30 Apr 2014

Ease foreign investment limits - report

7:36 pm on 30 April 2014

The Labour Party has dismissed calls to make it easier for foreign investors to buy land and houses in New Zealand.

A report on foreign investment by the business think tank, the New Zealand Initiative, says the right of owners to sell their property and land to whoever they chose should be protected.

It says overseas investors should get the same treatment as domestic investors and the Overseas Investment Act should be amended to recognise the gain made by a New Zealand person selling his or her asset is a national benefit.

The report is likely to fuel debate in election year with parties, notably New Zealand First, calling for more, not less, restrictions on what foreign investors can buy.

But the report says if the New Zealand economy is to do better, foreign investment should be made easier, not more difficult.

Proposals dismissed

Labour's finance spokesperson David Parker says he agrees with encouraging foreign investment in industry and things which add to the country's economic output.

But Mr Parker says there's no gain for New Zealand in selling land and houses to foreign investors.

Prime Minister John Key has also rejected calls to remove barriers on foreign investment.

He says the Government has no intention of making changes to the Overseas Investment Act.