Giving effect to or advancing a significant government policy is a factor for assessing the benefit of overseas investments in sensitive land under section 17(1)(e) of the Overseas Investment Amendment Act 2021.
For a benefit to arise under this factor, the overseas investment must be likely to give effect to or advance a specific government policy that is significant. The benefit must be additional to any that already exists without the investment.
Note that if the investment would have outcomes that are significantly inconsistent with or would hinder the delivery of government objectives, a national interest assessment may be required.
Significant government policy
Policies relied on should be government policies endorsed by Cabinet. A specific policy must be identified and supporting material must be provided to establish that the policy is significant.
Free trade agreements and local government policies are not significant government policies in their own right. However, applicants may be able to identify specific government policies underlying them.
An example of a significant government policy is the Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development.
Give effect to or advance
The overseas investment must give effect to or advance a significant government policy in a way that will measurably contribute to it.
For example, not every investment in housing will give effect to, or advance, the Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development. But a benefit may be established under this factor if the investment would result in the construction of affordable housing in an area well supported by active and public transport.
Making a claim
To claim that an investment will give effect to or advance a significant government policy, an applicant should provide the following information:
- Policy: The specific government policy that will be given effect to or advanced. Relevant publicly available documents should be provided or linked to. Statements that the government has a policy to ‘increase foreign investment’ or ‘increase New Zealand’s wealth’ are unlikely to meet the requirements of this factor as they do not identify a specific policy.
- Significance: Why the policy is significant. Copies of policy documents, statements and publications that evidence the significance of the policy should be included.
- Current state: Whether (and to what extent) the policy or strategy is being given effect to or advanced now, without the overseas investment.
- Effect or advance: How the overseas investment will give effect to or advance the policy. Be specific and provide evidence to support this claim.
- Timeframe: When the policy is likely to be given effect to or advanced.
- Uncertainties: Anything that may prevent the policy being given effect to or advanced.