This section contains information on how to apply for consent.

On this page:

  1. Introduction
  2. Application format
  3. Illustrating ownership structure
  4. Standards for presenting a consent application
  5. Privacy and confidentiality
  6. Application assessment and timeframes
  7. Decisions and fees
  8. Improving consent applications to the Overseas Investment Office
  9. Disclaimer
  10. Attachments


All applications are made by way of letter with supporting information. As the evidence and information required for each application varies significantly, there is no standard application form. However, the OIO provides a suggested template letter for sensitive land applications. This template letter is in the process of being updated following the High Court decision of Tiroa E and Te Hape B Trusts v Chief Executive of Land Information New Zealand [2012] NZHC 147. Any application for consent to acquire sensitive land or fishing quota must contain a counterfactual analysis.  For more information please see the OIO’s Counterfactual Analysis Update.

Please ensure that the Required Information Checklist is included in your application.

Consent is only required if you are an overseas person, or an associate of an overseas person, as defined in the Overseas Investment legislation and you are acquiring sensitive New Zealand assets (find out if consent is required).

Legal expertise

Applying for consent generally requires significant legal and land expertise. Please consult your lawyer and/or a lawyer with expertise in overseas investment applications. For help finding and engaging a lawyer in New Zealand, please contact the New Zealand Law Society. Note that the OIO cannot give legal advice or consider draft applications.

Application format

Applicants may wish to use the suggested template letter for applications for consent to acquire sensitive land. The format also contains tips and guides to help complete an application. 

The OIO has not developed a template letter for significant business assets and fishing quota applications, but the template letter for sensitive land applications can be adapted as necessary. For further information about consent criteria and information required in a significant business asset application, refer to the OIO’s Significant Business Assets resource.

Note that the OIO will not begin processing an application unless it has been signed by every applicant and includes the prescribed fee.

All applications should be addressed to:

The Manager
Overseas Investment Office
Land Information New Zealand
PO Box 5501
Wellington 6145
New Zealand

The OIO will seek additional information from an applicant if further clarification is required during the assessment process.

Illustrating ownership structure

The OIO requires a diagram illustrating the current ownership structure of both the applicant and vendor companies or other corporate entities.

The diagram should identify the names of shareholding individuals and companies, and the percentage of ownership or control interest. Various public investors and shareholders can remain unidentified, for example "New Zealand Public".

Example ownership structure program

[Structure diagram explanation]


Standards for presenting a consent application

A high quality, well prepared and analysed application generally results in a decision being made more quickly. Assessment times will take longer for applications not meeting these standards.

Supply both an electronic and hard copy of the application letter and all attachments in support of the application.

Hard copy

Avoid stapling or binding the application letter and attachments. Documents should be collated using bulldog clips and attachments labelled on each page (where possible).

Each page should have the relevant appendix number - otherwise they become meaningless when the documents are scanned. Please provide the original bound copy of company reports and other commercially printed documents.

Electronic copy

The electronic copy must be an exact replica of the hard copy, scanned or otherwise provided electronically. Every document must be on a clearly labelled CD or DVD.

Documents should be in PDF, RTF or Microsoft Word or Visio formats and scanned in black and white (unless the document contains essential colour). Use text or line art settings wherever possible so that content can be copied and pasted. Applications that require manual data entry can slow turnaround times.

Subsequent correspondence can be delivered in email form (either an email message, or email message with attachments).

Privacy and confidentiality

Applications submitted to the OIO are a public record. The OIO publicly releases a short summary of every consent that is granted or declined. However, the OIO may with hold the existence of an application or the information contained in an application in accordance with the provisions of the Official Information Act 1982.

Find out more about privacy and confidentiality.

Application assessment and timeframes

There is no statutory timeframe within which an application for consent must be decided. However, the OIO has set its own internal performance targets for assessing accepted applications. 

Find out more about the application assessment process, including the OIO’s performance targets, as well as information about the average amount of time taken to assess applications from start to finish. 

Decisions and fees

An application will not be assessed unless the relevant fee has been paid. The OIO does not have the power to exempt, waive, discount or refund fees. No refunds will be made if an application is withdrawn, or consent is declined, or the OIO finds that no consent was in fact required.

The Minister of Finance and the Minister for Land Information have delegated to the regulator (the OIO) many of the powers to grant or decline consent under the Act. In the case of delegated decisions, the regulator fees apply. 

The relevant Ministers will generally make the decisions to grant or decline consent where: 

  • the relevant land is or includes special land, land on other islands, the foreshore or seabed or the bed of a lake, or adjoins the foreshore or bed of a lake
  • the substantial and identifiable benefits criterion (section 16(1)(e)(iii)) applies.

However, even if the substantial and identifiable criterion applies, decisions will be delegated where:

  • the relevant land is leasehold (other than pastoral lease land) or the interest being acquired is an interest as mortgagee or encumbrancee, or
  • the relevant land does not include any other land of a type listed in Table 1 of Schedule 1 or
  • the relevant land does not adjoin land of a type listed in Table 2 of Schedule 1 or
  • the only ‘sensitivity’ is that the land is non-urban and more than five hectares.

See the schedule of fees, as well as the current Ministerial designation and delegation letter (attachment below).

Improving consent applications to the Overseas Investment Office

The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has written an article for the ‘The Property Lawyer’ magazine offering practical tips and guidelines to improve applications for the best result.  The OIO recommends that potential applicants read the article before submitting their next application.

Read the article on improving applications for consent under the Overseas Investment Act 2005 from 'The Property Lawyer' (PDF 1.6 MB)


This website provides general information only. The OIO and LINZ do not assume any responsibility for giving legal or other professional advice and disclaim any liability arising from the use of the information. If you require legal or other expert advice you should seek assistance from a professional adviser.

Last Updated: 15 October 2015