Minister For OIO Misled On Foreign Land Ownership

Minister of Land Information Mark Mitchell has been seriously misled when he confirmed today that the Overseas Investment Office was aware of the level of foreign ownership in New Zealand.


“The OIO has no record of land and house sales in this country which is the very reason New Zealand First has been demanding a registry of such ownership, as exists in other countries,” says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.


“In addition, his assurances on TVNZ’s Q&A programme that the OIO follows up on conditions specified for foreign buyers to fulfil when they acquire New Zealand land, from recent history, simply can’t be relied upon.


“There have been numerous conditions that have never had follow up and the plaintive excuse from the OIO is they didn’t have the resources to do so.


“So merely relying on good faith performance of the foreign owner is the height of naivety.


“New Zealand needs a land and house register so, like other countries, we know the level of foreign ownership. At that time, New Zealanders will be much more alarmed because it is far higher than the National government’s propaganda suggests.


“National’s obstinacy on this issue suggests whatever promise they might make in the next six months will be like the review Prime Minister Bill English spoke about yesterday on charging for the export of New Zealand water.


“That statement, alongside Minister for the Environment Nick Smith’s attempt to minimise concerns of New Zealanders, means Mr English’s consideration of a review is one more dog whistle in National’s campaign of disinformation,” says Mr Peters.

Last year National voted down New Zealand’s First’s bill, the Transfer (Foreign Ownership of Land Register) Amendment Bill, to set up a land and house registry of foreign ownership.