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Government has eyes shut on investment monitoring

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Figures released today by Maurice Williamson are just another attempt to cover up the Government's shoddy monitoring and investigations of consent conditions, Labour's Finance spokesperson David Parker says.

"New Zealander's are rightly concerned that foreign land purchases such as the Crafar farm deal should deliver all promised benefits and new jobs.

"Unfortunately there is little scrutiny to ensure conditions are met. Failure to investigate when no information is provided means non-compliance can go un-remedied and unenforced.

"The Minister is clearly trying to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse. He claims the Overseas Investment Office is undertaking fewer investigations into breaches of consent conditions because there have been fewer cases of non-compliance amongst foreign buyers," David Parker said.

"That's deliberately misleading. In answers to parliamentary questions lodged by Labour he has previously revealed at least 15 examples of foreign buyers having failed to provide the OIO with proof they have complied with their consent conditions. (See spread sheet attached)

"One case is that of Irish company Premier Dairies, which bought 200ha of farm land in 2009. By law it is required to provide the OIO with evidence that it has created new jobs and investment opportunities which were conditions of purchase consent. The company hasn't provided a single report to the OIO on this in three years.

"New Zealanders are right to expect some sort of investigation or follow up in such cases, yet the OIO has been missing in action and Maurice Williamson seems not to care.

"The Government needs to be taken to task on this. It should be enforcing the Overseas Investment Act and ensuring foreign buyers are creating the jobs and investment that New Zealanders were promised," David Parker said.

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