Winston Peters, New Zealand First leader, has been recently talking about immigration and the Auckland housing market.
He discussed an email he received from a Chinese real estate agent who has worked in real estate for three years. Peters says the email backed up his previous claims that property speculation in Auckland is widespread.
The real estate agent in question expanded on his views, saying he has seen the makeup of Auckland’s ethnic mix change since he moved from mainland China to central Auckland in 2001. When he arrived, Auckland was made up of varied ethnic groups which added vibrancy to the city. Since his arrival, he has noted Auckland has developed a ‘Chinese flavour’ with many stores opening which caters only to Chinese customers.
The Chinese real estate agent described a recent encounter with two Japanese professionals. They said, “Going to Auckland is like going to China.” “You don’t hear English, you don’t see Kiwis, there is just Chinese, Chinese and Chinese.”
He questions the official statistics on foreign buyers in the market saying that while official figures show there is between 3-5% of foreign buyers in the market, what he has been seeing in auction rooms and open homes in the last few years does not correlate with those statistics.
“I remember seeing young couples with their hands clenched and eyes glued to the auction screen, only to find their first dream house outbid by someone screaming in Mandarin. And I shudder to imagine their feeling when they see the very house they missed out back on the market within a couple of months, this time, with 200k added on top … meanwhile, a champagne is uncorked at another New Zealand property expo in China.” he claims.
The real estate agent recently told Newshub recently that he wasn’t worried about Chinese domination, but rather about what New Zealanders want their Auckland to be. He claims, similar to what Winston Peters has said, that immigrants choose New Zealand only when they’ve failed to enter the UK, US, Canada, and Australia saying that only the “less fortunate” Chinese people choose New Zealand.
This, he says, means New Zealand is taking “lower quality” immigrants who have no intention of assimilating to New Zealand culture or to set up inclusive businesses that provide jobs for Kiwis.
He warns if the more desirable countries like the UK, US, Canada and Australia open their immigration policies, fewer Chinese people will come to New Zealand. They will not be willing to pay the same amounts as they are now to buy houses and lease shops. He says the booming property market is fuelled by the ‘widespread assumption that “the Chinese pay the most.”’
“It’s time for us New Zealanders to rethink.”