16 Aug 2012

Bill to restrict land sale to foreigners voted down

6:02 am on 16 August 2012

Legislation which could have stopped foreigners buying sensitive land in New Zealand has narrowly failed in Parliament.

The Green Party's bill would have meant rural land of more than five hectares would have had to remain in New Zealand hands.

Co-leader Russel Norman says a global land-grab is underway and it's important for New Zealand to retain its food-producing land.

He says land is a finite resource and the country needs to keep control of it to get the economic benefits.

Dr Norman says many other countries restrict foreign ownership of land, including China.

National and ACT labelled the bill xenophobic and voted against it, which, with the addition of United Future's vote, meant it failed by 59 votes to 61.