Overseas Investors


Do I Need Consent to Invest in New Zealand? Click here for more information.

Overseas Investment Act 2005

What is it?
Protects land of particular significance or importance.
Encourages foreign investment that contributes to the economy.

Who must apply?
Overseas investors or associates wanting to buy significant non-land business assets for more than $100 million, sensitive land or fishing quota.
Non-urban land of 5ha or more is deemed sensitive.
New Zealand incorporated companies if 25 per cent or more is owned or controlled from abroad.

How do you pass?
Applicants must satisfy criteria, including relevant business experience, financial commitment to the investment and good character.
Consent to buy sensitive land will only be granted if the transaction is likely to benefit New Zealand.
Some land has additional criteria - farm land must be advertised for at least 20 working day.

Who decides?
Under the act the Minister of Finance and Land Information must decide all sensitive land applications.
Ministers can delegate decisionmaking, with the Overseas Investment Office deciding about 75 per cent of applications.
For sensitive land ministers take 19 factors into account, including environmental and economic, when deciding if it is likely to benefit New Zealand.

How long does it take?
The Overseas Investment Office aims to make decisions on high quality, straightforward applications within 50 working days of registration.

What are the penalties?
Ranging from $100,000 for not providing information to $300,000 for not obtaining required consent to trying to evade the act.