Is the foreign ownership ban Labour policy?

On The Nation this morning Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford stated:

Okay, if it is such a big issue, what would Labour do about it?
We would ban foreign buyers from buying New Zealand houses, end of story.

And:

We’re going to crack down on speculators generally, and we have a policy review underway. There are a myriad of different tax and policy approaches that we can do to level the playing field away from the current incentives for property speculation in our economy. So we’re going to do that. We’re going ban foreign buyers.

So a policy review is under way, but Twyford seems to be stating Labour policy. What does Labour say about this?

Nothing yet, officially at least going by their website:

LabourNews11-07-15

Nothing yet on their Facebook:

LabourFacebook11-07-15

Twitter has nothing official but whoever is on duty re-tweeted two of Twyford’s tweets…

LabourTwitter11-07-15

…but that’s only related to the sales data (which does nothing to identify Chinese descent), no mention of ‘no foreign buyers’ policy.

Leader Andrew little seems to have had no social media activity since 8 July (on Facebook and on his Twitter account).

So far there is no sign of this being  official Labour policy. There’s no sign of Little.

Has Twyford gone to far by saying “We would ban foreign buyers from buying New Zealand houses, end of story ”  and “So we’re going to do that. We’re going ban foreign buyers”?

Little will have some explaining to do. And if he doesn’t back Twyford’s statements the Twyford might have some explaining to do as well.

UPDATE: A tweet from @TheNationNZ

@PeteDGeorge only confirmed existing policy. And the release involved leader’s office

So Little’s office were seemingly involved in this but have kept their distance.

Leave a comment

14 Comments

  1. kittycatkin

     /  11th July 2015

    The Yellow Peril rises again ! We all know what these Asians are like, they come here to open opium dens, illegal gambling hells and lure innocent white girls into the White Slave Trade ! Now they want to buy our houses ! Our houses must be for white Kiwis only !

    Reply
    • Ho Lee Fock

       /  11th July 2015

      I do think there are lot more Asian’s in Auckland though – every time I drive round Epsom these days and look in rear vision mirror, I see one following me.

      Reply
      • kittycatkin

         /  11th July 2015

        Many will have been born here. They may be Asians racially as people whose parents are Dutch are Dutch themselves, but they’re as Kiwi as the rest of us. Don’t assume that because someone looks Asian that they’re Asian born.

        Reply
      • Auckland Rapedpayer

         /  11th July 2015

        Bloody Asian drivers! 😦

        Reply
  2. Pete Kane

     /  11th July 2015

    It appeared a pretty well planned set of statements to me (including, as he said quite a bit of statistical analysis – regardless of how limited you may regard the base data). I’m absolutely sure there is a fair bit of truth in his assertions in regard to buyers. I also suspect that is the ‘intuition’ of many if not the majority of New Zealanders.

    It would beggar belief that Twyford would be acting as a lone wolf in this approach. Having said that, I’m also sure this is also a ‘testing the waters’ approach with Little keeping some distance until whatever ramifications become apparent. not dissimilar to his flag change approach with Mallard fronting. Actually it makes Chris Trotter’s recent article on labour strategy to seem very plausible.

    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2015/07/busy-doing-nothing-why-andrew-little.html

    Reply
    • There is no statistical analysis Pete – a Labour supporter just got a list of property buyers (and itself, that is skewed) and then went through and singled out Chinese sounding names (like Young, King…).

      Reply
      • kittycatkin

         /  12th July 2015

        The news story gave names like Singh among the Chinese (?) names. Does Singh sound Chinese ? Lee could be anything; I know Pakeha Lees-and Youngs-and Kings. If Labour thinkgs that King is a Chinese name, they can’t know many Chinese people.

        Also, something tells me that the agent was carefully chosen.

        Reply
  3. As PK says above…. Twyford flying a kite, Labour analysing reaction and traction gained via polling groups. if it strikes a cord then Little will flow with otherwise it will Move along time. Interested in NZF response to this attempt by labour to muscle into their territory of Asian bashing….

    Reply
  4. I am certain that Kittycatkin’s comments were made with her tongue firmly in her cheeks. It was a fact that the costs of construction of Kiwi houses was manipulated upwards by the extra-ordinary local government and central government rules charges regulations and certification costs. So it was no wonder that the costs of production exceeded the average Kiwi’s ability to pay. So, in the absence of constraints from our Free market along comes Uncle and Aunty overseas investors who take the long-term view and look for rental and capital gains returns. That is the market forces in operation. So what do we do about it? My solution would be to open the door to cheaper construction materials, and the removal of local government involvement in the housing regulation. Finally, I would prohibit the sale of houses from overseas investors which were sold for more than 10% capital gain. In addition, I would require all overseas investment or purchase to be for new homes constructed for the overseas purchaser including expatriate New Zealand citizens or permanent residence visa holders. To the racists who want to ban purchase or investment by certain racial groups, I say grow up and learn the real meaning of a free market and the economic forces it brings.

    Reply
    • bjmarsh:
      1. Shifting local government housing regulation to central government would not lead to greater efficiencies. Do you really believe that bigger governments are more efficient?

      2. Exactly HOW do you bring in a policy that bans the sale of houses from overseas investors at more than 10% capital gain? It is completely unworkable. (Just for a start, you’d need to completely change the existing land titles registry to include the nationality of the owner. And LINZ would need to do checks on the nationality of the owners – for example, if you own a property, you would need to prove to LINZ that you are a NZ citizen. And what happens if the owner of property is a corporate entity registered in NZ but then acquires a majority foreign shareholding… Or if the owners die and the heir is a foreigner… I could go on and on… As a policy this is a bit like someone trying to “ban crime” or “eliminate poverty” – it is a great soundbite, but it is not a practical policy).

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  12th July 2015

      Just build more houses and sell them to Cninese = win-win. Simple. Oh, and sack 95% of the planning and building bureaucracies that stop it happening.

      Reply
  5. kittycatkin

     /  11th July 2015

    Well, yes-they are beginning to sound like the shaming Yellow Peril brigade of whenever it was. As is Winston Peters.

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  11th July 2015

      I think it was late c.19-early c.20. Which mean that dear old Winston could have been right behind it then as he is now.

      Reply

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