf Choudary was…but to be fair, Kawaljit did make a speech now and again…In my two year political career I never heard Choudary speak once….mind you, that was probably because they were scared he was going to say gays and adulteresses should buried to the neck and stoned to death like his good book says… He said that once in a TV interview, and that was the last time anyone heard him speak…

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Ross12 (927 comments) says:

    Jack 5

    Perception is the important thing in politics , not necesaarily the reality.The US –well it has never bought alot of our food products. I’m not kowtowing –I’m just facing reality with my comments.
    You don’t bite the hand … etc over what is stupid political games in NZ.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Ross12 (927 comments) says:

    Sorry Jack 5 –the editing stuffed up.

    What I meant to say was ” Perception is the important thing in politics , not necesaarily the reality. China is our biggest trading partner. We cannot go back to the UK/EU –they’re stuffed. Australia is not that great at the moment.
    The US –well it has never bought alot of our food products. I’m not kowtowing –I’m just facing reality with my comments.
    You don’t bite the hand … etc with what is stupid, petty political games in NZ.”

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. gazzmaniac (2,266 comments) says:

    “Australia is not that great at the moment.” Right.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. All_on_Red (941 comments) says:

    “Australia is not that great at the moment.”

    Understatement of the day

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. hj (5,677 comments) says:

    The president of a nation-wide organisation that represents Chinese migrant groups says David Shearer’s policy is “picking on” Asian people.
    …..
    2/3 agree with the policy. Perhaps they see what the Aust Productivity Commision deduced:that there waslittle or no discernable benefit to Australians from migration it had all been captured bythe migrants. Also the governments own Savings Working Group said immigration policy appears to have made us worseoff.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. SPC (4,634 comments) says:

    The spokesperson for Chinese migrants is making the presumption that the policy is a response to Asians outbidding others in auctions, when in fact it is a response to the price for housing compared to local wage levels.

    Making an accusation of racism on the basis of a presumption is the sort of thing an apologist for non residents buying property would make, not a representative of local residents.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. Reid (15,524 comments) says:

    Imagine if Key got up in Parliament one day and said:

    “In New Zealand live New Zealanders. Any minority, from anywhere, if it wants to live in NZ, to work and eat in NZ, should speak English, and should respect the NZ laws. If they prefer Shari ‘a Law, then we advise them to go to those places where that’s the state law. NZ does not need minorities. Minorities need NZ, and we will not grant them special privileges, or try to change our laws to fit their desires, no matter how loud they yell ‘discrimination’.

    We better learn from the suicides of America, England, Holland and France, if we are to survive as a nation. The NZ customs and traditions are not compatible with the lack of culture or the primitive ways of most minorities. When this honourable legislative body thinks of creating new laws, it should have in mind the national interest first, observing that the minorities are not New Zealanders.”

    What do you think would happen?

    If you study history you will learn the Chinese have a history of establishing minority populations in many countries and not particularly assimilating. This is why in many countries there is a “Chinatown” district in many large cities. In the ASEAN regions the Chinese who moved there post-WWII numbered in the 7-12% and they became the merchants, first generation, and professionals, second generation, in all of those countries. Howick turned from Howick to Chowick not because “it was wacist” but merely to describe a reality of the 90′s.

    NZ needs immigrants to support our lifestyle and because we’re increasingly a world village. However how much of our national heritage needs to be ditched in favour of bending like a willow and how much do we stand strong like the oak, is a reasonable question.

    One of the problems in this question is that all the policy bureaucrats are, as in all Western democracies, so beholden to the P.C. psychobabble perspective, that merely raising this as a question, is seen as the worst sort of wacism and discwimination. Which seeps through in all their doings across the board and consequently and inexorably leeks into society like the radiation from Fukushima is leaking into the Pacific.

    In time this leakage will poison us just like that radiation is doing right now and my sense is it’s reached a tipping point where it’s too late. I hope I’m wrong but I don’t think I am, and the useful idiots on this issue are now so very numerous that any suggestions to change our long-established (thanks Hulun) trajectory will be met with derision and false accusations filled, ironically, with the very hatred the accusations consist of.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.