The proposition to sell New Zealand passports for $50million is unbelievably naïve. Why? Because there’s heaps of countries that will sell citizenship for a fraction of that.
To that proponents may argue the advantages of a New Zealand passport such as automatic entry to Australia and easier access to a host of other countries.
In fact a New Zealand passport nowadays has few such advantages. The majority of countries still require us to get a Visa, primarily I suspect as a revenue earning device. Furthermore, in recent years this tendency has hugely increased. In particular Western Europe is clamping down hard on automatic access, albeit not as a revenue device but to control unwanted migration.
These sorts of schemes can produce unintended consequences.
For example, Portugal has now put a stop to its recent years scheme of selling a European access right plus tax-free for one’s foreign earnings. To purchase this required one to simply purchase a residential rental property for $350,000.
The upshot; a hugely distorted (and wasteful) rental market, Lisbon in particular now awash in unwanted empty flats.
Additionally, pressure was applied by other European countries as they saw their retirees take their pensions but become free of tax on their total income, by ostensibly shifting to Portugal.
Anyone prepared to pay $50m for a New Zealand passport obviously would be worth a great deal more as they’d hardly give up their entire wealth. I can assure you, such people have no difficulty accessing anywhere.
In recent years a number of wealthy foreigners, mainly American, have bought estates or hide-aways in New Zealand. I doubt if any have sought a New Zealand passport, that not being their motive.
This is a pie-in-the-sky proposition.