Let's debate policy not people. It should be that simple but the last week has proved it isn't.
Whatever conclusion you take from the real estate data leaked by the Labour Party, it is problematic because it puts the spotlight on people for their ethnicity.
Ethnic Chinese New Zealanders shouldn't figure in this debate. In fact neither should ethnic Chinese hoping to live in this country. That's the immigration debate and it is a different one.
One of the big problems with Labour's strategy is that it conflates these two issues.
There are two sides to any Auckland housing transaction. Long time Auckland residents are under no compulsion to sell to offshore investors. But we accept with good grace that as individuals they are entitled to accept the best price.
It is hypocrisy, then, to attribute blame to those buying, wherever they are from, if they are doing so legally. But, there is a very important debate to be had about foreign investment in this country because we are a small, open economy and a big shift in global trends can have a disproportionate impact.
The US is a huge investor of capital round the world as are many other countries. But the trend is all about China.
As Beijing-based Kiwi economist Rodney Jones has pointed out, China has nearly 60 trillion New Zealand dollars of capital to play with. in the past 12 months as much as NZ$650 billion has been invested outside of China. And this is just the start.
What has policy makers from Vancouver to Singapore talking about Chinese investment is the fact that the country has, until recently, had strict controls on investment outside its borders.
But it is the stated policy of the Communist party to relax these rules and balance the flow of capital in and out of China.
This is global, macro-economic stuff, on a historic scale.
We need to be looking at policy solutions to this issue to ensure that foreign capital - which we need - is not concentrated in areas that distort our economy.
There is certainly a heavyweight responsibility on all those involved in the debate to avoid racism and xenophobia. Not because our commercial relationship with China is so important - but simply because these things are wrong.
We certainly shouldn't worry too much about Chinese policy makers. They don't spend a lot of time debating sensitivities once they've decided to regulate.
Last week the People's Bank of China (their Reserve Bank) introduced a foreign investor register for the interbank lending market.
"Overseas institutions should be long-term investors and conduct business in China's interbank market based on the reasonable need to preserve and increase the value of assets," said the PBOC.
In other words: speculators aren't welcome and we want to keep an eye on what you are doing with your money. Taking that kind of outlook as a lead on this issue doesn't seem unreasonable then.
Auckland house prices have been identified as an issue of social concern for the New Zealand people.
There is a myriad of reasons why they are running so far ahead of the rest of the country.
But allowing open access to speculation by foreign investors is likely to be exacerbating the issue.
We don't yet have data on this but given the global trends one wonders why that data is really so important.
Good policy to deter foreign speculation should be prudent regardless.
New Zealand governments need to get over the inferiority complex that makes them fearful of deterring investment at the first mention of measures to control and direct that investment.
This is a hugely desirable country from an investment point of view.
We are wealthy, stable, corruption free and all those things that get us near top of the "ease of doing business" lists that economic consultancies are so fond of.
Some regulations to take the pressure off central Auckland houses aren't going to kill the golden goose.
New Zealand has grown up and found its place in the world in a way we all wished for 20 years ago.
That has attracted investment interest from all over the world. We're a richer country for that and could be richer still.
If you visit China and see the scale of infrastructure investment that the country is capable of, it is not hard to recognise the value of balancing a commercial relationship that thus far has been dominated by their demand for our dairy products.
The rules the Government has introduced to begin in October - including the requirement for foreign investors to have IRD numbers and use New Zealand bank accounts are a good start.
They should go a long way to deterring "unofficial" investment from those in China trying to get around government restrictions.
But as those restrictions lift we will need to move further, looking at taxes and duties and restrictions that can steer money to productive investment and away from residential property.
This is an open democracy so there is plenty of debating to be done but it is vital to keep it measured and unemotive.
There are no individuals to be blamed here and all New Zealanders should be included as we make these big choices about our future.