I think the National Party made a very good point when they suggested it might just be time for the Labour Party to admit they were wrong when it came to absentee foreign house owners.

The number is three per cent. It was three per cent when they started crunching the numbers. It's remained three per cent ever since.

National argued while in office that of the issues facing housing, people sitting in foreign ports buying property and remaining absent wasn't one of the major ones.

Labour, for political reasons because as the numbers show they had absolutely no proof, pumped up the numbers. They told the tale that is was all these offshore millionaires and billionaires who were fleecing the locals and locking us out of the market.

Labour famously claimed the number was around 30 per cent. So wrong by about 10 times. This was the same Labour Party relying on evidence comprised of people buying houses with Chinese sounding names.


But still even with the evidence they intend to plough on and ban buyers. Which is now with evidence and fact shown to be bad policy - bad policy is policy based on belief that is shown to be incorrect.

It's even worse policy when you know you are wrong before the policy comes to pass and yet you still insist on ploughing on with it. And here's the super embarrassing thing: a lot of this problem has been based on race. Namely Asians. Asians have nicked all the houses.

Of the three per cent, less than half are Asian. The biggest group are Australians, but they don't look any different to us do they? So we can't point the finger.

You can't spot an Australian in the auction room. But you can see the Chinese and so this has turned into an embarrassing race blame game.

And which for those who have played the game, I hope now in some small way they feel slightly awkward - if not embarrassed.

It's been made slightly more complicated by the fact some get confused with foreign buyers versus local buyers of a certain race.

In other words, you might see an Asian buy a house and see them as a foreigner when in fact they're residents, if not citizens.

We had friends sell a house the other day to an Asian family. They have been here 15 years, they're as Kiwi as anyone. But if you're of a racist view you won't be seeing that.


The same way a German-American or Argentinian who had been here 15 years is a resident, and has every right to buy a house.

That is not foreign ownership, that is called immigration. And immigration is good for the country with its skills, investment, jobs and cultural expansion.

So one might hope now, armed with an increased series of facts, that we can at last put to bed the urban myth that the absentee owner is prolific, and locking us out of housing.

Because it's three per cent, it started out at three per cent, has remained three per cent, and is still three per cent.

It is not the issue the xenophobes want it to so desperately to be.