Oversight or participation by New Zealanders in the overseas investment or any relevant overseas person is a factor for assessing the benefit of overseas investments in sensitive land under section 17(1)(f) of the Overseas Investment Act 2005.
This factor recognises the value of having New Zealand involvement in the operation of assets owned by overseas investors. It is of high relative importance for investments involving farm land.
The oversight or participation must be additional to any that already exists. Because of this, a benefit is unlikely to be established under this factor if the land is currently owned by a New Zealander.
Please note that under s16A(1A)(a) and s17(2)(b) of the Act the counterfactual now applies to this factor.
Section 7 of the Overseas Investment Act 2005 defines who an overseas person is. New Zealanders are persons who do not meet the definition of an overseas person.
Oversee or participate in
Oversight and participation at an ownership or control level, in particular ownership interests, will be given greater weight than other forms of oversight and participation (such as employing New Zealand managers or having New Zealand directors).
This factor is intended to provide investors with an opportunity to show how they will allow for New Zealand oversight or involvement in the overseas investment. While investors are not required to put in place such mechanisms, the decision-maker will take them into account in determining the level of benefit. The decision-maker will also assess whether the investor has made a meaningful commitment to New Zealand involvement.
Making a claim
To claim oversight or participation by New Zealanders as a benefit, an applicant should provide the following information:
- Current state: Any mechanisms for oversight or participation by New Zealanders that already exist under the current state.
- Oversight or participation: How New Zealanders are likely to be able to oversee or participate in the overseas investment and the relevant overseas person.
- Benefit to New Zealand: The likely impact of the oversight or participation. Include information about the nature and extent of the influence New Zealanders are likely to have in decision-making.
- Timeframe: When the oversight or participation is likely to occur.
- Uncertainties: Anything that may prevent New Zealanders being able to oversee or participate in the overseas investment and the relevant overseas person.
Conditions of consent
If consent is granted to an application, and an applicant has made a claim under this factor which meets the requirements, it is likely that the conditions of consent will require the applicant to implement any measures described in its application and to report on this annually to the Overseas Investment Office.