15 Jul 2015

NZ First pushes for foreign buyers register

10:40 am on 15 July 2015

New Zealand First is calling on the Government to follow Australia's lead and set up a foreign buyers register to control the housing market.

Winston Peters giving his 2015 Budget speech.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

From the beginning of this month, all foreign investors in Australian agricultural land or agribusiness must now be registered with the Australian Tax Office.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters wants a more comprehensive foreign buyers register to be introduced in this country.

He told Morning Report he had no objection to foreign buyers who came to farm or live in New Zealand but said there must be controls.

"If you're going to be using it for speculation and to be a landlord, turning the people in this country into tenants in their own country, then that's exactly what we're going to stop," he said.

"I think now more people are beginning to understand that something has to be done about it."

New report on NZ-China investment

Meanwhile, the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre at Victoria University has released a report on the two countries' trade, investment and foreign policies.

China is the fourth largest source of foreign investment in New Zealand and the report said that this could more than double by 2020.

It concluded New Zealand's future was increasingly bound up with China's continued growth and prosperity.

It said Chinese investment in New Zealand had risen strongly since 2011 but New Zealand investment in China was still low.

In regard to Auckland's housing market, the centre said there were no reliable statistics on whether Chinese investment was adding to market pressures.

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