Key blames Labour for barrier to foreign buyer ban

Prime Minister John Key

Should Key and co stop blaming the previous govt for NZ's current issues?

Yes, National’s been in charge for seven years now – time to take responsibility
64%
No, the fifth Labour govt is the source of all our perennial problems
36%
Total votes: 140

Prime Minister John Key has blamed the way the Labour-led government of the 2000s structured the free-trade agreement with China for making it impossible for a future government to impose a ban on land sales to foreign investors, even though he doesn't support such a ban.

Labour had included "most favoured nation" clauses in the 2008 China FTA, which meant improved conditions in subsequent trade and investment pacts would have to apply to China as well as the country the new pact covered.

The recently concluded FTA with South Korea prevented bans on foreign investment, so China would expect to be covered by those provisions, said Mr Key, who also made it clear the government has received advice on measures such as imposing stamp duty or land taxes on real estate purchases to discourage house price inflation in Auckland but remains opposed to such policies.

The issue in Auckland remained the under-supply of houses rather than an influx of foreign buyers, Mr Key said. He expected that to be proven when data to be collected from October 1 started to become public, probably early next year. Legislation before Parliament at present will require foreign buyers of real estate other than their primary place of residence to have both a bank account and an IRD number before being able to complete a land transfer.

His comments follow growing calls, including from real estate agency bosses in Auckland, for the creation of a foreign buyers' register.

With respect to imposing stamp duties on foreign buyers, Mr Key said that could be applied "potentially in some cases, but not in all" because of both FTA requirements and restrictions created by double tax agreements with other countries.

"We're not considering it at the moment," he said.

Key also acknowledged the debate about whether the provisions of Auckland Council's draft Unitary Plan for the city's long term development would allow enough houses to be built to meet demand.

Although new areas for residential development were reasonably easy to identify, it was clear some established areas would resist intensification more than others.

More intensified urban living in the central business district was likely to be less controversial than in the suburbs, especially when the proposed new urban rail loop was in place, Mr Key said.

(BusinessDesk)


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13 Comments & Questions

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It is the clause in the Korean FTA that creates the issue not the China FTA.

Key should stop blaming others for his Government's decisions.

By the way NZ is now looking for better dairy access into China because of the favored nation clause and the Aussie FTA.

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Agree. Regardless of who or what in the past the blame game is playschool nonsense. We have a real problem that needs addressing now. So all parties can put away their plastic swords, act like leaders and get on with doing something real for NZ before there is nothing left to sell.

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If not Labour, who else is there to blame? Definitely it is easier to blame than to accept the responsibility. The dog barks, the duck quacks and the politician blames.... that's the nature of the universe.

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Well, hey, they've only had 7 or 8 years in office now...so it's not like it's time to accept responsibility and stop blaming anything and everything on the previous government.

I really do wonder if Key has a sign behind is desk that says "The Buck Stops Elsewhere".

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Strangely enough - perhaps readers maybe able to enlighten me? - I keep recalling that saying - "Pin tail on him and you'll have a weasel..."

We certainly have bones to pick with the last Labour government, but the government that New Zealanders must now look to to protect this country is very strenuously avoiding doing its job.

it is accountable for what some are are beginning to call treason - leaving New Zealanders wide open to be priced out of the things our forebears fought for, including in two recent major world wars.

John Key points out he gave up a multimillion dollar salary as a currency trader ( some have called it currency gambling ) to become prime minister.

It's about time he was asked - Why? What was in it for him? Because, on his record, he certainly isn't there for the benefit of the country - to protect New Zealanders from the sell-out of our land, our housing stock, our assets.

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"Data collected from October 1 . . . . results early next year". This is a government that doesn't listen, and doesn't seem to care about the plight of its own citizens. At least the Australians have shown willing to do something to address the problem.

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...giving us plenty of time to cook the books.

The day a political party stops blaming the previous administration is the day that they will get my vote.

How long has National been in charge?

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Does this government do anything besides blame Labour?

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I guess the latest focus group says blaming Labour will work in the polls?

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Wow his memory is good how long ago where they in power? Give us a break 7 years is long enough to fix things

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When he can't deny, or "forget" the next best thing is to shift the blame.
but of course the credits for the "rockstar" economy was all him right? right??

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2015 John Key needs to have a chat to 2007 John Key...

https://twitter.com/farmgeek/status/625121398000713728

John Key claimed to be able to turn the situation around by dealing with the fundamental issues, not just with ineffective rinky-dink schemes.

He made promises, and he hasn't been able to back them up.

And now he's just seeking to point the blame at others instead...

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Just spent a couple of weeks in Aussie talking to the locals who can't believe how NZ is going ahead under good governance!!
With their own political strife they wonder why they read so much negativity from N Z
Maybe they have a point!!!!

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