29 Sep 2010

Foreign investment rule changes seen as tinkering

6:07 am on 29 September 2010

Harcourts real-estate says factors like the exchange rate are likely to have more influence on foreigners buying farmland than changes to investment rules.

The Government is introducing new regulations that give ministers greater scope to reject offshore applications to buy farmland, when issues about the scale of the sales arise.

Harcourts, the country's biggest real estate group, says the Government is tinkering with the existing regulations rather than making radical moves.

Chief executive Hayden Duncan says he does not think the changes will have a major bearing on decisions by overseas interests about whether or not to buy here.

Nor does Mr Duncan think foreign interest in buying New Zealand farms will have a significant impact on the currently depressed rural property market, which he says will continue to be driven by local demand.