Steven Joyce’s accusation that Labour is xenophobic is a blatant attempt to hide National’s broken promise over land sales, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says.
"The Economic Development Minister showed extreme rudeness when he talked over others during an interview on the Nation this weekend.
"Election time is a time for debating issues, rather than veiled accusations of racism.
"His belligerent blustering behaviour was designed to hide the fact National promised to tighten up on land sales at the time of the Crafar farm sales. But in reality it hasn’t.
"New Zealanders do not like this sort of double-speak from politicians, and Steven Joyce knows it.
"Labour changed our position on land sales to foreigners four years ago because we believe it is the birth right of New Zealanders – not others – to own our land and houses.
"National needs to answer the following questions:
- Is it xenophobic or racist to say land ownership in New Zealand is the birth right of New Zealanders, not others?
- Is it xenophobic or racist to worry about wealthy foreign buyers buying large tracts of New Zealand land?
- Is it xenophobic or racist to point out that the sale of our forests to overseas owners has resulted in more raw log exports, less processing, lower valued exports and fewer jobs in New Zealand?
- Is it xenophobic or racist to object to overseas ownership of our houses when home ownership is at its lowest rate in 50 years and still dropping?
- Is the Australian government xenophobic or racist to clamp down on house sales to foreigners?
- Is it xenophobic or racist for the Chinese government to stop New Zealanders buying their land?
- Is it xenophobic or racist to worry that New Zealand properties are increasingly being marketed overseas?
- Is it xenophobic or racist to say land should be priced so that New Zealanders can buy it, and not be outbid by wealthy overseas buyers?
"Labour has criticised the sale of farms and houses to American, European and Asian buyers. It is not racist or xenophobic to do so.
"Responsible governments act in the interests of all New Zealanders, not just the privileged few.
"Under Labour’s policy the proposed sale of Lochinver Station to overseas buyers would not proceed," David Parker says.