Cunliffe defends helping overseas friend buy house

Labour leader, David Cunliffe. Photo / WTA
Labour leader, David Cunliffe. Photo / WTA

Labour leader David Cunliffe has defended helping a Chicago-based friend buy a house in Omaha, despite saying overseas investors were hurting the housing market.

Mr Cunliffe told Radio New Zealand this morning that the Labour Party planned to lower immigration levels, but refused to put a limit on it.

Mr Cunliffe said overseas property investors buying houses in New Zealand were pushing up the prices for houses in Auckland.

He said he helped New Zealand Chicago-based business man Perry Keenan purchase a $4 million house in Omaha because he was an old friend and a citizen.

"He is a returning New Zealander who I'm sure at some point will live here," he said.

"He is a returning citizen and an old friend, I helped out a friend."

He said was not an overseas speculator.

In March the Herald on Sunday revealed Mr Cunliffe visited the property when it was on the market in 2013 on behalf of Mr Keenan.

Mr Keenan was a donor behind Mr Cunliffe's campaign for the leadership of the Labour Party last year.

- APNZ

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