Soften: make less strict
Exempt: if a rule does not apply to one person, that person is exempt from the rule.
Lack: not enough
Investors: people who buy things to make money
The government has decided to soften the current ban on *overseas* buyers of New Zealand homes.
They have confirmed that Australia and Singapore are exempt from the ban because of trade agreements so Australians and Singaporeans will have complete freedom to buy property in New Zealand. Additionally, there is concern that a lack of overseas investment is making it difficult to raise funds for building projects in Auckland, especially apartment buildings, so the government will allow investors from other countries to invest in new housing that will be sold in the future.
New Zealand First leader and *deputy* prime minister Winston Peters said it was a “smartening” of the policy, not a softening.