Māori Party to draft bill banning sale of NZ land to foreign investors

By Maiki Sherman

The Māori Party says it will draft a bill banning the sale of New Zealand land to foreign investors, which they'll put on the table if they're called up by one of the major parties, post-election. However, the Māori Party wouldn't go as far as saying it was a bottom line, unlike NZ First who is standing strongly behind its own position.

Pictured in this story is a farm near Taupō expected to be sold to Chinese company, Shanghai Pengxin. The recent purchasers of the Crafar Farms, a sale which sparked protest by some tribes. Also pictured in the story is the Minister of Māori Affairs, Pita Sharples, in a meeting with Shanghai Pengxin in China last year, whereby he settled the dispute through some discussion. However, the Māori Party says its high time the sale of land into foreign hands came to an end.     

Co-Leader, Te Ururoa Flavell says, “We will if possible put down a bill which repeals that law (allowed foreign ownership), so that avenue is no longer available.”

NZ First leader, Winston Peters says if New Zealanders want to achieve their dream of home ownership, we need to close the door on foreign investors.      

He says, “Most of them are not foreign investors, they are corporates raiding the country and we're shutting out New Zealanders from all backgrounds of New Zealand from having a chance to acquire the land and the houses themselves. It's just stuipid.”

Last week, National announced its door was open to possibly work with NZ First post-election. However, Peters says the issue of banning foreign land purchases is a bottom line.

“It's going to be a deal breaker whoever has that track record. We're not going into arrangements with people like that who we call quislings selling out the interests of this country.”

Prime Minister John Key responded, “Winston Peters has already had quite a number of bottom lines and I don’t think bottom lines are very helpful for anybody.”

According to the Māori Party, only time will tell if they too take a similar position.

Te Ururoa Flavell says, “The Māori Party strongly objects to the sale of NZ to foreign owners.”

According to John Key, if a ban is introduced on foreign investors purchasing land, the New Zealand economy will suffer.