About 50 Chinese buyers packed a real estate agency office in Epsom, and snapped up 23 sections within minutes of release yesterday.

James Law, principal agent at James Law Realty, said more than 100 people, all ethnic Chinese, registered interest with the agency to purchase sections in a Hobsonville subdivision.

Mr Law said each of his agents were assigned two sections, and the decision on who got them was made on a "first response" basis.

"All potential buyers were notified, but it was the Chinese who made their decisions the fastest," he said.


All the buyers were required to present their passports on signing the sale and purchase agreement.

Mr Law said all were either New Zealand citizens or permanent residents.

The Labour Party last week released leaked real estate figures showing about 40 per cent of homes sold at auction in Auckland between February and April went to people with Chinese surnames.

The party indicated the data suggested foreign-based Chinese investors were aggressively targeting Auckland's housing market because people of Chinese ethnicity made up just 9 per cent of the city's population.

"If we went by Labour's logic, then our data would suggest that the Chinese were snapping up 100 per cent of our land," Mr Law said.

Mr Law said buyers were required to show proof of residency because non-residents have to pay a higher deposit.

Mr Law said just one of the 150 sections sold in the subdivision so far went to a foreigner - a Chinese national waiting for his permanent residence visa.

Five purchasers declined to be interviewed when approached by the Herald, and one said Labour's claims and recent media reports had "turned Chinese into crooks".