The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) is a regulatory unit within LINZ tasked with the administration of the following New Zealand legislation: the Overseas Investment Act 2005, the Overseas Investment Regulations 2005, and sections 56 to 57J of the Fisheries Act 1996.
The Act came into force on 25 August 2005. The Minister of Finance is responsible for the Act, and Treasury is responsible for policy advice relating to this Act. The Minister of Finance has designated the OIO as the regulator.
The Act and the Regulations were recently amended by the Overseas Investment amendment Act 2018 and the Overseas Investment Amendment Regulations 2018. The amended overseas investment regime commenced on 22 October 2018.
The Overseas Investment Rules can be found in:
- Overseas Investment Act 2005
- Overseas Investment Regulations 2005
- Sections 56 to 57J of the Fisheries Act 1996
Ministerial Directive Letter
The Ministerial Directive Letter contains information on the government’s general policy approach and other matters, including matters relating to the OIO’s functions, powers and duties as regulator.
The current Ministerial Directive (PDF) was issued on 28 November 2017.
Read our technical commentary on the current ministerial directive letter to learn more about how directive letters work, the new directives including the ‘rural land’ and ‘forest land’ directives, and the effect they have had on the assessment of applications
You can also read the previous letter (PDF) issued in December 2010.
Powers for determining consent
The relevant Ministers generally make consent decisions after considering a recommendation made by the OIO. In some circumstances, the OIO has authority to make consent decisions under delegation from the Ministers. However, Ministers have the discretion to ‘call in’ a delegated decision and make it themselves.
|Application type||Relevant Minister(s)||Delegation|
|Sensitive land applications||Minister of Finance and Minister for Land Information||Many consent decisions delegated in the first instance.|
|Significant business assets applications (not including sensitive land)||Minister of Finance||All consent decisions delegated in the first instance.|
|Fishing quota applications||Minister of Finance and Minister of Primary Industries||No delegations. The Ministers make all decisions.|
The current Designation and Delegation letter 17 October 2018 (PDF) contains information on the functions and powers under the Act and the Regulations that have been delegated to the OIO.
Schedule 5 of the Overseas Investment Regulations 2005
Under clauses 4 and 7 of Schedule 5 of the Overseas Investment Regulations 2005, the thresholds for Australian non-Government and Australian government investments are to be adjusted each year, if the calculations made in accordance with formulae set out in those clauses produce an amount greater than the previous year’s amount.
The thresholds for the period 1 January 2018 to the close of 31 December 2018 will increase, as the calculations produced an amount greater than the previous year’s amount. The thresholds for the period 1 January 2018 until the close of 31 December 2018 will be:
- $516 million, if the investor is an Australian non-government investor; and
- $108 million, if the investor is an Australian government investor.