Farm land advertising

Find out about the requirements for advertising farm land before selling to an overseas person.

What is farm land advertising?

Farm land advertising is the process of offering farm land, or an interest in farm land (referred to in the Act as a ‘section 12 interest’), for sale on the open market to New Zealanders. This is to ensure that New Zealanders have the chance to buy farm land before it is acquired by an overseas person.

Farm land definition

Overseas Investment Act 2005, section 12

If you intend to sell farm land to an overseas person you need to meet the advertising requirements set out below. In certain limited circumstances it is possible to apply for an exemption from these requirements.

Exemption from farm land advertising requirements

What you need to do to comply

The farm land advertising requirements are summarised below.

1. Offer your land for purchase by a New Zealander on the open market

This means you must:

  • describe the land, or your interest in farm land
  • say that you are selling the farm land, or interest in farm land
  • state that you are seeking offers to acquire the farm land, or interest in farm land, and
  • provide your contact details.

Note that while calling for tenders could meet these requirements, advertisements just inviting ‘expressions of interest’ will not.

2. Advertising methods

Two types of advertising are required.

  1. Internet – you must advertise online for a minimum of 30 working days. The advertisement must be of usual prominence on a website that is generally used for advertising acquisition of land.
  2. Paper publication – you must also advertise in one of the following:
    • a newspaper, in the property section of 1 edition, or
    • a real estate sales publication, in 1 edition in an area local to the relevant land.

3. Advertise the land for a certain amount of time

You must advertise the land for at least 30 working days after first advertised, or for a longer period if specified in the advertisement.

4. Advertise within a certain period

Advertisements must be published within the 12 months preceding the earlier of either:

  • the date the application is made, or
  • the date the transaction that requires consent is entered into.

5. Advertise before entering into an agreement

The advertising must occur before the transaction is entered into with an overseas person.

For your reference

What happens if you don’t comply?

If farm land has not been advertised correctly, one of the following could occur:

  • we may ask for the farm land to be re-advertised before we assess the application
  • the application for consent could be declined on the grounds that it does not meet all the necessary requirements.