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Further changes to the Overseas Investment Act 2005 come into effect today, marking the final stage of a reform programme that started in 2018.

Toitū Te Whenua’s Head of Regulatory Practice and Delivery, Rebecca McAtamney, says the overseas investment regime is in place to help ensure our country’s valuable lands, significant business assets and fishing quota are protected for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

“The reform programme has been designed to focus screening and assessment on overseas investments that present more risk, and to streamline requirements for investors,” Ms McAtamney said.

The latest changes introduce new assessment time frames for considering and deciding overseas investment applications. The time frames vary depending on the type of application and range from 10 to 200 working days.   

“Assessment time frames aim to speed up the process and give buyers and sellers more certainty,” said Ms McAtamney.

“We expect the time frames to be challenging to meet and they will require significant improvements to timeliness throughout the application process,” she said.

A one-year phasing-in period will allow time for the necessary improvements and process changes to take place.

Other changes coming into effect introduce strengthened and modernised requirements for advertising farm land for sale, update and streamline the rules giving the Crown the right to acquire land under rivers, lakes and the sea (Fresh or Seawater Areas) from overseas investors, and update the Benefit to New Zealand Test to assess applications to invest in sensitive land.

Further information on assessment timeframes and the other changes to the Overseas Investment Act are available:

Changes to the overseas investment legislation

 

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