Exemption from definition of non-New Zealand government investor

Find out about the discretion to grant an exemption for an entity or entities from the definition of non-New Zealand government investor.

About this exemption

The Overseas Investment Act requires a national interest assessment to be completed for certain types of overseas investment by non-New Zealand government investors. This exemption allows any relevant government enterprise to be exempt from the definition of non-New Zealand government investor if the national interest assessment would be required solely because of that enterprise. Certain investors, such as pension funds, may apply for this exemption. Each exemption applies for a maximum of five years.

Overseas Investment Act 2005, s20AA (as inserted by section 13 of the Overseas Amendment Act 2021)

Assessment criteria

Section 20AA(2) of the Overseas Investment Act sets out the relevant considerations for this exemption. When deciding applications, the decision-maker may consider:

  • the circumstances that mean it is necessary, appropriate or desirable to provide an exemption
  • whether the exemption is broader than is reasonably necessary
  • whether the applicant meets the criteria in the Regulations:
    • The government of any 1 country must not have the right to exercise or control the exercise of more than 25% of the voting power.
    • There are appropriate limitations on the government’s ability to control or influence the investment or management decisions that ensure that no government can influence any individual investment decisions, or the management of any individual investments, other than on a commercial basis.
    • Any earlier use of influence by a government was not contrary to New Zealand’s national interest.


The power to grant exemptions is discretionary. Even if an application meets all the criteria, the decision-maker may choose not to grant the exemption for other relevant reasons. Exemptions may be made subject to any conditions.

We are required to publish all decisions to grant these exemptions along with the reasons for granting them, unless there are reasonable grounds for withholding this information under the Official Information Act 1982.

Register: Exemptions from definition of non-New Zealand government investor


Find information and resources to help you apply for an exemption online. We recommend you seek expert legal advice as early as possible and contact us before applying for an exemption.


Seek expert advice

Contact the Overseas Investment Office