In the last decade, more than 30 per cent of New Zealand land claims have been made by foreign companies, according to the Land Surveyor’s Association of New South Wales.
The rise in claims is driven by a dramatic rise in the number of foreign firms competing for land in New Zealand, according an analysis by the Land and Resource Institute.
The Land Surveyors Association’s report, Land and Resources Institute’s Land Claims Study, shows the total land claims filed by foreign land owners rose from 543,000 in 2000 to 731,000 last year.
The average increase was a whopping 17 per cent.
While the average increase in claims was only 0.1 per cent, the increase was nearly twice as high for foreign firms, with almost 10 per cent filing claims.
The association also found a huge increase in the amount of land in foreign hands, with foreign owners of the most land claiming in the last year more than doubling their total land holdings.
The report found there were an estimated 1.8 million foreign-owned land holdings in New England, the South Island and the Murray-Darling Basin.
New Zealand Land Claims Institute chief executive Sue Foulkes said there was a big change in the way land owners were able to make claims and the pace at which claims were made was changing.
“We are seeing the number [of claims] being filed in a really, really dramatic way, particularly for foreign owners,” she said.
“New Zealand has one of the fastest rates of change in land and it is really starting to affect the way we are thinking about land, the way our land management policies are set up.” “
Foreign companies were responsible for about 18 per cent in New South Welsh land claims last year, up from 15 per cent the previous year. “
New Zealand has one of the fastest rates of change in land and it is really starting to affect the way we are thinking about land, the way our land management policies are set up.”
Foreign companies were responsible for about 18 per cent in New South Welsh land claims last year, up from 15 per cent the previous year.
Foreign owners of land claimed by New Zealand also accounted for more than half of the foreign-built land in the country, up to 15 per 100,000 people.
Foreign ownership of land claims in New Zeland was a key factor behind a large increase in foreign land ownership in Queensland, where foreign ownership of about a third of the total foreign-made land in Queensland was responsible for over 60 per cent (54 per cent) of the increase in land ownership claims last season.
Foreign investment is a key reason foreign owners are so keen to purchase New Zealand.
The Institute said foreign investors were increasingly interested in buying New Zealand for their own use.
“In the past, foreign investors would not have been interested in New Zeeland,” Ms Foulke said.
Foreign investors also wanted to be able to access and develop the vast reserves of natural resources in New Britain, particularly in the Murray and Darling Basin, which are part of the national land area.
“This is a major part of New England and we need to have an interest in these areas,” Ms Denton said.
The land surveyors association said the new report was an important reminder of how quickly foreign ownership could change the landscape of the New Zealand economy.
“It shows that, while foreign owners may be a small percentage of the landscape, the impact of land ownership on the economy is enormous,” Ms Gough said.
Land and resource institute chief executive Ms Foult said New Zealanders had the opportunity to see a different land-use landscape.
“A lot of the changes we’ve seen in the land market in New Zealand have been driven by foreign owners and not New Zealand,” she added.