According to David Shearer, the new NZ Labour Party leader, foreign investment is a threat to NZ. Think again. So why are they buying? Is NZ really such a great investment opportunity. Land values are growing 9% per annum on average. Others have other motives besides diversification. Some mega-millionaires are also escaping pernicious overseas tax regimes. NZ is considered a safe haven. The US govt has recently tightened its tax laws to pursue the stash of millions held abroad by American citizens. Some of those millionaires are rushing to leave the USA; to become non-citizens before they have to declare their assets to the US government. NZ offers 5 years tax holiday on offshore passive income - that is an added motivation.
Others are just spreading their investment risks. Irrespective, NZ is lucky to have these investments. Let's not persecute foreigners, who are more likely than not to invest here, for a land ownership framework which is wrong, and not for the fact that any person with a lot of land has the capacity to hold smaller buyers to ransom because of Western zoning restrictions. i.e. I'm currently trying to buy land in Queenstown. I could buy 10x more if I had 2x more money. That's the extortion racket perpetuated by our zoning system. The politicians are too cowardly to address it.
Shearer and others are populist reactionaries. Do they realise that when foreigners buy land, they actually raise the asset holdings of NZ'ers? Do they realise that this is a local basis for underwriting investment? Do they realise for every foreigner who buys, NZ money is potentially released for 'tangible' productive investment like factories. If these investments are not occurring, then its because there is no domestic demand. How can you grow local productive capacity when there is no population growth? Why would you develop an export centre in the far South Pacific when you can do it in Australia. The only plausible value proposition for NZ is:
1. Cheap labour - sorry, but NZ work ethic is not so appealing, Malaysia or the Philippines look better
2. Education - yes, NZ has potential as a source of educated labour, but broadly the values are so stinking collectivist/Christian dogma that they have effectively renounced their minds, and taken themselves out of the market
3. Software - yes, but without a consumer base, why would you do it here?
4. Content - yes, NZ is appealing for developing intellectual content, i.e. Books, movies, at least the Harry Potter fantasy style surely fits local values.
5. Resource - NZ is quickly closing its options off here. Don Brash would tell you that NZ has resource potential, but its only offshore, and it is substantial, but with Rena, maybe such projects will never get off the ground. Oil looks like NZ's only hope in this climate.
Personally NZ is the only place I'd buy in NZ at this time. It should be annexed by Australia. The problem of course is that its not light until 9am in winter. But it is just 3 hours to Sydney.
My advice is - leave the millionaires alone - they are not the problem. Its your political system which makes millionaires the scapegoats for Labour/Democratic Party reactionaries around the globe. Its the modern version of witch hunt. The media loves a tragedy; so they will willingly jump on such stories, scarcely knowing what the real story is. But then they were raised or nurtured by liberal academics detached from the real world.