Toothless OIO never refused a single farmland sale

The Overseas Investment Office has approved more than 290 consents from foreign investors to buy sensitive land in New Zealand, but has not turned down a single application says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash 

“The Minister of Land information, Louise Upston, confirmed during question time today that since 2008 the Overseas Investment Office has become ‘an overworked rubber stamping bureaucracy’ that simply did what it was told by the government without any regard to what is good for New Zealand.

“The fact that the OIO hasn’t turned down a single consent application from foreign investors to purchase sensitive land, just shows that this government has lost touch with what is important to the people of New Zealand.  

“The fact that the Minister also admitted that the OIO doesn’t keep any statistics on the value promised during the consent process by overseas foreigners buying our farmland is appalling.  

“She has admitted that we have absolutely no idea of the value that is added – or not – by foreigners buying our farmland. 

“The purpose clause of the Overseas Investment Act states that it is a privilege, not a right, to invest in New Zealand, but we are being taken for granted by foreigners and it’s got to stop,” says Stuart Nash.