Twyford’s ban on Johnny Foreigner owning houses appears doomed

Phil Twyford is this government’s FIGJAM. He is a legend in his own mind.

He is ramming through legislative changes to property laws, trying to ban Johnny Foreigner from owning property.

But there is a problem:

The Government?s foreign home buyer ?ban? is fast unravelling, with Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters confirming that Singaporeans may be exempted, along with Australians – begging the question which country is next?

“The Government has repeatedly claimed foreign buyers of New Zealand houses can be banned without breaching any of our international agreements. Then on Wednesday, following objections raised by the Singaporean Government, it admitted it would breach the NZ-Singapore Closer Economic Partnership.

“And yesterday Mr Peters confirmed the Government is in fact working on an exemption for Singapore.

“The question now has to be asked, which country will need to be exempt next? And if we refuse an exemption, what impact will that have on our important international relationships?

“For example, we are currently upgrading our FTA with China. Will our largest goods trading partner accept being told that our Government will treat Australians and Singaporeans differently in New Zealand than Chinese?

“This is a confused Government desperate to ram through desperate concessions agreed in its coalition talks. It continues to treat our international relationships with contempt. It needs to start thinking beyond tomorrow?s headlines before it does real damage.”

Most trade agreements have clauses in them about not favouring other nations. So, if Singapore gets an exemption, which appears likely, then that exemption is likely to flow through into other trade negotiations, especially the FTA with China, which is currently being upgraded.

It is incongruent that an ethnic Chinese person who is from Singapore would be exempt but an ethnic Chinese from China banned.

As is usual Phil Twyford has gone off half-cocked and his lack of real world experience is biting the government in the arse.