Government crackdown on foreign farm buyers welcomed
The government’s decision to tighten rules on farm purchases by foreign buyers is being welcomed by Fish & Game as long overdue.
The move - part of the new government’s pledge to strengthen the Overseas Investment Act - has just been announced by Environment Minister David Parker and Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage.
Fish & Game is welcoming the move, saying the Overseas Investment Office has been falling short of its obligations in recent years.
Fish & Game Chief Executive Martin Taylor says the Office’s poor performance has been hurting New Zealanders wanting access to the outdoors.
“Kiwis have been increasingly shut out of their own outdoors because the OIO has been aiding and abetting exclusive capture of our recreational resources,” Mr Taylor says.
“There is frustration among the outdoor recreation sector that the OIO under the previous government was effectively allowing the privatisation of our wild places and that has been hurting the average New Zealander.
“Kiwis wanting to get into the mountains to tramp, fish, hunt, raft and climb were losing access to public land because of the exclusive capture of recreational access and resources. This is just plain wrong and it is time it stopped,” Mr Taylor says.
Martin Taylor says it is time New Zealanders’ interests were put first.
“What Fish and Game and other recreation organisations want is for the Overseas Investment Office to properly implement the law governing sales of sensitive land to foreign buyers.
“It is time the Overseas Investment Act was used in kiwis’ interests, not those of foreign buyers wanting to get control of the outdoors and wild places that are becoming so rare in the modern world.
“Fish & Game looks forward to working with the government and the Overseas Investment Office to make sure New Zealanders are no longer locked out of their own country,” Martin Taylor says.