National wants to make it easier for foreigners to buy land to build houses on, but can't yet specify how

National wants to make it easier for foreigners to buy land to build houses on, but can't yet specify how
Paul Goldsmith

National wants to make it easier for foreigners to invest in residential property provided they help increase the supply of housing.

Foreigners can already apply for Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approval to buy residential land if they plan to build houses or other types of specified accommodation on it. They generally can’t live in the properties they build.

However, National’s finance spokesperson, Paul Goldsmith, told interest.co.nz it was still “very difficult” for foreign investors to build new houses.

He couldn’t say exactly how National would make this easier, or whether it would incentivise foreign investors by allowing them to live in the houses they build, for example. National is still working out the details of its policy.

But Goldsmith commented: “If people are coming in and building a new house - maybe a mansion on a coastline or whatever - that’s not having an impact on house prices generally.

“It’s actually increasing supply and creating work for New Zealanders. So we don’t necessarily have issues with that.”

He pitched National’s call to loosen foreign buyer restrictions as being a way of improving housing affordability.

“I don’t think increasing the supply of houses is an unpopular idea. Absolutely, housing affordability will be an issue and this government has a very weak story to tell on it,” he said.

Goldsmith refuted the argument that encouraging foreigners to build “coastal mansions”, or other types of houses New Zealand doesn’t necessarily need, ties up resources, which could be used to build affordable housing.

Asked whether National was caving to pressure from Chinese lobbyists on the matter, Goldsmith responded, “Not at all.”

National leader, Simon Bridges, on Sunday told TVNZ’s Q + A, foreigners should be able to buy residential property in New Zealand.

He said a “happy medium” between the foreign buyer ban imposed by the Coalition Government, and more lax regulation when National was last in government, was needed.

Ways foreigners can currently help increase NZ’s housing supply

Currently, overseas investors can apply to the OIO for a consent to buy residential or lifestyle land in New Zealand if they intend to build houses on it.

The foreign investor must on-sell any dwellings, unless they build 20 or more and they intend to provide shared equity, rent to buy or rental arrangements.

They can also buy residential or lifestyle land to build “long-term accommodation facilities” on, like retirement villages or student hostels. They can’t live in these facilities and must on-sell the development unless it’s operated as a long-term accommodation facility.

Foreigners can apply for a consent to buy residential or lifestyle land to support their business in New Zealand (if no alternatives exist) by providing housing for staff, for example. They can't live in this accommodation.

The fees for these OIO consents are $34,100.

Foreigners can also buy hotel rooms without OIO approval, but can only stay in these for 30 days a year and must otherwise lease the rooms for hotel use.

Finally, exemptions in the law mean foreigners are usually able to buy apartments off the plans as investments, but in most instances, can’t live in them.

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96 Comments

39
up

The election, Nationals to loose and they look to be trying hard with that brain fade.

28
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Indeed National are too loose with our land.

17
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Frankly I'm surprised that National haven't come out and proposed lifting our Anti Money Laundering rules too to make a quick buck.

Why would anyone say this before the election? Its hardly a vote winner. Either they are very stupid, very honest, or they now something we don't.

65
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Any policy to restart selling NZ sovereignty to overseas interests will see them remain in opposition. They just dont get that this was the no1 reason they are there now. Shows how compromised they are.

Not only did Simon open the door for Labour he opened it for Collins as well.

16
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he has opened the for NZ first to recover, this gives them something juicy to use in the upcoming election.
where else does a national voter go that does not like this policy and its at the top of the list, cant go to ACT because he will just roll over and vote how national wants

14
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Good point
On the face of it this seems a really dumb call from the Nats. Time will tell.

Collins - She is even more compromised than Bridges.

She could well ban locals from buying.

Averageman, 44 likes of which one is from me.... that must be a record - does anyone keep stats on the comments with the most likes?

Creating another bureaucratic minefield. Define exactly “provided they help increase the supply of housing.” Well suppose yes, one for them, one for children, one for extended family, one for family at home still to arrive, one for extended extended family. What is the chinese vernacular for Voila!

Foxglove - That’s definitely the scenario around where I lived from “Chinese” landowners and builders. Then once the properties are completed the story changes - parents too ill to travel, family members have to stay and look after them... then suddenly all the properties are put up for sale!

53
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Good god,

So let me get this right, adding a potential 1B population "demand" to a relatively fixed "supply" will make housing more affordable....economics 101 says otherwise

I'm a property owner, a landlord and have a pretty decent household income so I guess I'm prime "Nat Party Voter" material but I'd vote for Satan before any of these neo-con nut-jobs - they'd sell their mother to the CCP to make the books look good for a year or two..

The current mob are pretty crap too - is this the best either lot can come up with??

It has become rather obvious that all but a few of our MPs think that there is nothing to know outside of what goes on in a beehive. On top of that there are no workers, just drones.

Or to put it another way they are out of touch with reality.

13
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Seems like the longer the major parties keep pushing policies that result in reduced sovereignty and reduced ownership of our own land, the more our society will open up to more extreme parties in the future.

Both major parties (and seemingly quite a few of the minor parties) have serious problems in this regard.

There's definitely a space for a more Trump like character.
Someone like Brian Tamaki.

Collins could be a Trump were it not for her complete lack of nationalism.

Hoskings for PM!!!

(/sarc if it needs to be said)

I still remember his headline from the morning after Winnie decided to go with Labour: "IT'S ALREADY A MESS!"
I'd love to see him do some actual work once in his life, but I doubt becoming a politician would be the way to make that happen.

I wish I could feel the same levity you do, I think it possible. He is my current example to people of the perfect narcissist.

Forget free dental care. Hosking will make it free hair care.

I remember a saying from when I was growing up that “we are ten years behind the U.S.”
Another saying follows on quite nicely - “those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it...”

Its worse than that, we are 20 years behind the UK and even that is not enough time to learn any lessons from the mistakes they have made.

Ughh Brian Tamaki?
But yep I can feel our own Trump or nationalist but somehow logical sounding politician is just around the corner... Just waiting for Winston to finally be ejected from our MMP system.

I would never vote for the actual Trump, but just imagine having a politician who resists and denies the basic braindead media narrative, and instead does something bold with enough confidence that despite all expectations, actually works.

I wasn't aware of the details of the current policy on this until reading the second half of this article. Those rules seem to me to be completely sensible. So, I'd say the current mob did a pretty good job of implementing a foreign buyer ban on purchase of residential property.

17
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But it's a COL policy, so Nat will want to destroy it. Coz it's "their's".
This is exactly the kind of politics most people are sick and tired of.

Your comment deserves more than a thumbs up. I wish I'd written your 3rd paragraph but don't worry I'm likely to use it.

51
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They just don’t get it. National lost the last election in part because of foreigners buying up property.

So they think billionaires buying up coastal land and closing the farm gates to the public is a good thing because the kiwi peasants will get work as housekeepers and gardeners.

What a bunch of muppets!

They’ve lost my vote.

Amen.

I cannot believe he actually said "foreigners... ...maybe a mansion on a coastline or whatever"
Is there some segment of NZ folk that want this?
A necessary evil, maybe.

Quite possibly it would give an escape route for distressed dairy farmers.

Personally I'd rather give them taxpayer bailouts than sell any more land to the CCP.

Well, Kiwis really shouldn't expect to be able to enjoy a bach on the coast of their own country. Those days are past and all the important voters got their baches when they were cheap anyway.

Yes. Those who appreciate $15,000 donations...

No way jose!

11
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I do wonder if much of the reason for the announcements with vague details are National trying to work out what the electorate will tolerate

Maybe they are going with the kiwibuild template. Nothing a bit of recalibration won't solve down the line.

26
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this is about helping the super rich, whom are using ex national MPs to lobby for them.
how many more dodgy donations coming their way
so people will see this for what it is
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/105059172/sir-john-key-lobbied...
After days of being on the backfoot, the Government has revealed it was Sir John Key who was lobbying for an exemption for a billionaire's property development in Northland

15
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John Key is a true blue dyed in the wool corporate man. He successfully stalked those corridors and rode those elevators pretty much to the top of the heap of $¥£€. Thus the model became his comfort zone, Corporate New Zealand, where us the taxpayers were of as little worth as the counterpart minority shareholders. So we got the well received lobbying of Fonterra, Fletchers et al, and foreign interests, Cayman Trusts too. Remember “NZ is not a tax haven.” But then a bit of reluctant tightening, all took fright and flight.

13
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100% right. It's to appease their wealthy donors.

Its a 2018 story. I read it fully, and if you took the time to read properly you would have noticed this line -
"Senior Cabinet ministers had listened to concerns raised by the hapu and iwi (Te Uri o Hau and Ngati Manuhiri) involved in the development and sympathised with the delays they'd suffered over the years and that the overseas buyers ban would hurt them further"
In light of seeing the full picture, perhaps your Key hating was a little less valid, and there was more to the article.

12
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I did read it , and also know what is happening up there and the people involved are only seeing $$ signs from a billionaire and many many locals (iwi) are opposed to it
but as usual the super rich can get influential people to put their cause over the locals
lucky for them different party in power and they said no as the locals got to the Maori MP
just another case of selling NZ out from under us for a few people gain
as for JK yes I can not stand the guy because I see him for what he is a salesman of anything and everything to the highest bidder for his gain

32
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If National MPs want to live in a country where non-resident foreigners own 'coastal mansions', and the citizens get the building work and other services, they should think about moving to the West Indies or the Caribbean - or any other territory where corruption and poverty are both endemic.

Corruption by overseas, anti-democratic interests appears absolutely endemic to National. And corruption and poverty go together. In this case, an utter poverty of patriotic, economic and social thinking.

32
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'He pitched National’s call to loosen foreign buyer restrictions as being a way of improving housing affordability.

He may be an awful politician, but he's a very good comedian.

Changed my mind, regardless of tax cuts, not voting for this bunch.

23
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The key to increasing housing supply and stimulating employment is actually to build many large, architecturally designed homes on challenging sites.

....cracker of a comment.

Haha - nice to see an objective outcome based on what you were saying the other day! I too was waiting to see what justification they would come up with but this is baffling..

As a big issue for the majority of the population, I would guess if it was polled 90%+ would be against selling out. It just defies common sense to campaign on this.. And I guess that's where the tentacles of CCP and other interests come in.

You'd have trouble justifying a National vote to me.

For me, voting may be about what is the lesser of two evils...

11
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Address demand first! Immigration driven population growth is still at very high levels cf. to most other OECD countries (and non-basket case non-OECD countries). Immigration driven population growth is distorting our economy and buggering productivity growth not to mention quality of life etc. If the National Party or even the Greens (maybe?) got serious about this they'd have my vote.

16
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He clearly addressed the demands. The demands of CCP top dogs trying to launder their money, and other billionaires.

I'm all for the free market, and disagreed with Labour defining residential land as sensitive. Removing that designation would have been a good idea, and foreigners not being able to live in houses they have built is a little silly.
We should be focussing on house sales to residents, and overseas investors are one of the last on the list, so perhaps using investment syndicates or bonds rather than direct ownership so the housing stock is increased without direct ownership and control outside of NZ would be a liveable solution. We use this model for infrastructure sometimes.
Unfortunately this government also appears determined to make it difficult for small local investors to hold and increase the housing stock too with regulations, tax costs and other imposts making it uneconomic for them to provide housing for those that need it.

18
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I'm feeling more and more comfortable with my New Years prediction of Labour being in government for another 3 years. What a dumb proposal by National

26
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Simply confirms what we already know..
CCP demands must be met, or else heads will roll. China wants to buy NZ and National party are their proxy.

For once I agree with you.

National party are their proxy.
The (Pr) oxymoron Party, awfully good at keeping an open secret the desire to sell out NZ..

Hopeless lot. Goldsmith is a nice chap, but his advisers are featherweights. Foreign Direct Investment into an advanced economy either causes increased unemployment or increased debt. He should read Michael Pettis, eg:

https://carnegieendowment.org/chinafinancialmarkets/79261

Agreed, he is a nice guy and by all accounts very bright but he is out of his depth and appears to be in dire need of a pair of floaties.
Further evidence here:
https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2020/02/02/1011349/the-man-who-would-be-finan...

No new ideas, just hammer away at the same old failed thinking

33
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Apparently selling our country out to the Chinese is an election strategy.

Yes it certainly proves that National is a one trick pony, if selling off NZ is all they can do. Perhaps they should rebrand themselves as Real Estate Agents.

"Goldsmith refuted the argument that encouraging foreigners to build “coastal mansions”, or other types of houses New Zealand doesn’t necessarily need, ties up resources, which could be used to build affordable housing."
Hate to quibble, but when you say someone "refutes" something, surely you have to provide their refutation, not simply "Yeah, nah, it ain't so."
It seems to me near certain that building a coastal mansion at place A must tie up resources that could otherwise be building desperately needed state housing at place B.

this could be nationals cunliffe CG moment, back a bad policy that all polls have NZ highly against

The image says it all. Goldsmith looking convinced and committed while the doe-eyed, bushy tailed reporter looks like he doesn't quite know how to react besides positioining the microphone as best he can.

Good idea politically, because Winston Peters is going to latch onto this and ramp up on xenophobia.

Christ. Muppets or sellouts.

Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets.
The house wins every time.

You guys need to get over yourselves, the rich are the rich and they are the same in every single country around the world. New Zealand is no different, its human nature. What we don't have yet is a class or cast problem like India where your born into a group from the get go. Everyone in New Zealand if free to get ahead in life by the choices they make so its time stop looking at the rich with envy and do the hard yards.

10
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Carlos, what does your comment have to do with overseas being again allowed to buy up NZ? As you have told us to get over ourselves please explain how this change will make a better NZ?

Yeah, sure, let's just ignore the fact that those in power are making it increasingly difficult for others to achieve the same status through "doing the hard yards".

NZ used to have its rich and poor atwixt a great divide.

But then it undid that with Land Tax to get land into average Kiwis' hands, labour law reform to give people reasonable security, pay, hours and holidays, and massive efforts to build houses to make housing affordable for folk.

It's a shame so many forget New Zealand's history and wish to believe they did it all on their "own two feet", with no regard for the support they received .

No use pushing NZ back to its old days of rich and poor.

carlos67,

I spent my working life in the financial industry and I still don't understand why so many rich people are obsessed with avoiding and all too often, evading tax. Remember the Panama Papers?

"Do the hard yards". Sure, but just how many hard yards are necessary now to get on the housing ladder and that's after taking a large student debt? What happens to all those whose parents cant help? I may be wrong but you come across as one of those who wants to kick the ladder from the less fortunate.

Well it's official National really doesn't care about NZ and it's citizens. Just keep placing a big for sale sign on our land and resources so National politicians can sell their Auckland homes for multi millions.
I bet they'll try to remove the Anti Money Laundering restricts too!

But has anyone pointed out to them that China is somewhat incapacitated at the moment and is more than likely to keep it's capital flight restrictions in place for the foreseeable future.

It hasn't stopped local commentators from claiming the foreign buyer ban has driven down property sales to foreigners either.

Ah...if it hasn't, it makes zero sense for Simon to get rid of the ban then.

"He couldn’t say exactly how National would make this easier,"

Summary of every announcement so far from National. All words, empty words.

10
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just like for 9 years they could not work out how to ban foreign buyers, its easy to speak it if you don't have any intention of doing anything

12
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So more of what the Nats did for their 9 years in power. No thanks. Look at the Super Liquor owner in Chch who has been caught exploiting staff yet is going on to build a mansion with his bloodmoney. THAT guy was let into the country by National as a entrepreneuer and bought property but he is an organised criminal and should be 501'd out of NZ. Should forfeit everything to the crown and be deported. There will be a lot more like him coming here to corrupt our way of life if the foreign ownership restrictions are relaxed.

Are you saying definitively that he would not qualify under current rules?

Couldn't agree more - forfeit and deport.

This bloke, and many others who I've seen through business, just don't share the values which we like to think makes NZ what it is... The more it happens the less trusting society will be of one another and the more willing people will be to trample over others. Have to send a proper message that this isn't how we do things.

Lol, exactly what I said yesterday in Simon Bridges 'tax cuts' - predictable...
National wants to loosen foreign home buying and try to engineer another house price/ rent surge - which will of course ultimately be a government sponsored subsidy for home owners and landlords which will lead to higher costs for home buyers and tenants - negating the supposed tax cut

Nothing new in their camp really - same ol' tricks re-hatched
They would really profit the wealthy who own homes and get their house prices inflated by foreign cash to the detriment of local wanna-be home buyers - and tenants who would see their costs increase - again...

Sadly it reeks of national party self interest... again...
Simon bridges to run the country? No thanks...

https://www.interest.co.nz/news/103672/simon-bridges-promises-yet-be-det...

I'm baffled by the complete stupidity of highlighting the absolute *least popular* part of their policy platform, their softest of soft spots.
This is like if Jacinda called a press conference just to announce a tax increase targeted specifically at suburban families with young children, really emphasising 'yeah, it'll hit young middle-class families hard, but that's OK, right?' Utterly tone-deaf.
As a non-fan of National, I love it.

so what is his response to this,
"UN housing expert calls for NZ rent freeze and CGT to end 'significant human rights crisis'"

https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/residential/119643746/un-housin...
disclosure I said last year we are heading towards rent controls
and I think CGT does not work but a land tax would be better solution to making the land more productive

Are they high?

Sadly it reeks of national party self interest... again...

Simon bridges to run the country? No thanks...

Absurd.
Who does National work for New Zealanders or other?
1) Bring the immigration rate down to something sustainable - mazimise gdp/capita growth not gdp growth
2) Free up the RMA
Then think about freeing up land ownership.

Unbelievable. How stupid can you get? What is it with Wellington? We elect people to go there and they turn into raving lunatics.

I suppose this should be looked at in light of the hudge dodgy political donations to the National party from the senior NZ CCP functionaries. It is the only sort of context in which it make sense. It is absolutely obvious that the National party is just a front for the CCP.

Yesterday was tax cuts, today was let’s open our overheated property market to the world again, if they follow true to form then tomorrow they will be back to denying there is a housing crisis!

Simon Bridges is a disaster as National Party Leader. I do not know how this ship can be righted. But thinking that easing restrictions on foreign housing purchases will make housing more affordable is utter nonsense.

So will this be reciprocal and New Zealanders allowed to buy land in China and other counties? Answer is no.

Sounds like we're being sold out.

Ha ha, look for 9yrs - what they said about foreign buyers? then when this Col Lab govt. announced the ban.. can editorial produced all their collected media voices..radio, tv, beehive chants? - Now, suddenly this tunes? - do NZ public don't now? something that they/NAT Co already knew all along & even taking a benefit of it.. you name it .. raft cases of it; bribery funds from united front works, oravida, NZherald, dairy factory, water bottling, soo many to name .. but yea, kind of just that obvious... from one Country/CCP to NAT co.. very tight bonding.

Just remember, China is for Chinese & vice-versa - the NAT Co. all has been sold out as 'ruling elite' to CCP.
The blurry part is money; China will only 'invest'/'transfer money' to whichever country on this planet that willing to do:
1) Allowed their land to be purchased by them
2) Allowed their population movement to look after the no (1)
With that? than 'we can do business'/guaranteed that point (2) to supply votes to whomever allow their tradition, you'll see the same tradition practices the past 4000-5000years around ASEAN sub-continent, it's on their DNA practices.. in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia.. USA, OZ, Can, NZ, UK.. it's all about; allowed to purchase a land/RE, able to move in, .. next step purchase more lands. The opposite? never happened. SO? who is the looser now? - China never deal/gamble to loose, they only deal/gamble with the looser... To Win.

as well as posting your views ere, can I suggest that you also contact Goldsmith and others in the National party registering your distaste. That is what I have just done, as well as suggesting that he look at the comments posted here.

Initially, I thought Goldsmith might be a decent minister of finance, but not any more.

Well if someone is willing to introduce fresh capital into NZ to build new houses , what is the problem with that ?

Absolutely stupid policy. How to drive up land prices, push up building costs and send profits paid for by NZers straight overseas.

Even if it were a requirement for the overseas owner to sell all new built properties, the reality is that there are plenty of well capitalised NZers able to undertake these projects who have more of a vested interest in producing quality homes that meet the market rather than simply trying to make a profit without care or future liability if the quality of the houses fail (eg leaky or structurally deficient).

That's their key word, 'loosening'..thought? last time is like that the past 9yrs when they at the helm, anyway why the fuzz? Nat Co. still believe whole heart that we don't have dwelling issue on this country, never in 70s,80s,90s it's business as usual.

I read this headline about 5 minutes ago and I'm still laughing. Soimon Brudges must be the most clueless prefect National have ever seen.

Seriously though, how about lifting the capital gains tax AND creating other tax rebates/subsidies (knock off the materials GST?) that KIWI builders and developers can benefit from, for properties that they place permanently into social housing stock. No cost to the taxpayer, a domestic incentive for the market, and a knock on/trickle up effect for the non social housing buyer. National and Labour should both be able to sign up to that. C'mon National, where's your creativity?