Key accuses Greens, NZ First of racism
Mon, 28 Jan 2013 6:11p.m.
By Patrick Gower
The political war of words over housing affordability heated up today, with Prime Minister John Key accusing the Greens and New Zealand First of “racism”.
It followed calls for restrictions to be placed on foreign buyers in the property market.
In a case of direct marketing, Auckland homes are being advertised directly to Chinese buyers in commercials running on Chinese channel WTV8 in Auckland, and broadcast on the internet.
But the buyers are now in the sights of Opposition politicians, who want to restrict them.
“In order to make land and housing affordable for ordinary New Zealanders, we do need to put the brakes on foreign buyers of housing,” says Green Party co-leader Russel Norman.
“It’s not xenophobic,” NZ First leader Winston Peters says. “It’s not being anti-foreign investment at all – it’s a straight takeover.”
In New Zealand, there are no official figures kept of foreign ownership of houses and there are currently no restrictions. In China, foreigners cannot be landlords. In Australia, non-residents cannot buy established dwellings as investment properties.
Mr Key does not like the idea of restrictions.
“New Zealand has hundreds of thousands of Chinese New Zealanders,” he says.
“They come here, they establish a life here – why aren’t the allowed to buy a house? It’s just racism isn’t it?”
Labour leader David Shearer is big on housing affordability, but was lukewarm about his potential future Government partners, saying only that they would “talk about it”.
Although he was ready to give the latest line on what $300,000 will get you under his party’s affordable housing policy.
“We’re looking at a three bedroom house in the $300,000 to $350,000 range […] in Auckland.”
Mr Key was critical of Mr Shearer’s policy saying: “[He] has had all of the Christmas break to think about his policies, and all he has been able to do is work out that he was wrong when he promised people he could deliver them a four-bedroom home for $300,000 in Auckland.”
Mr Shearer says Mr Key is just “worried”.
“He knows we can build houses and bring the price down. He’s got no plans, he’s really worried.”
So restrictions on foreign buyers is the latest battle in this year’s first big political issue – the housing wars. Labour has been making ground, but its costings simply still aren’t clear – something that will come under sustained attack when Parliament resumes this week.
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2/03/2013 8:07:00 p.m.
The point of John Key is: the problem of Greens and NZ first is that they are against Asian New Zealanders to buy houses too, not just overseas residents or citizens. And the report tried to guide that all asians in NZ are foreigners. From the ignorant comments, we can see there is a fat ground of such thoughts. It is purely racism. Well done, John Key, you said what other people dare to say in this country.
24/02/2013 4:34:24 p.m.
I now find myself in the position of actually agreeing with the Greens, Oh my!!! Property in Nz, especially the land muast remain in New Zealand hands, no problem selling houses to overseas buyers on a lease type agreement, like in Vanauatu, but selling lock stock, is not on, it is selling our country to the highest bidder and we could find ourself's loosing our home.
4/02/2013 11:42:58 p.m.
Wake up John Key. foreign purchasing is what is causing the crazy house prices. I'm with the Greens on this one. It annoys me that filthy rich overseas investors are buying up this country ( and they propbably got rich through ruthless exploitation of those at the bottoms of their pathetic heirachies) and will eventually reduce many nzers to tenants in their own country
4/02/2013 10:30:44 a.m.
Take the opposition stand on foreigners.Now take the opposition wanting to lower the NZ$.Now take the meetings of the opposition with foreign investors looking to invest. Lets have the transcripts published please! As the Opposition pushing for a lower dollar seams to be benefiting not NZ, but foreign investors. COME CLEAN Oppostion and publish the transcripts of those meetings, or do you have something to hide?Any lowering of the dollar is only a temporary. A lower dollar in an international market without restraint (like Muldoons price/wage freeze) will move prices to match the dollar changes, ie inflation from a lower dollar. This will push house prices even higher, and make foreign buying more initially as they become cheaper, and affordable houseing to become less affordable till wages rise and wipe out all gains from a lower dollar and put our manuafacturing back where it is before the lower dollar - ie no gains. A lower dollar gains nothing.
31/01/2013 5:40:40 p.m.
Why have no restrictions on foreign investment in this country when those other countries clearly do? According to that logic those countries are being 'racist' too!
31/01/2013 5:32:23 p.m.
You'd be waiting a long time for a paper trail being readily available while the 'Sale of Auckland' is going on Dave..."this govt isn't comfortable with restrictions"...2013...it'll be the year they 'sold Auckland', (the way they're going)...National should get their money back from the guy who sold them the 'cloak of invisibility', .....cos it's not working.
31/01/2013 7:06:51 a.m.
How is it racist wanting to place limits on overseas residents buying multiple houses for speculation/rental income and not living here? If overseas incomes are higher than rates of pay in New Zealand then of course the overseas buyer can afford more property, hence causing an affordability issue! Mr Keys comments do not make any sense. There is a massive issue in Auckland with non resident buyers purchasing rental property, paying no tax etc. Why are no statistics available? A quality journalist would look into this further.
31/01/2013 6:36:37 a.m.
Wow Tracey, you might wanna try punctuation when you're getting flustered, cos that came across as a garbled rant...? Like many others on the right you're trying to take a reasonable premise and twist it into something ridiculous. Then you want to say that was the original message. The point you're missing is, this govt is quite happy to introduce legislation, given the chance, that will effectively put the interests of immigrants ahead of kiwis...? That smacks of selling out your own electorate..? You might think that's good policy but not many other administrations in the world do. Not even the Chinese think its good govt, but you can bet your last dollar they'll take advantage of an opportunity if National are cynical enough to try and make it happen. You want to blame the left for having commonsense and then roll out the 'make my life easier' crap. More like NZers don't want their govt regularly making their lives any harder....or maybe you think that is good policy too? And I'm not sure the majority of kiwis are ruing their missed real estate opportunities in the UK....cos they're trying to afford a house in their own country first...
30/01/2013 5:18:44 p.m.
so you are all saying that Kiwis shouldnt be allowed to bu houses in Australia or Great Britain or is that different Housing affordability in NZ easier than other countries including Australia Its Kiwis inflexability of needs that are half the problem the other half is wanting the government(taxpayers,other people) to make your life and choices eassier
29/01/2013 11:29:08 p.m.
Confused loyalties wrote:
Mr Key is New Zealand not allowed to protect its citizens like other countries? UMMM....Mr Key is accusing others of being racist but his comments appear to be anti New Zealand middle and lower class. I also wander if he is deaf? He avoided answering the issue altogether by stating Chinese residents should be able to buy...aarr? Mr Key avoiding the question of foreigners owning land here while living over seas is the issue, not the Chinese living here 45weeks a year(room for holidays)...I am sure no one has a problem with any citizen owning property apart from national who is causing increaing stratification between rich and poor and removing the kiwi dream of home ownership to everyday New Zealanders....Does Mr Key appear a classist snob to any one else? Mr Key are you trying to create racism where there is none by insinuating racism to the Chinese already living here? I suppose you can create the illusion of misunderstanding and then come back and apologise for appearing to inflate racial tension over an issue that like other countries is a simple matter of protecting those already here...I think herd protection would be most shepards jobs. Wouldn't you? Or is it just the select fat bulls that the farmer can get the most money from?? I think New Zealanders deserve to know where your interests lie as the consequences affect everyone?
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