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Parliament to debate land register bill

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 11/08/2016

Parliament is going to debate an opposition bill that would set up a register of all foreign-owned land in New Zealand.

NZ First MP Mahesh Bindra's member's bill is one of three drawn from the ballot on Thursday.

His Land Transfer (Foreign Ownership of Land Register) Amendment Bill states that, unlike in other jurisdictions, there is no official database of foreign land ownership in New Zealand.

If it becomes law, which is unlikely without government support, there would be a comprehensive register open to the public.

It would record names, nationalities, the amount of land involved and its value.

Another that will go on parliament's agenda for a first reading is Metiria Turei's Residential Tenancies (Safe and Secure Rentals) Amendment Bill.

The Green Party co-leader's bill would set minimum standards for warmth, dryness and safety for all rental properties, as well as changing several rules around renting to make them more tenant-friendly.

The third bill drawn was drafted by National's Nuk Korako to give airports more flexibility when they dispose of lost property.

It states that the current system is restrictive, and allows airport authorities to decide "the most appropriate way" to advertise lost property.

Members's bills can be drafted by any MP who isn't a minister.

They go into a ballot - there are 76 in the box at present - and two or three are usually drawn every second Wednesday parliament sits.

They rarely get past their first readings if the government opposes them but sometimes its allies, such as United Future's Peter Dunne, backs them.

That's what happened with Labour's paid parental leave bill, which had majority support before it was killed by a financial veto from the government

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