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Non-residents land tax possible: PM

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 23/04/2016
Prime Minister John Key © Getty Images Prime Minister John Key

Prime Minister John Key says a land tax on residential properties for New Zealand non-residents may be considered, but he doesn't believe it is necessary at the moment.

A heated housing market in Auckland has prompted queries about whether the government would implement measures to prevent foreign nationals without New Zealand residency from buying local houses.

While stamp duty cannot be implemented due to free-trade agreements, land tax is a possibility.

But better data needs to be collected in order to discover whether there is an underlying issue before any such measure would be considered, Mr Key says.

"If the thing became a runaway train on us and we were really concerned about it, that's always an option available," he told Q+A on Sunday.

"And to be blunt, land taxes are far more likely to deter people than a stamp duty."

Mr Key said his gut tells him the number of foreign buyers who are non-residents and have no real connection to New Zealand is quite low. However, it doesn't mean the number won't grow.

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