Labour Leader Phil Goff today announced that given the warm reception of his policy against foreign own land and businesses that he would apply the principle more generally.
“Given that foreign investors can often have a pernicious, non-Kiwi way of looking at land and infrastructure operations, we understand that only the Tangata Whenua, meaning not only Maori but non-Maori Kiwi blokes and blokesses know how to treat land as more than an investment, but a link to the nation and the people. This link isn’t just across Aotearoa but is local too, so I have decided to announce that Labour will restrict sales of South Island land to South Islanders only.
For many years now more and more farms, businesses and infrastructure in the South Island has been owned predominantly or exclusively by North Island companies and individuals. These people do not have a direct link with the land, and are less likely to appreciate the cultural, economic, social and environmental sensitivities involved. The Queen Street Farmer with properties in Otago must come to an end.
The inflation in prices that this allows has been rampant, so I will institute a policy that such sales will only be allowed if they are in the interests of South Islanders.
Given the wisdom of this approach, I intend to empower local authorities to institute similar such rules, so that the people of Hamilton do not face Aucklanders buying up properties and shutting them out of the market. Similarly, the overpriced Kapiti housing market will be set free by keeping Wellingtonians out.”
“There are big North Island buyers with money to burn who want to control and own the supply chain for food production. Instead of adding value to production in the South Island, they could decide to do it in the North Island.
That would cost the South Island jobs.
They’re going from the North to the South Island to buy what’s currently South Islanders’ and they will be doing it more often.
South Islanders are more vulnerable as land values fall.
We are at risk of our land being priced on a national market beyond the reach of South Islanders.
When South Islanders have to compete against North Island buyers, we have to ask ourselves - what will happen if the prices paid lock us out of owning our own land?
Where does it end up if we say to ambitious young South Islanders that you can only buy into our best and productive assets if you come from the North Island or you are born into a wealthy family.
That is not the South Island I want.
No North Islander has the right to buy South Island land - it is a privilege.
It is a privilege we have granted too easily.
Today you have my commitment that Labour will turn the rules on selling land to across Cook Strait on their head.
We’ll guarantee that South Islanders’ interests are put first.
We will reverse the presumption that any North Island purchase of South Island rural land is good for South Islanders.”
He continued to explain that he would be consulting on whether to first restrict inter-electorate sales of land ("can't have those Cantabrians buying West Coast land willy nilly can we?") or inter local authority sales ("Carterton for Cartertonians"!), noting that local authorities themselves may decide to impose more local restrictions if need be.
"Parnell for Parnellians, Miramar for Miramaranians, Taradale for Taradalians" he could be heard banally crying out.
He noted finally that this policy was in alignment with the great philosophy of self-reliance of Juche, adopted from Pyongyang.