12 December 2016
He mihi mahana kia koutou katoa.
Naumai, haere mai ki te PeriOIOdical tuarua!
Warm greetings all and welcome to the second issue of the OIO’s quarterly newsletter, The PeriOIOdical!
This issue covers:
- Quality programme update
- Enforcement strategy
- Treasury led work
- Statistics update
- Workshops content
- What’s coming up
Here is a summary of our key achievements to date:
New Applications process
We are available to talk to applicants and their advisors before applications are submitted to us. This meeting can help clarify any questions you may have about the application, and can be in person, by phone or video conference. Having applicants themselves participating is advantageous. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to make a booking.
All applications received after 9 November are being assessed under our new process. This includes involving our senior staff triaging all applications at the start of the process, and identifying the complexity and risk associated with both the investment and the investor. This will help us resource the assessment of the application, and estimate the time the assessment will take. It also means that you may be asked more questions at the start of the process but generally you will get fewer questions later on in the process and we will be able to assess most applications more quickly. You will be advised as early as possible if we propose to decline consent.
More information about the new process is covered in the workshop presentation/video.
New Applications templates
We are developing new Applications templates to help applicants and their advisors to give us the right information at the start of the application process.
The new templates are currently being trialled by some volunteer advisors who had applicants ready to seek consent. We will work with the advisors involved to identify any improvements we can make to the templates before implementing them for all new applications.
We expect the new templates to be available in February – depending on feedback we get from the trials. In the future, all applications will need to be submitted in the new format, following a period where you can opt to try them first. We will let you know when they are available in the New Year.
The key to having quality investment by quality investors is ensuring investors:
- get consent when the Act requires them to;
- provide us with complete and truthful information about themselves and their investment plans; and
- keep the commitments they make when they apply for consent.
Our enforcement team has established key strategic priorities we will concentrate on that go to the heart of ensuring an effective overseas investment regime. The full strategic statement will be available on our website soon, but can be summarised as prioritising investigations where we consider there may be an issue involving one or more of the following:
- Conduct of the investor - eg where an investor:
- deliberately or recklessly breaks the Rules
- tries to disguise their behaviour to avoid the Rules, such as through the use of associates.
- Assets: eg
- assets which are of particular significance to New Zealand because of, for instance, the asset’s environmental or historical significance
- the investor will make a significant gain from an investment made without consent.
- an important benefit promised at the time consent was granted has not been delivered.
Regulations containing new exemptions to the investment screening regime are being considered by Government and we expect they will come into force on
1 February 2017.
Treasury expects to provide advice to the Minister of Finance on potential new exemptions (from ideas raised during consultation) in 2017.
Treasury has concluded consultation on the Regulations that would increase the screening threshold for investment in significant business assets in order to implement the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). One submission was received in favour of the Regulations.
- We currently have 54 applications on hand. This is well down on the 100 we had in the middle of the year.
- On average, applications are currently taking a total of 97 days to be processed, the OIO assessment is taking 42 days of this.
You can watch a video of the presentations from the morning workshop held in Auckland.
The presentation from the workshop is also available to view.
We impose conditions based on benefits promised. Applicants and their lawyers should only make claims that they’re prepared to implement, have monitored and report on.
When preparing an application, remember to refer to the Guidance on benefit factors available on our website, they will help.
- Changes to plans
Keep us updated about any changes to plans as soon as possible. Leaving it until the last minute to tell us may result in significant rework on recommendations and conditions being required. It could also push out the time before a decision can be made.
The office will be reopening for business on Wednesday 4 January 2017. Have a safe and relaxing time over the holiday break.
- New Applications templates to be available in February.
- Guidance on ROP/IWC/Good Character available in February.