New Overseas Investment Restrictions 13 Dec 2017

Recently the new Government announced the issue of a Ministerial Directive Letter to the Overseas Investment Office.  From mid-December 2017 the Letter applies to both current and new applications. The Directive Letter serves to outline the Government’s policy approach to overseas investment in rural land, while the rules regarding the acquisitions of significant business assets remain unchanged. Overseas investors must now demonstrate that their investment will benefit New Zealand in order to obtain consent to acquire sensitive land.



Some of the key changes are:

Rural Land

The Letter states that certain factors will be of high relative importance for overseas investments of rural land larger than five hectares (which does not include forest land). These include:

Forest Land

Factors of relative high importance for overseas investments in forest land include:

Overseas Person

An overseas person intending to reside in New Zealand indefinitely is not required to show that their investment in sensitive land is likely to benefit New Zealand. To meet this intention to reside criterion, an overseas person will generally:

This is a tighter restriction than the previous letter. Other changes include that the sponsorship of community projects and donations is now generally of low relative importance.


Overall, this new policy directive sets out to welcome high quality overseas investment that:


This article is not a substitute for legal advice and you should talk to a lawyer about your specific situation. We have experience with OIO applications in New Zealand and have assisted our clients from overseas through the process., please contact Steven Moe at Parry Field Lawyers (348-8480)