Bill puts lim­its on global buy­ers

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

LABOUR is propos­ing leg­is­la­tion to pre­vent for­eign in­vestors from buy­ing ru­ral land un­less they can prom­ise an in­crease in ex­ports or sub­stan­tial jobs.

Leader David Shearer re­leased a new mem­ber’s bill to limit the dis­cre­tion of min­is­ters to con­sent to over­seas buy­ers.

It comes af­ter public out­cry about the po­ten­tial sale of the Cra­far farms to a Chi­nese com­pany.

The High Court over­turned the gov­ern­ment’s decision to ap­prove the sale of the 16 North Is­land farms and the Over­seas In­vest­ment Of­fice is re­con­sid­er­ing the bid.

Shearer said his bill – which would have to be drawn from the bal­lot be­fore it could be pro­gressed through Par­lia­ment – said for­eign­ers should be made to prove that they can bring ‘‘sub­stan­tial ben­e­fits’’.

‘‘A clean, clever and jo­brich fu­ture is not go­ing to be achieved by sell­ing off our pro­duc­tive as­sets,’’ he said.

‘‘Ki­wis are over­whelm­ingly op­posed to the sale of prime ru­ral land, like the Cra­far farms, to over­seas in­vestors.

Labour leader David Shearer re­leased a new mem­ber’s bill to limit the dis­cre­tion of min­is­ters to con­sent to over­seas buy­ers.

‘‘We are lis­ten­ing to them and are pre­pared to act in their best in­ter­ests.’’

The Over­seas In­vest­ment (Own­ing Our Own Ru­ral Land) Amend­ment Bill would re­quire the re­spon­si­ble Min­is­ter to be sat­is­fied that the over­seas in­vest­ment would re­sult in the cre­ation of ‘‘a sub­stan­tial num­ber of ad­di­tional jobs in New Zealand or a sub­stan­tial in­crease in ex­ports from new tech­nol­ogy or prod­ucts as­so­ci­ated with the pur­chase.’’

He crit­i­cised the Na­tional-led gov­ern­ment for not prop­erly ex­er­cis­ing their dis­cre­tion.

‘‘We would be happy for them to take up this bill as their own and progress it through Par­lia­ment as soon as pos­si­ble to en­sure there is no longer any doubt about the lim­its on the over­seas pur­chase of ru­ral land,’’ he said.

Shearer said he does not want ru­ral land to be priced out of the reach of farm­ers.

New bill:

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