Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Zealand Starting to Restrict Foreign Ownership of Land

Is this the first sign options are starting to close for Americans?

Michael Reps, a New Zealand advisor to ex-pats, email this news from NZ:

Labour has made a dramatic turnaround on its foreign investment policy, and now says it will turn down big land sales to overseas buyers except in exceptional circumstances.

Party leader Phil Goff said yesterday a Labour government would welcome foreign investment, but it would have strict controls on it and strings attached.

"Labour will reverse the current approach to overseas sales of land," he said at the party's annual conference in Auckland.

"Instead of the overwhelming majority of farm sales being approved, the overwhelming majority will be declined."
In the past, outside of a completely communist country outside money has been generally welcome, especially American money. Times are changin'.

1 comment:

  1. This is a growing issue (no pun intended) in both Australia and New Zealand. There is increasing concern about "food security". For a recent treatment see here.

    This type of issue can unite Greens (nominally left) with the farming vote (usually right).

    There is no doubt the usual 'bootleggers and baptists' coalition thing of special interests and do gooders at work, but there is a touch of Global Financial Crisis realism to this as well.

    In both Australia and NZ there have been major land and resource purchases by Chinese and other foreign interests often with a government or 'soverign investment fund' connection. This can be seen as both a hedge in commodities against US inflationary debt default and as a longer term bet that current US government 'free trade' arrangements may be bent in a protectionist direction and used to restrict resource access by up and coming economic powers in order to protect US / EU interests.