The OIO makes sure New Zealand’s sensitive assets are in good hands, and enables overseas investment that benefits New Zealand.
New Zealand welcomes overseas investment that benefits New Zealand.
The Overseas Investment Office assesses applications from overseas investors to make sure they meet the criteria in the Overseas Investment Act 2005. Overseas people and organisations (more than 25 per cent foreign-owned) wanting to invest in New Zealand’s sensitive land, significant business assets and fishing quota must get consent before they do so. A revision to the Act in 2018 means that residential land is also now sensitive land.
To gain consent, investments from overseas investors must usually deliver benefits over and above those that a likely New Zealand investor would deliver. These benefits can be economic, such as additional jobs or improved market access, but can also include other benefits such as providing walking access, undertaking pest control, protecting and enhancing indigenous fauna and vegetation. There is less demanding criteria for overseas people wanting consent to buy a home here and live in it, or develop residential land, and also for certain forestry investments.
Consent decisions are made by ministers, with advice from the Office, or by the Office itself, under delegation from ministers.
The OIO monitors overseas people to make sure they give us truthful and complete information about themselves and their plans, and keep the commitments they make when they apply for consent. We take enforcement action when required.
The OIO works closely with other parts of government – for example Immigration New Zealand, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the Ministry of Primary Industries and the Treasury. The team has a broad range of skills, knowledge and experience, including investigators, advisers and solicitors, and a strong understanding of and interest in the business sector. We work in a fast paced environment that has a high level of public interest and scrutiny.