LINZ responds to speculation about OIO management

13 June 2016

Land Information New Zealand Chief Executive Peter Mersi has dismissed media speculation about the ongoing management of the Overseas Investment Office.

Mr Mersi says the appointment of Lesley Haines as a Deputy Chief Executive is a short term arrangement aimed at supporting the work of the Overseas Investment Office through what is a busy and challenging time.

“The OIO is presently undergoing significant change in order to handle its heavy and growing workload. In the past year the OIO has accepted more than 150 applications for processing and has had 630 obligations to monitor. About 700 written parliamentary questions have also been responded to.

“The Office has recently initiated a greater focus on a more customer-centric approach, which sees it keeping applicants better informed through the assessment process. This includes introducing processes to work more closely with applicants’ representatives on how to improve the quality of applications.

“These new practices are still being embedded.

“The OIO is recruiting extra staff to help address the pressures arising from the increasing complexity of applications and to help improve screening times. Lesley Haines will provide senior level support for bringing on board new staff and managing some of the pressures on the OIO team, so enabling them to focus on their core work.”

Lesley Haines’s appointment will run for up to six months.

Mr Mersi said responsibility for the Overseas Investment Office had shifted away from LINZ’s Deputy Chief Executive, Crown Property, as his workload had increased significantly with LINZ having taken on responsibility for residential red zone work in Canterbury.

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