Mahesh Bindra –
No self-respecting democracy has ever denied its citizens the right to know how much of their land is owned by foreigners.
We have been asking this government specific questions on the quantum of New Zealand land owned by foreigners but the response received thus far have varied from, “We do not hold that information” to being called “racist” and “xenophobic.”
Asking for information concerning New Zealand and its most strategic asset, namely, Land, is our democratic right and is by no stretch of the imagination aimed at any particular race.
New Zealand First is the only Party that has been asking for transparency around ownership of our land by foreigners.
When we say ‘foreigners,’ we mean exactly that. We believe that people with a legal standing in New Zealand (as Permanent Residents or Citizens), become New Zealanders, regardless of their country of origin or ethnicity.
New Zealanders can now hope to have the right to know how much of their land is owned by foreigners.
Amending the Law
My Land Transfer (Foreign Ownership of Land Register) Amendment Bill was pulled out of the ballot on Thursday, August 11, 2016 and I could not have asked for a better Birthday gift.
The importance of protecting New Zealand’s long term national interest through a comprehensive land ownership register is now possible.
Foreign ownership of New Zealand’s assets poses risks to our economy and sovereignty – the draw of my (Private Member) Bill is the first step to mitigating those risks.
It is well past time for New Zealand to have a comprehensive database on the extent of foreign ownership of land and property.
Currently, the government has no plan to stop the offshore takeover of New Zealand’s most strategic asset, the rural sector.
But we do.
New Zealand First’s Land Ownership Bill will ensure that a comprehensive register of all foreign owned New Zealand land is compiled and made available to the general public and policy makers.
The Register will apply to all dealings in ‘Land’ as defined in Section 2 of the Land Transfer Act 1952 and will provide transparency for all New Zealanders.
“The Register will be available as a resource for policy-makers and the general public, who will be able to gauge foreign landholdings across New Zealand as well as within their own local communities,” as mentioned in the Section.
New Zealand First calls on all parties to rise above petty politics and support this Bill in the interests of all New Zealanders.
Mahesh Bindra is a Member of Parliament on New Zealand First Party List. Readers may respond to the above article to email@example.com