Matthew Backhouse

Matthew Backhouse is an APNZ news reporter based in Wellington.

New political party takes aim at foreign investment

Foreign investment in assets like the Crafar farms will be on the agenda of new political party Unified NZ. File photo / NZ Herald
Foreign investment in assets like the Crafar farms will be on the agenda of new political party Unified NZ. File photo / NZ Herald

A new political party wants to close the door on foreign investment with the goal of making New Zealand economically self-sufficient.

Unified New Zealand founder David Ding, an Auckland-based corporate sales and marketing manager, hopes to attract the 500 paid members the party needs to become registered by the end of the year.

He has already applied to register the party's logo with the Electoral Commission, which called for public submissions on the logo this week.

Mr Ding said his vision was for New Zealand to become self-sufficient and reduce its reckless levels of foreign investment.

"The main thing is gaining independence from our current dependency on foreign nations, particularly in regards to foreign investment, but also in regards to industry in this country becoming redundant due to outsourcing."

The party's website said a programme of monetary, economic and political reform would restore stewardship of the country "to all New Zealanders".

Asked what he defined as a New Zealander, Mr Ding said: "Someone who's born here and regards themselves as New Zealander."

As for people born overseas, Mr Ding said they should "pledge allegiance to New Zealand as a country rather than [having] dual citizenship".

"People need to decide whether they are New Zealanders and if they are, then they're here to help contribute to the whole and to the betterment of the nation."

Mr Ding accepted it would be a challenge to shake off the perception of xenophobia.

"I think that's an expected reaction but one that's rooted in, not ignorance, but lack of education. That will be the challenge for us, is to explain the facts."

The party's other policies included stopping asset sales, and rebalancing the distribution of wealth through social dividends which would spread money evenly throughout the country.

Mr Ding accepted his policies would wind back the free market reforms of the 1980s, but he was confident of public support.

"I think once people understand the facts around it and realise that some of our trade partners that we have right now are extremely detrimental to the economy, they'll change their mind pretty quickly."

Mr Ding is personally financing the party but was also seeking corporate funding, with a fundraising campaign to get underway early next year.

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n1 at 24 Sep 2014 00:30:26 Processing Time: 693ms