5 Dec 2013

Bill to limit rural land sales to foreigners

1:30 pm on 5 December 2013

A private member's bill aimed at limiting the sale of rural land to foreign buyers is to be debated by Parliament.

The Overseas Investment (Owning Our Own Rural Land) Amendment Bill, in the name of Labour MP Phil Goff, has been pulled from the ballot for private member's bills.

Mr Goff says the current law does give government ministers the discretion to turn down foreign applications, but that discretion is not exercised as often as it should be.

His bill requires foreign investors to meet tougher criteria in order to gain approval.

They must first show that their purchase would produce benefits over and above that which a New Zealand investor would deliver, and also show that it would result in what the bill describes as substantial job creation and an increase in exports.