The Government should extend the deadline for submissions on their Bill to ban foreign buyers to avoid having to go back and fix it later, National’s Trade spokesperson Todd McClay says.

“Submissions on the proposal to ban foreign buyers are scheduled to close today as the Government was desperate to ram the Bill through ahead of the signing of the TPP. But with the TPP now being delayed, there’s no need for such urgency.

“The Bill as it stands is just bad law and if they do pass it like this, they’re simply going to have to come back and clean up the mess later.

“It is clear the Government doesn’t understand the complexities of the supposed ban – we know that because it’s already unravelling before it’s even gotten off the ground.

“The Government is already being forced to work on an exemption for Singaporeans because it’s discovered a ban would breach our FTA, and Australians have also been carved out for the same reason.

“This is despite the Government’s earlier claims that foreign buyers of New Zealand houses could be banned without breaching any of our international agreements.

“Which country will need to be exempt next? And what will happen to our important international relationships if we refuse an exemption? What is the Government prepared to give away if it doesn’t budge? Will this prevent it getting better access to China for our dairy producers, for example?

“These are just some of the questions that the Government needs to answer. It would be wise to take to a step back to get this Bill right before it does real damage.”

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