OIA reforms mean more attention to nature and cultural values

The Green Party welcome proposed changes to the Overseas Investment Act (OIA) that will see stronger controls on applications by overseas interests to buy land for water bottling in New Zealand.

“Rules around overseas investment will now ensure that the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) can consider the impacts on water quality and sustainability, so that our natural world, our wai (water) and our whenua (lands) can be better protected,” Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson said today.

“Unfortunately Governments have allowed the extraction of our precious resources to be approved within the narrow and short term scope of economic gain. This is hurting our natural environment.

“I’m delighted to see that we are rebalancing the decision making around applications to better consider our wai. We need to protect the innate essence of water in and of itself, and move away from treating water as a commodity.

“I’m also pleased that another change the Green Party called for will also be made to ensure better recognition of Māori cultural values in OIO decision-making, including to better protect culturally sensitive sites.

“We are glad to have constructively worked with Minister Parker to improve what guides decisions on how precious land and water are used by overseas interests."

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