Wellington, June 22, 2017
The National government has shown again that it wants to hide the extent of foreign land ownership in New Zealand.
National has prevented a clause being added to the Land Transfer Amendment Bill to require the Registrar of Land to establish a register of foreign ownership of any registered interest in New Zealand land.
This clause was supported by the Labour and Green parties but National moved quickly to prevent the amendment being made.
The proposed amendment would have required a purchaser to declare their nationality, name and address and would have imposed a severe penalty for non-compliance.
It would have imposed very little cost and would not have been complex. Having an accurate database of foreign-owned land would have benefitted the government as well as many others in the community with an interest in understanding the scale and nature of foreign land ownership in both the whole country and in each region.
In December last year National also voted down the New Zealand First member’s bill, the Land Transfer (Foreign Ownership of Land Register) Amendment.
“Clearly the government not only does not want to know the facts, but it will ensure that no-one else can know either, because it is ashamed of the scale of overseas speculation in houses and farm land throughout New Zealand.
Denis O’Rourke is Member of Parliament on New Zealand First List and the Party’s Spokesperson for Justice