New Zealand Law Society - Changes to foreign ownership, pay equity and three strikes announced

Changes to foreign ownership, pay equity and three strikes announced

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Government Ministers have announced plans to introduce legislation to change the law relating to foreign purchase of housing, equal pay, and the "three strikes" law.

Foreigners making house purchases

A statement from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Government will introduce an amendment to the Overseas Investment Act 2005 to classify residential housing as "sensitive".

"This means non-residents or non-citizens cannot purchase existing residential dwellings. Australians will be exempt as New Zealanders are in Australia," she says.

"We expect legislation to be introduced before Christmas and take effect immediately once passed early in 2018."

Ms Ardern says the advice received "from officials" is that the ban can be effected by a simple amendment to the Act without breaching any agreement except the Singapore Closer Economic Partnership. She says the options with Singapore will be worked through.

Equal Pay

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter say the Government is committed to halting the Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill that was introduced by the previous Government.

"The Government will stop progress on the [Bill] and start work on new legislation that adheres to all the principles of the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity," Mr Lees-Galloway says.

The Joint Working Group reported in May 2016 and made a number of recommendations.

Three strikes law

NewstalkZB reports that Justice Minister Andrew Little says the "three strikes" law which is part of the Sentencing and Parole Reform Act 2010 will be repealed.

The law requires imposition of the maximum sentence on anyone who commits a third violent or serious sexual crime.

Mr Little will reportedly start the process of repealing the law by the middle of 2018.

First sitting of Parliament

By Proclamation the Governor-General has summoned Parliament to meet at 11am on Tuesday 7 November 2017.

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