The Government must ensure foreign investors uphold their commitment to add value to sensitive New Zealand assets* they purchase, after new figures show National has declined just 1.5 per cent of all applications, Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash says.
"Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that since taking office in 2008, the National Government has rejected 11 applications but approved 724 sales of sensitive assets.
"There are very clear criteria for the sale of sensitive land laid out in Section 17 of the Overseas Investment Act.
"These foreign investments must result in either: new jobs or the retention of existing jobs which might otherwise be lost; the introduction of new technology or business skills; increased exports; added market competition, greater efficiency or better services for New Zealanders; more investment for development purposes; or increased processing of primary products.
"Foreign direct investment is crucial to the continued growth of the New Zealand economy. But selling off vital productive land to overseas investors who simply suck the profits out of the country is a dead end street.
"I am going to conduct a random audit of 100 applications that have been approved over the past 10 years to check whether overseas investors have met these requirements.
"New Zealanders deserve to know if foreign investment is adding the value the Government claims.
"To quote the Prime Minister, we don’t want to become simply tenants in our own land," Stuart Nash says.