The Government’s bill banning foreigners from buying New Zealand homes is now set to become law in weeks after passing its third reading in the House on Wednesday.
The Overseas Investment Amendment Bill was passed with Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens’ 63 in favour and National and Act’s 57 in opposition.
Speaking in support of the Bill, Minister of Trade and Export Growth David Parker reiterated that owning a house in New Zealand is “a privilege, not a right.”
“We believe it’s the birth right for New Zealanders to buy homes in New Zealand in a market that is shaped by New Zealand buyers, not by international price pressures.”
He says there can be “no doubt” that international buyers are having an effect on the marginal price in the housing market.
“There can be a debate as to how much the effect is on price, there can be no doubt that there is an effect.”
Parker was also at pains to point out that the Coalition Government is “committed to being an outward looking trading nation".
National’s Judith Collins was not as optimistic about the new law as Parker.
“The National Party opposes the Bill because we don’t believe that it actually fixes any problems.”
She says it’s the sort of bill that a Labour-led Government a decade ago would have never done.
“This bill, in many ways, is like using a hammer to try and crush a tiny winy little nut because it is a about saying every residential house is now apparently sensitive land – that’s nonsense.”
The legislation has been one of the most controversial bills this Government has passed in its time in office so far.
It attracted hundreds of submissions, many in opposition.
It was originally Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s plan to have the Bill passed in early 2018 as it needed to be in place before the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) came into effect.
But once the timeframe for the CPTPP was extended, the Government extended the process of the OIA Bill so to allow for a longer process.
The Bill will officially become law once it receives the royal assent in a few weeks’ time.