New Zealand’s opposition party has urged the country’s Prime Minister John Key to follow in the footsteps of Australia and end foreign speculators in their housing market.

Opposition leader Andrew Little said the New Zealand dream of home ownership must not be treated as a “speculator’s plaything”. This comes as Australia has been seeing house price increases as foreign home buyers drive up property values and contribute to New Zealand’s housing crisis.

"Australia already has a ban on foreign home buyers, but a new report by the Australian Parliament recommended establishing a register that records the citizenship and residence of home buyers as well as tougher penalties for avoidance," Little said in a statement.

"Australia is doing what it can to keep the dreams of first home buyers alive. That is a huge contrast to here in New Zealand where the government refuses to acknowledge there is a problem and won't even collect the data on foreign home sales.”

A parliamentary committee last week proposed additional charges for foreign buyers, including stricter rules and penalties, as well as criminal charges for foreign buyers and their accomplices should they illegally buy homes across Australia. 

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