An Australian housing provider that is considering buying state houses here could use any money generated on projects across the Ditch, Prime Minister John Key says.
Queensland charity Horizon Housing, which provides affordable houses for sale and social houses for rent, could be in the market to buy up to 500 New Zealand state homes.
Housing New Zealand's stock is about 68,000 and Mr Key has pledged that by the end of 2017 it will be at least 60,000, meaning 8000 could be sold.
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Asked about Horizon's interest, Mr Key said the organisation had not yet put in a bid so any comments were hypothetical.
However, he said, if the not-for-profit provider did buy homes here the contract would be based on Horizon's ability to provide social housing - and there would be no clauses on where earnings should be reinvested.
"We don't have those conditions for other charities. There are many charities and not-for-profit organisations that raise money in New Zealand, and they expatriate it to other countries for other charities or causes."
Mr Key said the net flow of money was likely to be in this direction.
"They would have to export capital to New Zealand, to fund at least the deposit part of what they are doing. And that, arguably, is capital that was earned in Australia."
The Government's initial objective was to sell the houses to community service agencies, such as housing trusts or church groups or iwi. However, the demand has not been high and the Salvation Army and Methodist Mission Aotearoa washed their hands of the sell-off.
Labour leader Andrew Little has said there is no rational explanation for the Government allowing Horizon to buy state houses, calling it "another state asset sale for the benefit of overseas owners".