Kiwis should demand the debate on investor rules

Reports today the Government is looking to change investor rules risks locking New Zealand out of billions of dollars of investment and Kiwis deserve to be part of the debate, National’s Economic Development spokesperson Todd McClay says.

“This morning the Prime Minister said she would tell New Zealanders about changes to foreign investor rules once Cabinet has made a decision. That’s too late.

“Once again Labour is choosing to lock Kiwis out of a debate on a decision that will significantly impact the future of the country.

“The foreign investor scheme has been a great success, boosting economic activity by about $40 billion over the past 10 years, including $3 spent for every $1 invested. The money often goes to businesses that are under pressure.

“At a time when the Government is borrowing $110 million a day, it would be reckless to make it harder for investors to participate in the New Zealand economy.

“More than 100 investors are in a queue waiting to be approved and are likely to start looking elsewhere.

“In contrast, the Australian Government has seen the opportunities foreign investment can create and has attracted more than $30 billion this year in investment in infrastructure, new businesses and jobs for Australians. We are missing out.

“The Government should be assisting our regions by making it easier for investors to create businesses and jobs, rather than sending a signal that New Zealand is closed for business.

“The Government’s majority is not a mandate for Labour to promote its ideological wish list. New Zealanders deserve a say on their country’s future and Labour is locking Kiwis out of the debate.”