National shows true colours on overseas buyers

Associate Finance Minister David Parker said he is saddened by National’s attempts to amend the ban on foreign buyers to make it easier for the wealthiest foreigners to outbid New Zealanders.

“National is showing its true colours trying to legislate in favour of wealthy people who don’t live here, don’t vote here and don’t pay tax here,” David Parker said.

During debate on the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill today National tried to make changes that would exempt foreign buyers of houses worth more than $2.5 million in the Queenstown region.

“It beggars belief National should try to exempt wealthy foreign buyers from the screening regime in an area where houses are among the least affordable in the country, where our own people are struggling to get on the property ladder and where foreign buyers are buying disproportionately more homes than any area of the country outside Auckland.”

Stats NZ figures show that at least 10 per cent of homes sold in the Queenstown region in the March quarter were purchased by foreigners.

“We believe the market for New Zealand homes should be set in New Zealand, not on the international market. That should apply to our most expensive houses around our South Island lakes and in the Bay of Islands as well as the most modest homes in our towns and cities,” David Parker said.

“It is our birthright.”