Chinese property speculation & TPPA – why it’s about Tino Rangatiratanga



Being lectured by National on racism is like being taught fire safety tips from an arsonist

If Labour were smart, they would compare their concerns about Chinese overseas residential property speculators with the TPPA, because this is ultimately about Tino Rangatiratanga.

Our ability to determine our own sovereignty, be it economic, political or cultural, is at stake if we allow Chinese overseas residential property speculators to dominate our housing market OR if we sign America’s ‘Free trade’ TPPA straight jacket.

Both China and America are competing for dominance in the Pacific, this is the issue we are ignoring. National want to call Labour’s concerns racism because they don’t want any scrutiny of how many of their former and current MPs are defacto members of the Communist Party.

Chinese interests own the National Party, so them to have an opinion more pro Beijing than Wellington shouldn’t be a surprise.

Sure Labour’s Chinese sounding name stats are a farce, but they do resonant with a NZ who are feeling shut out from buying land in their own country. For those activists like Phil Quin who will resign, the Greens are waiting with application forms, for a large chunk who voted National last year, this is the first time in 7 years that Labour have spoken to them.

The next two polls will tell if Labour’s gamble has worked.

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  1. I would suggest Martyn that Labour have ‘gambled’ on a lose lose proposition with its use of figures that could be 100% correct, a 100% incorrect, or, any % point correct in between,

    The National Party supporters Labour may have ‘spoken to’ are just as likely to be as heavily involved in housing speculation as whatever % of foreign buyers of any nationality are and what they will not tolerate is any interference in their little free money game,

    IF Labour had any depth of intelligence or the will to gather such they would have framed the issue around speculation and tax avoidance which is at the heart of the speculative inflation rush,

    Highlighted here at the Daily Blog a month or two back was the Auckland youngster who had ‘bought’ an investment in Hamilton,

    He was not actually ‘buying’ the property as he had gained an ‘Interest Only Loan’ from the Bank where he paid interest only on the mortgage so was obviously ‘holding’ the property for speculative gains at a future point in time,

    It is these ‘Interest Only Loans, widely available from the Banks for periods up to ten years, i would contend that are at the heart of the current housing inflation madness,

    Of course Labour refuse to address this issue and i would contend that such a refusal is simply attributed to the upper echelons of that Party being heavily invested in the speculation themselves,

    Pointing the finger at foreign buyers in such a situation is then dishonest and while i agree that property ownership should be the sole preserve of New Zealand citizens it is the speculation itself that should be stopped and the ability of the Banks to offer ‘Interest Only Loans’, an obvious tool of speculation, should be the first brick removed from that wall…

    • Pointing the finger at foreign buyers is NOT dishonest. Foreign buyers are propping up our currency(30% ) overvalued. and has wrecked our exports.There are no restrictions on Chinese buyers as a result of the FTA with China. An FTA which surprise surprise doesn’t allow Kiwis to buy property in China.We get shafted again and again and again. This is what Labour introduced in 1984. Neo liberalism an act of pure treason.I fully support Twyford’s efforts. ugly? who cares there is a debate happening. The appalling arrogance and supreme ignorance of the Chinese buyers is there for all to see. Native born kiwis have nothing much left to lose it is just about all gone the tattered remnants of our sovereignty.I hope it gets so ugly we get a long overdue SNAP ELECTION.Time for Labour to do some fu**ing work unite and rewrite their policies. Change the law. Restrict foreign ownership halt all migration( not refugee quota increase that) Bring the CGT and FTT and manage the currency and REPEAL the RESERVE BANK ACT and sack treasury.Time’s a wasting. Keep stirring the discussion people.

        • Not sure where you got your info from Shona. There are restrictions on regulation of certain kinds of land sales to China in the NZ China FTA. Just as there will be in the TPPA.

          • No foreigner is allowed to own land in China, long term leases yes, no ownership. Where are the restrictions on offshore speculators in our housing market? Why the high level of non resident Chinese buyers in Auckland’s overheated housing market? Special category visa’s allow all kinds of speculative investment. Low interest loans from foreign banks not available to Kiwis push us further out of the market. Kiwibank denied my son a housing loan even tho’ he earned over $100,000 p.a and had a permanent job. He is a descendant of the Matatua canoe.Yes Jane we are being dispossessed by foreign buyers the majority of whom at this point in time are Chinese, I have yet to see a single investment by the Chinese in the Far North tourism market where they have grown or improved businesses they have purchased. Indeed there is always a great deal of “talk” and nothing happens and the properties are run down. Many of these businesses were owned and run and initiated by foreigners who resided here and became part of and benefited our community. Wanting the quiet life. My opinions are based on personal experience and observation. I grew up among NZ born Chinese in the South Island. I was never invited to their homes and they never never took up my invitation to visit my home. Racism is a two way street. We have to stop kidding ourselves and get over our cultural cringe and name the effing puppy.

            • Proxy buying of property is a criminal offense in New Zealand and results in heavy penalties. Further, New Zealand has a robust system of land transfer under the torrens system, and as a solicitor I can assure you that if I ever suspected proxy buying of land was taking place I would refuse to act further.

          • You mean Articles 138 and 141, I guess.

            Yes, you are right, and even Sean Plunket on Radio Live raised this early this week.

            Sadly we had Winston Peters, Andrew Little and Phil Twyford shut that discussion down, as they cannot admit to those Articles imposing limitations on what NZ governments can do, having been members of the parties in – or supporting – a former government, that signed this FTA with Mainland China.

            As I read those Articles, they limit what New Zealand governments can do, and this seems to apply to ALL investments, not just for trade, which means also residential housing that is bought and sold (as investments).

            While denying the FTA would not stop measures blocking non residents or non citizens from buying homes here as “investments”, all of the gentlemen did NOT explain what provision in that FTA backed their position.

            I would say, the law is far from very clear on what is possible, reading the Articles literally, I understand, that more restrictions affecting Mainland Chinese investors (even if the law may apply to “all” non residents), are NOT in the law and spirit of the China NZ FTA, as such restrictions should actually be reduced instead, between China and NZ.

      • In terms of pointing the finger at Chinese as the scourge of the property over-inflation currently occurring north of Taupo Labour and Twyford are being deliberately dishonest,

        The number of New Zealand housing speculators far out-weighs the number of foreign speculators,

        It is not the nationality nor the ethnicity of the speculators that should be the issue it is the speculation in housing that should be the issue addressed,

        If you or anyone else think that by kicking foreign buyers out of the market house prices will suddenly become more affordable i fear that you are suffering delusions…

  2. +100 Great Post Martyn…a conversation about this issue must be had without slurs of racism …this is an issue of New Zealand sovereignty and culture and ecology and environment …unfortunately the Greens dont seem to realise this and have framed the issue in agreement with jonkey nact

    In view of the pathetic accusations of “crude racial profiling” by the Greens…this is of interest

    ‘Straight conversations about racial and religious differences’
    “Former chairman of the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission Trevor Phillips talks about his documentary Things we won’t say about race but are true, which created a bit of a backlash when it screened recently on Britain’s Channel Four. He was the chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality during the Blair Government and quickly concluded that while a commitment to multiculturalism was fine in theory, it had become a racket in many parts of the UK. He says many people are reluctant to speak their minds fearing they will be branded racist. He believes race issues must be open for debate – and when he spoke publicly about his concerns that Britain could be “sleepwalking to segregation”, a political firestorm erupted. More than a decade on Trevor Phillips says desperation to avoid offense, is standing in the way of progress, and the drive to instil respect for diversity is resulting in a stifling of conversations about racial or religious differences.”

  3. I am in no doubt the clever little fund raisers that National are (read lots and lots of secret donors) mean they are horribly compromised and will be all bark on this issue, if at all and definitely no bite!

  4. There are a lot of things that can be done to work on the housing bubble. But stopping non-residents from speculating on our property market is one easy adjustment.

    Here’s the problem. With the demise of the Dairy Industry and the plateauing of the Christchurch rebuild, money coming into Auckland from foreign speculators is the last great cash wave that is keeping the country from a serious recession. A tumbling NZ dollar, a less attractive tax regime and more promising alternatives will moderate the demand.

    When the recession inevitably comes, my guess is that the migration trend will reverse itself into another stampede to Australia. Included in this exodus are likely to be not only the young who have little stake in the country, locked out as they are from the property market, but also many of the newcomers who have managed to acquire NZ passports and thus will have an easier time getting into Aussie.

    And so the housing crisis will morph back to a brain-drain problem which we are more familiar with.

    Anyone want to take the bet?

    • Aussie will bring in new restrictions on us they have a bunch of problems and are just starting their first 21st century recession.No the old patterns will not reemerge to the same extent. It will be much much worse than it’s ever been. The dispossession has been so large this time our communities have fractured for good. Too many good people have gone and we have lost too much social capital . It will take 2 generations to reverse the damage in any meaningful way.

  5. The whole Chinese buying our houses is greatly exaggerated and non-issue. If they want to buy houses here, let them. If needed we can just build more.

    My big issue with China is why are we cozying up closer and closer to a totalitarian state that is on the verge of collapse, relative speaking?

    • Its a pity that the National Party didn’t “build some more” back in 2008 when the Nats first got into power. They have built virtually none. Even if we allowed for authentic immigration and kept the speculators out, we would need about 10,000 per year for a very long time. How long will it take for supply to reach demand?

    • If selling houses to the Chinese is such easy money, why aren’t you building lots more of them .

    • Rubbish ! We have the right to legislate . Stamp duty.CGT.FTT No land sales to non resident citizens( so being a resident does not permit you to buy)the Chinese are the meat in the sandwich of National’s orgy of greed at our expense.

  6. If you look at previous data, property prices tend to go through a 7 year cycle.
    That cycle being, house prices rise for 2 1/2 to 3 years, come off the peak by about 5 to 10% and then plateau for about 4 years before starting to move up again.
    What is highly suspicious is the stratospheric year on year rises that have occurred for the last 5 years straight.
    At a time when the average New Zealand wage has barely moved.
    At a time when more than 300,000 New Zealanders lost their whole life savings through corrupt investment companies .Many of them losing $200,000.00 dollars or more.
    At a time when the average New Zealander can barely cover their weekly expenses let alone save the minimum $150,000.00 required for a deposit.
    One then has to ask ones self , where is the money coming from to fuel this phenomenon ?
    Clearly it ain’t coming from hard working Kiwis earning New Zealand dollars in New Zealand.
    Therefore it’s coming from overseas.
    Coming from people who don’t have to abide by New Zealand’s wage structure , tax laws, infrastructure costs etc.
    These non NZ resident people are then being allowed to go up against NZ citizens , using our housing stock , that was built on the shoulders of many previous generations of hard working, head down , bum up, Kiwis and play F**cking monopoly with each other.
    Thus creating a giant ‘Ponzi Scheme’.
    Instead of houses being built for people to create a home, and possibly raise a family.
    We now have the commodification of the housing stock where houses are gambled with and traded like some dodgy ‘futures options’ of a ‘start up’ company on the share market.
    This Government, who are now in their 7th year of power, have sat on their hands and done nothing to prevent what is an absolute disaster for future generations of head down, bum up Kiwis, who will only ever earn and save their money in N.Z.
    It’s an absolute disgrace and soul destroying for those affected.
    Phil Twyford – Andrew Little -LEGENDS !

      • You can say that China has too much influence on the government, and I won’t argue with you, but to say China owns National is conspiracy theory territory.

        • Is it? Did you know that Don Brash is the Chairman of the Auckland Branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China?

  7. ANDREWO Ever heard of the saying,
    “Two wrong’s don’t make a right?”

    You and others dismissing as a non event is wrong after the Chinese are actively flooding the housing market in Auckland because it is having now a devastating effect on the rest of NZ! or are you not aware?

    This highly speculative buying frenzy occurring in Auckland effects everyone elsewhere is causing a large depressed housing market in the provinces now!!!

    Check the latest here.

    THE median Gisborne house price has fallen by 16.1 per cent in the past 12 months from $233,500 to $196,000, says the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

    HB has dropped also so please don’t dismiss the issue as no big deal, as it rings like a cracked bell here.

  8. The Greens are staunch on limiting property buying to residents – more so than Labour

    • The Greens are staunch on limiting all forms of commerce and imposing arbitrary barriers on everything.

      • Really, Steve?! Gosh, with an arbitrary, sweeping statement like that, it must’ve taken you all evening to think that up. *shakes head*

        If you righties are going to parrot any old sh*t, can you at least try a bit harder to make it interesting? Or entertaining?!

    • …pity the Greens cant support the Labour Party when they decide to draw attention to the problem…instead of supporting jonkey nacts racist slurs by accusing the Labour Party “crude racial profiling”

      …is this petty point scoring, undermining and one upmanship on the part of the Green Party?!…and towards a future coalition partner…pathetic

      • 1000% Chooky,

        Greens are fence sitting far to long on everything for my comfort here.

        They certainly are now not firing on all cylinders.

        Greens are not objecting to everything, now that is going wrong.

        Just for instance where are they on the Treasury’s dumb plans advising Government to scrap Kiwirail?

        I’m for action from NZ First/Labour.

        • +100 Cleangreen…Greens acting like a precious sanctimonious middle class club

          …and I would love to see David Cunliffe as Minister in charge of dealing with climate change and the environment..he has the ability in spades and it would heal Labour Party would also make the Labour Party more dynamic

          ….Kevin Rudd of Australian Labour was a brilliant Greenie on this issue in Australia and internationally at the Copenhagen talks…he regarded it and still regards it as the most important issue of our times …unfortunately he was undermined/betrayed not only by Gillard who had no interest in the issue …but also by the Oz Greens

          A Labour/NZF coalition could serve as a basis for a new Left coalition government( has been done before)which I hope would also include Mana/Int and Kevin Davis standing aside for Hone…this also would heal Left wounds

          …and personally i would like to see Winston Peters invited by Andrew Little and Labour to share leadership /Prime Ministership of this Labour /NZF coalition…either sharing alternatively and consecutively or joint partnership sharing

          ( I know this is what Matthew Hooton is mooting for the Nactional Party ie offering Winston the role of PM….but 1.)…I dont think Winston would take it…2.)the nacts will be desperate to retain power at any cost but it would be doomed to failure … Winston has already brought them down once)

          imo Winston deserves to be the first Maori PM….and it has been racism that has prevented this…despite some foibles he is brilliant….as an elder statesman PM it would also cement the Left coalition

  9. So Martin, Labour is not racist? Foreshore and Seabed Act 2003 ring any bells in your mind? Urewera Raids? And National is racist? Whanau Ora Martin? More Te Tiriti o Waitangi settlements than any Government before it..? Direct targeting of tertiary education funding to support Maori and Pasifika education and training and achievement? And National still must be the racist one. Unbelievable.

    And now, even though Labour has directly named a racial and ethnic group, and accused this group of causing a major problem (with implied malice or willful neglect), and based on very questionable information, National is still the racist one. You are unbelievable! Labour has royally screwed up here and I am surprised you are trying to deny it!

    What other conclusions could we draw from looking at surnames Martin?

    It’s indefensible and incredibly divisive and hurtful to accuse one ethnicity over others as the primary cause of the problem.

  10. Martin there are several things in your article I strongly disagree with.

    1. Both China and America are competing for dominance in the Pacific, this is the issue we are ignoring.

    America HAS dominance in the Pacific – we belong to 5 Eyes which now denotes us as 1/5 of the America’s closest allies. American has the 2 biggest players in the Pacific sown up. Notice how Abbott and Key are both loonies? If America felt its domination threatened in the Pacific there would be hell to pay. It is not for nothing that Pepe Escobar calls America the “Empire of Chaos.”

    2.While this is slightly off point China wants nothing to do with TPPA. While the US, NZ, OZ are going to agree to it – no matter which party is in power. We are soon going to be ruled by oligarchs – aka The big corporations. So between China’s stance and the US stance – which would you rather have? Oh that’s right the US because they look the same as us and we believe their bullshit propaganda.

    3. While China may have a communist government, they also are very strong capitalists – as we can see by the widespread business interests throughout the world. While the rest of the world has been mesmerised by the Greece fiasco (of which the Empire of Chaos is playing a huge behind the scenes role), the BRICS countries, of which China and Russia are major players have been meeting and working out huge trade deals and putting in place systems intended to change the face of the monetary system as we know it. Great that we in New Zealand can continually moan about China buying land but American hegemony based on their self aggrandisement and so called ‘exceptionalism’ (Wolfowitz Doctrine). Through this, millions of people killed in my lifetime. I’m not sure what China’s record is re killings but nowhere near what the US has accomplished in the last 30 or so years.

    So yes while everyone here is bleating on about the Chinese and not being racist I would disagree. Why don’t you moan about James Cameron and Shania Twain, or Julian Robertson who bought land that included the sacred mountain of the Ngai Tamanuhiri people aka Young Neck’s Head in Gisborne. Or the government who allows overseas investors to buy land and houses. You lot don’t like it because deep down we all have an ingrained prejudice against Asian people and this is a ‘nice’ way to bring it to the fore.

    • So yes while everyone here is bleating on about the Chinese and not being racist I would disagree. Why don’t you moan about James Cameron and Shania Twain, or Julian Robertson who bought land that included the sacred mountain of the Ngai Tamanuhiri people aka Young Neck’s Head in Gisborne.

      Or, Win, you could write something about it yourself. Because one of the things that is off-putting to a blogger is when some sez “You must write about this!” or “You must write about that”.

      No, we don’t have to write about anything.

      But you can. And if you ask, we may even help you with suggestions, fact-checking, and proof-reading.

      In the meantime, if you’re that interested in James Cameron and Shania Twain, or Julian Robertson, I refer you to this piece I blogged three years ago;

      It got one response. And the one person who did leave a comment, supports the “right” of the individual to sell to whoever he wanted to.

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