New Zealand’s opposition leader David Shearer wants a law change so governments have to throw out any foreign bid to buy New Zealand farms, unless the offer would result in more jobs and more exports than any New Zealand bid could, the NZ Herald reported.
The proposal, Shearer’s first significant policy move as leader, would result in most applications from foreigners to buy sensitive land in New Zealand being turned down.
The door would be open only to new technologies and new products.
“We don’t want foreign corporates buying our land and seeing the value flow out of New Zealand,” he said.
Shearer’s member’s bill, released yesterday, would restrict the way ministers approve of Overseas Investment Office decisions.
It comes as the fate of the Crafar farms remains up in the air. The Government had approved a bid from China company Shanghai Pengxin, but this was overturned in the High Court, which found that potential benefits had to be measured against an alternative buyer.
At present two Government ministers have to approve any OIO decision. They consider several factors and can decide which factors are relevant and to what degree.
Shearer’s bill would replace this with a stricter test. If the applicant cannot demonstrate benefits through “the creation of a substantial number of additional jobs in New Zealand” or “a substantial increase in exports from new technology or new products”, then ministers would have to turn it down.
More at NZ Herald