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Peters' bill breaches Bill of Rights Act

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 7/09/2016
NZ First leader Winston Peters © Fiona Goodall/ Getty Images NZ First leader Winston Peters

The attorney-general has decided a bill drafted by Winston Peters breaches the Bill of Rights Act - and the NZ First leader isn't amused.

Attorney-General Chris Finlayson routinely vets bills that are coming up for debate in parliament, and he's had a look at Mr Peters' bill that would establish a public register of foreign-owned land.

Mr Finlayson reported on Wednesday that the bill breaches the Act because foreign buyers would have to provide their names, country of origin and the value of their land purchase.

Because the register would be open to the public, a loss of privacy would be involved "sufficient to constitute a material disadvantage" to the buyers.

Mr Peters says that's "plain balderdash".

"The opinion of the attorney-general stands in stark contrast to Australia, where there is such a register," he said.

"Does it mean that all other countries that have restrictions on foreign ownership and laws to identify them are somehow breaching basic human rights? Of course not."

Mr Peters' bill has been drawn from the members' ballot and is on parliament's agenda for a first reading.

The attorney-general's adverse report doesn't mean it won't be debated.

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