Kiwi Politics: New Zealand Not For Sale to Foreigners

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | April 8, 2014 3:10 PM EST

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has recently denounced the intention of Prime Minister John Key to sell more of the Kiwi country to foreign ownership.

"This former currency trader doesn't even have his finger on the pulse. He is blind to the fact that 'hot cash' is slashing around the world and being pumped into land and property ownership, often simply for investment," Peters said in a statement.

REUTERS/Brendon Thorne/Pool
New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key speaks at a luncheon in Sydney February 7, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Brendon Thorne/Pool

The prime minister is "New Zealand's number one real estate salesman," he stressed.

Labour Leader David Cunliffe, in support of Peters, noted Key's policy will make Kiwis inferior buyers of land in their own home country.

Cunliffe said there will always be the possibility that foreign buyers will jack up property prices.

Houses and farms in New Zealand ought to be for New Zealanders, and not owned by foreigners "and absentee owned at that."

"Otherwise you have your property selling at an international market price that your own people can't afford," Cunliffe told TV ONE's Breakfast.

A home is not an asset, Peters said, it is where we also obtain a stake in our country.

But Keys said while house prices in New Zealand have indeed jumped in the past 3 months, these were by only a fraction of the amount.

"If the market was driven by rich foreign investors buying houses and not renting them or living in them you'd expect to see a lot of empty houses in Auckland - and I don't see any evidence of that."

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(Photo: REUTERS/Brendon Thorne/Pool / )
New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key speaks at a luncheon in Sydney February 7, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Brendon Thorne/Pool
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