Thursday, 8 March 2018

Xenophobia Makes Unwelcome Return

Reflexive Cloth-Cap Labour Pollies

Commentator, Mike Hosking has written an excellent piece, published in the NZ Herald a few days ago.  It concerns the proposed NZ government ban on "furreigners" buying real estate in general and houses in particular.  This policy put forward by the obtuse Labour Party is antediluvian insofar as it comes right out of the socialist playbook written well over a century ago.  It also contains elements of crass nationalism.  It represents protectionism.  

Labour unions and left wing politicians think it makes eminent sense for New Zealand to be kept for NZ citizens.  Keep furreigners out.  However such populist twaddle turns out to be positively dangerous when the respective countries of those horrible furreigners start to retaliate with trade and investment barriers against New Zealand.  All of a sudden we are confronted with the unfortunate reality that New Zealand is a minnow in the grand global scheme of things.  We are easily netted and squashed.

Here is Hosking at his splenetic best:

So the question now is, how many objectors does it take? How many rational, professional, successful, influential players in the market does it take for the Government to wake up and realise ideology is not a blue print for sensible policy?  The committee hearing submissions on the Government's foreign housing ban has been hearing day after day the various reasons as to why what they're doing is wrong.

The latest is a bloke called Ric Kayne. He's an American billionaire, but a New Zealand resident. He's developed a golf course, Tara Iti, which is widely regarded as one of the best in the world, and is part of our ever growing portfolio of places and facilities that attract the world's wealthy to come here, holiday and spend money, create jobs and drive the economy. Ric says if this ban goes ahead, his expansion plans are over.

He joins a couple of retirement industry heavyweights who, because they're publicly listed, will require Overseas Investment Office clearance every time they do something.  They join Northland and Central Otago, who pleaded over the economic advantages brought by major international players and the multi million dollar mansion market, and Fletchers, which argued for all possible avenues financing wise. 
 The reflexive antipathy to foreign ownership of our farms and buildings makes no sense at all.  For some strange reason folk somehow get to thinking that New Zealand loses by such transactions.  It's as if the foreign owner can pack the farm up in a wheelbarrow and take if off overseas somewhere to the detriment of the entire country.

We do not oppose rules, restrictions, and guidelines being imposed upon overseas investors, provided the same rules and regs apply to domestic investors.  But the fact is New Zealand needs capital to develop.  Such development is critical if we are to build an economy and market place which would employ our own, enabling us to feed and clothe New Zealand folk.  Will government listen?  Not likely.  They appear on this matter to be ideologically purblind.
Select committees are designed to take a broad piece of legislation and refine it in areas that are shown to be flawed. Ideally, the flaw would be shown to be the entire idea.  That's not likely to happen, but let's hope at least a decent chunk of this information is listened to and acted upon, because this is the danger of this Government. Ideology will kill them.

They have no experience in the real world, only five of them have ever been in a Cabinet. From the Labour point of view, I can't think of any of them that have ever actually done anything in the private sector. Owned a business, employed people? You know, dealt with the real world?  And given that surely they can't be so arrogant as to ignore the many who have and do - and have lined up to tell them this idea is nuts. Between this and their education reforms, they run the country not on proof or outcomes or experience or fact, but on theory, ideology, stuff you read in a book in a lecture theatre.

Having foreign money in the housing or construction market isn't bad news. Having foreigners set up shop here brings money and experience we will never replicate locally.  The same way we need free trade, we need the free flow of money. And the big money is out in the world - not sitting here under mattresses. This isn't complicated, and yet it's being made that way.

This is a mistake, and will harm the country. 

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