What you need to do if you are selling New Zealand assets to overseas investors

Find out about selling sensitive New Zealand assets to overseas investors.

If you’re selling the following types of New Zealand assets to an overseas investor, or to their associate, there will be requirements that need to be met before the sale can go ahead:

What can you expect during the process

We are unable to provide vendors with information provided to us by applicants. This also means we are unable to comment on the progress of an application including:

  • the stage an application is at;
  • the information we have requested from an applicant; or
  • questions we have about an applicant’s character.

We recommend that vendors include a provision in their Sale and Purchase Agreement which requires the applicant to update them on the progress of their consent application, when requested or at regular intervals.

What is your role as vendor?

We may contact you during the process if we have any questions about the land or the way it was advertised.

You may also need to fill out a Vendor Information Form as part of the overseas person’s application for consent. This involves giving us information about the land (eg. what the land is used for) and future plans (eg. planned capital spending).

You can assist the applicant and speed up the application assessment process by responding to our requests promptly and fully and by supplying the completed Vendor Information Form in time so that it can be submitted with the application.

Farm land advertising

Farm land is generally ‘sensitive’ under the Overseas Investment Act 2005. Before you can sell your farm land to an overseas person, you’ll need to offer the land for sale on the open market to people who aren’t overseas investors. There are specific requirements for farm land advertising.

Foreshore, seabed, riverbed or lakebed

If the sensitive land you’re selling includes special land – foreshore, seabed, riverbed or lakebed – you may need to offer the special land to the Crown before consent can be granted.

Cancellation of sale

The Courts can cancel a sale that goes ahead without the required consent. The Sale and Purchase Agreement should include a specific condition that the buyer obtains overseas investment consent before settlement.

Disclaimer

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: 17 February 2017