14 Apr 2013

Land sales can be reined in by law - PM

9:57 am on 14 April 2013

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key says legislation could be used to rein-in land sales to foreigners, if needed.

During a visit to China last week, Mr Key told his hosts that trade and investment in food production in New Zealand is welcome, although the sale of farms to foreigners isn't popular.

Mr Key told the Q + A programme on TVNZ on Sunday that the issue does not apply only to China, but also to other nations New Zealand trades with.

He said that if land sales to foreigners are seen to be out of control, the Government could legislate to tighten the rules on foreign ownership.

Mr Key said at the moment, the evidence does not support there being significant holdings of foreign-owned New Zealand land, and that's what he told the Chinese.