They talked until they were blue in the face that foreign buyers weren't stoking the residential property market in this country.
But National made little headway, claiming in its own echo chamber that only around three per cent of our houses were being snapped up by foreigners. No-one kept the sales data.
Labour even published a list of Chinese sounding names to prove their point that foreigners were making houses unaffordable for Kiwis. Finally after the shouting had died down official figures came out a couple of weeks ago showing National was bang on, just over three per cent of buyers came from overseas.
It's true, but hardly surprising, that number swelled significantly when it came to central Auckland, Queenstown and the Lakes District - which by the time the debate was raging was out of the reach of most of us anyway. It was a bit like closing the mansion door, long after the original, well-heeled property owners had bolted.
'Ban foreign buyers' was the pre-election catch-cry of Labour, supported by New Zealand First, and they legislated for it in short order.
The thing about legislation is that they get time to mull it over and that they've done with this one.
It's now essentially becoming a law to stop foreign buyers from gobbling up existing houses, most other things are up for grabs, with the emphasis on building new houses, big apartment developments, residential land for commercial purposes, like hotels, supermarkets and businesses that create jobs.
The Aussies did a similar thing to curb prices by making existing houses off limits but it's had little effect with, depending on which survey you look at, Sydney the second most unaffordable place in the world to buy, ahead of Auckland at fourth and Melbourne not far behind at number six.
Whether there'll now be an appetite from foreigners to invest -when they're not allowed to live in their properties unless they're New Zealand citizens or permanent residents - is debatable and only time will tell.
In the meantime Singaporeans can buy up large, even though we don't have reciprocal rights in their country. That's because of a free trade agreement signed with the island state back in 2002.
Winston Peters, who's clearly been converted on the road to the Prime Minister's job reckons, that's fair given they've only bought between 20 to 30 houses anyway. And besides he says they were caught by a previous government's actions.
Yeah well, that was Helen Clark's Labour Government, that Peters might not have been part of when the Singapore deal was done, but was happy enough to be there just a few years later.