Devoy has taken a swipe at Labour over its claims that Chinese investors are responsible for Auckland’s rising house prices.
Addressing a meeting of Auckland city councillors on Wednesday, she said debate on some issues was “deteriorating into racism”.
She made a clear reference to Labour’s release of data which purported to show that 40 per cent of property sales in Auckland in a three-month period were to buyers with Chinese-sounding names.
“It is a deeply hurtful thing to have your children hear politicians insinuating that their Chinese-sounding surname means they’re foreigners and they don’t belong here,” Devoy said.
“We need to recognise dog whistle politics when we see it and call it out.”
But Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said Devoy was either “misunderstanding or wilfully misrepresenting” the debate.
Countries all over the world were having to come to grips with the effect of huge levels of private investment from China overheating their housing markets.
“New Zealand needs to be able to discuss this in public without these kinds of allegations of racism,” Twyford said.
“We raised the concern that the available data and all the international evidence and commentary about very high levels of investment indicates that offshore Chinese buyers are a significant presence in the housing market here.”
Twyford thinks that saying 30% (40% less 10%) of home buyers are foreigners because they have a Chinese sounding surname is not racist. Keep it up Phil.