Migrants groups have come out against Labour’s xenophobic home ownership policy.
The president of a nation-wide organisation that represents Chinese migrant groups says David Shearer’s policy is “picking on” Asian people.
Labour leader David Shearer says the party will restrict the ability of non-residents to purchase New Zealand houses as part of its package to help Kiwi first-home buyers.
Shearer says IRD records show more than 11,000 overseas investors own New Zealand properties they don’t live in.
“This policy will reduce demand and help take some of the heat out of the market. It will put Kiwi buyers at the front of the queue,” he says.
However, the president of the NZ Chinese Association Virginia Chong is concerned the policy is targeting Asian buyers.
Chong says there is a flawed perception that Chinese nationals are out-bidding Kiwis in the Auckland housing market.
The second generation New Zealander says people just see Asian faces in the auction rooms and assume that they are foreigners.
“It’s all very well saying it’s Asians who have pushed up the price but I don’t think it’s Asians, we are just a convenient fob-off,” the Epsom resident says.
She says while the policy may be a Band-Aid on the problem, it will not have any long-term effect.
“From my perspective it’s potentially racist and it’s contrary to existing free trade agreements,” she says.