Derek Cheng at NZ Herald reports:
Labour leader David Shearer has admitted to embarrassing mistakes in his private member’s bill to restrict foreign ownership of farms, including giving the bill two names and unintentionally removing safeguards for native flora and fauna.
The bill was the first major policy release from Mr Shearer since taking over as party leader.
Under the bill, foreign bids would have to bring substantial increases in jobs or exports through new technology or products, and these must be additional to what would happen if a New Zealander bought the land.
The present law lists a number of factors ministers can consider in determining whether the bid would bring “substantial and identifiable” benefit to New Zealand. Among the factors are protection for native flora and fauna, heritage and cultural sites, and wildlife and walking access.
But Mr Shearer’s bill would wipe these factors completely, effectively meaning an application that ticked the box for more exports but destroyed the environment could get the green light.
I think the Greens just won some more votes off Labour.