Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Not so imaginary hypotheticals - foreign buyer edition

I'd constructed a few scenarios of folks that might be hit by Labour's ban on foreign home buyers in my piece over at The Spinoff
First up, the bill is hardly restricted to ‘overseas’ people. If you live in New Zealand on a work visa, you’re covered. If you live in New Zealand as a permanent resident, but split your time between here and overseas, you might be covered depending on how many days you spend here.

That will not just hit fat-cats you might want to punish just for the sake of it.

A doctor moving to Greymouth from London on a work visa to set up a general practice would not be able to buy a house. And if she had planned on setting up practice in a house on residential land, that’s tough too.
Their Facebook mob didn't find the scenario all that believable. 

Hoisted from the comments at Offsetting, where I summarised the whole mess, comment from someone whose IP address in Disqus resolves to Canada.
Excellent post. I am actually a Canadian doctor looking at moving to NZ, having worked there before as a physician on a locum contract. I have been in contact with Southland DHB about work in Invercargill and also with Taranaki DHB about work in Hawera. Unfortunately, it seems I won't be able to buy a house in either place if the bill goes through as written, nor could I buy land and then build on it (without being forced to then sell within a year). Neither of these places has a housing or land shortage, as far as I can tell. In a way, maybe the gov't is doing me a favour by keeping me from getting burnt by the Kiwi property bubble, which has to pop one of these days, just like the bubbles here in Canada. Still, the overall effect is that I may just stay away.
One of the great things about moving to New Zealand, in 2003, was that it really didn't seem to matter here that you were a migrant. In America, it was rubbed in your nose constantly. Every interaction with the state was misery if you were not a citizen (I had an F-1 visa, then a Green Card). In New Zealand, that didn't happen.

And that just isn't true anymore. It has me contemplating citizenship for the worst possible reason - as protection against what Labour is currently doing and might yet do to people who aren't citizens.

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