NZ PM rejects call to ban overseas property owners

New Zealand’s Prime Minister has called a rival politicians policy idea that would outlaw foreigners from buying property in NZ as “a bit silly”.

Winston Peters speaks at a Maori Affairs select committeeWinston Peters, the leader of the New Zealand First party, told TVNZ’s Q and A programme over the weekend that only Kiwis should be entitled to buy a property in the country.

“We want Auckland housing, New Zealand housing, to be for New Zealand people,” explained Mr Peters. “We want New Zealand farms to be for young farmers in New Zealand in particular, not to be owned by everybody around the world and absentee owned at that.”

However, the country’s PM, John Key, yesterday responded that banning foreigners from owning property abroad would be bad for NZ’s economy and turn potential entrepreneurs and other talented foreign individuals off wanting to invest in the country.

“Some of this is stuff is really a bit silly,” stated PM Key on TVNZ’s Breakfast show yesterday. “The answer here is to build more property. There’s not that many empty properties sitting around Auckland last I looked.”

The Prime Minister also accused Peters of attempting to score political points with unrealistic and unenforceable ideas ahead of the General Election later this year.

“People can go on TV and they can talk tough, and they can say they’ve got bottom lines all over the show,” he said. “In my experience I’ve found that to be very unhelpful and not that useful in terms of genuine discussion.”