Improving Chinese trade may challenge proposed foreign buyers ban

The AM Show 23/01/2018

Submissions close today for the Government’s proposed foreign buyers ban, which would effectively ban non-residents or non-citizen’s from purchasing housing.

The Opposition Party’s Bill English joins The AM Show to discuss how Chinese negotiations could affect the reality of the proposed ban.

"The big challenge for the Government is that they're negotiating an upgrade with the Chinese of their free-trade agreement," he says.

Mr English suspects the ban could prove difficult as New Zealand intends to improve trade relations with China, particularly to help improve access for the dairy and agriculture sectors.

"They've yet to see whether the Chinese are going to take a deal where they give us something for our dairy and agricultural produce - which is really important to us - but whether they'll take worse treatment than Australia on this housing issue.”

Non-residents or non-citizens will not be able to purchase existing residential housing, though Australian and Singapore citizens would be exempt.

However, those who are not residents or citizens would still be able to purchase land and build new housing on it.

Mr English says it's yet to be seen how far the foreign buyers ban will get.

“We thing the existing controls are sufficient,” he says. “We don’t think they’ve been a huge influence on the market.”

“You just need to build more houses and that’s currently underway."

Watch the full interview with Bill English above. 

The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.