Will Govt. stop land sell-off to overseas owners?

Published: Tue 31 Aug 2010 04:26 PM
Will Govt. stop land sell-off to overseas owners?
The Green Party is calling on John Key’s Government to guarantee that none of South Canterbury Finance’s farmland will be sold to foreign owners.
The Government moved quickly today to repay investors $1.6 billion dollars following the receivership of South Canterbury Finance. This leaves the Crown firmly in control of the wind-up of the failed finance company.
“South Canterbury Finance owns a significant chunk of prime South Island farmland. John Key’s Government can now offer the public a guarantee that none of this land will fall into foreign ownership,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.
“If light-handed regulation is going to cost us $1.6 billion today, the least the Government can do is ensure that we won’t lose our best farmland in the process.
“Let’s not make this a double disaster for New Zealand.
“The Government can use this opportunity to protect this strategic asset, especially while it wavers on introducing tighter overseas investment laws to restrict foreign ownership of large parcels of farmland.
“The Greens would support any moves to tighten foreign ownership rules on farm land, but National and Labour are reluctant to do anything, in part due to the free trade deals tying their hands.
“Questions also need to be asked as to why the Government continues to tell us of the wonders of light-handed regulation when it has cost us billions in finance company bailouts and to fix the leaky homes fiasco. Both of these disasters were caused by light-handed regulation and and both cases the taxpayer had to pick up the bill for the ideology of the Act Party,” said Dr Norman.
“If it’s too big to fail then it’s too big to avoid strong regulation.”

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