No Ban For Home Buyers With Chinky Sounding Names…For Now

When Labour announced it would ban foreign nationals from buying homes in New Zealand, it was pointed out they couldn’t actually do that.

New Zealand has Free Trade Agreements with Korea, China and Singapore, as well as possible other countries, that preclude us from banning their citizens from our housing market.

It can’t be done. Jacinda Ardern now seems to, belatedly, acknowledge this.

A Labour government’s ban on foreign home buyers would have to exclude South Korean and Chinese nationals until after a free-trade deal renegotiation, leader Jacinda Ardern says.

Oh dear. So after the Chinky Sounding Names saga, they aren’t even going to ban Chinese nationals?

“You could certainly apply the legislation but it just wouldn’t be comprehensive until we could renegotiate those deals.”

So they’re going to renegotiate the Korean and possibly the China FTA?

This puts at risk billions in international trade and will put exporters on edge. New Zealand did over $4 billion in trade with Korea last year alone.

Ms Ardern earlier said she was confident the flow-on effect on the China FTA would also be resolved by altering the Korean deal.

China expects its nationals to be treated like any other foreign national in New Zealand. What about Australians? Do we need to renegotiate our relationship with Australia to finally target the Chinese sounding names?

She said she believed a renegotiation with South Korea would not be a major issue.

“I don’t believe it would put that deal at risk. Korea already has that provision for themselves. I’m sure they would be very understanding of the rationale of why we would want the same,” she told reporters in Auckland.

Nothing in politics is free. Nothing.

Korea isn’t going to just give us this concession. Jacinda Ardern wants to be Prime Minister and she thinks the world smells of roses and everyone is ready to give, give, give. Korea will want concessions in return. What is Labour willing to trade away for this ban? Which industry will it throw under the bus? In this negotiation, Korea holds all the cards.

National’s trade spokesman, Todd McClay, said the policy was “Ill-thought out and vague” and put the agreement with Korea at risk.

“It’s simply not good enough for Jacinda Ardern to put the economic fortunes of New Zealand at risk along with thousands of jobs and businesses,” he said.

Todd is right. Labour’s policies are a mess, ill-thought out and vague. The more we hear of them, the worse they are.




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