Helpful information on Foreign Investment follows...
New Zealand's Overseas Investment Policy & Regulations
1. New Zealand generally welcomes and encourages overseas investment from all countries. However, a minimal level of control is maintained both to ensure that undesirable investment is discouraged, particularly in relation to certain land and the ownership of fishing quota, and for statistical purposes.
2. The Overseas Investment Commission (the Commission or the OIC) administers the Government's inwards foreign investment rules. The Commission was established by the Overseas Investment Act 1973 (the Act) and comprises four members; two from the private sector and two ex officio, one each from the Reserve Bank and Ministry of Economic Development. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand provides the Secretariat for the Commission.
3. The Commission administers the Overseas Investment Regulations 1995 (the Regulations). An "overseas person" must obtain consent under the Regulations to acquire or take "control" of 25 percent or more of "significant" assets in New Zealand. The significant assets relate to:
(a) businesses or property worth more than $50 million;
(b) land over 5 hectares or worth more than $10 million;
(c) any land on most off-shore islands;
(d) certain sensitive land over 0.4 hectares (for example on specified islands, containing or next to reserves, historic or heritage areas which exceed 0.4 hectares, or lakes), and
(e) land over 0.2 hectares that includes or adjoins the foreshore.
4. The Commission also administers sections 56 and 57 of the Fisheries Act 1996. An "overseas person" must obtain either an exemption under section 56 or a permission under section 57 to acquire or continue holding quota, an interest in quota, annual catch entitlement or provisional catch history.
5. Applications are made by way of letter to: Stephen Dawe Chief Executive Officer & Secretary Overseas Investment Commission PO Box 2498 Wellington, New Zealand Ph +64 (4) 471-3838 Fax +64 (4) 471-3655
6. Applications under the Overseas Investment Act will be approved where the criteria for consent set out in sections 14A or 14B of the Act are met. Acquisitions of lifestyle property will normally only be approved if significant developments on the property or other significant investments in New Zealand are intended or if the investor intends taking up New Zealand permanent residency. Applications for the purchase of holiday homes are unlikely to be approved.
7. Applications under section 57 of the Fisheries Act will be approved where the criteria for consent set out in section 57(4) of the Fisheries Act are met. (See separate OIC handout on applications for exemptions under section 56(2) of the Fisheries Act.)
8. The Commission determines under a delegated authority, usually within 10 working days:
(a) non-land applications made under Part II of the Regulations;
(b) land applications which do not involve freehold "sensitive land" (being land in the First Schedule to the Act and Regulations involving islands, foreshores, lakes, reserves and historic areas) except where the land is "sensitive" solely because it includes or adjoins a marginal strip that extends along or abuts any river or stream.
9. The Treasurer and the Minister of Land Information (the Ministers) jointly determine, normally within 20 to 30 working days, "sensitive land" applications that are made under Part III of the Regulations and outside the Commission's delegated authority. The Treasurer and the Minister of Fisheries jointly determine applications under section 56 and 57 of the Fisheries Act 1996.