The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) is the regulator tasked with ensuring responsible overseas investment in New Zealand. The OIO is situated in Land Information New Zealand (LINZ).
The Overseas Investment Act 2005 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 Overseas Investment Regulations 2005 were amended:
- In 2020, by the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Amendment Act 2020 and the Overseas Investment Amendment Regulations 2020, which came into force on 16 June 2020.
Changes to the Overseas Investment Act
- In 2018, by the Overseas Investment Amendment Act 2018 and the Overseas Investment Amendment Regulations 2018. The amended overseas investment regime commenced on 22 October 2018.
2018 changes to the overseas investment regime
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 and Supplementary Directive Letter contain information on the Government’s general policy approach and other matters, including relating to the OIO’s functions, powers and duties as regulator.
The current Ministerial Directive Letter (PDF 467KB) 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 344KB) issued in December 2010.
The Supplementary Directive Letter (PDF 1MB), issued on 8 June 2020, took effect from 16 June 2020. It directs the OIO about when to advise the Minister of Finance about a transaction of national interest, providing advice on national interest assessments, varying or revoking conditions of consent, and timeframes for making decisions under the temporary notification regime.
Powers for determining consent
The relevant Ministers generally make decisions after considering advice from the OIO. In some circumstances, the OIO has authority to make decisions under delegation from the Ministers. However, Ministers have the discretion to ‘call in’ a delegated decision and make it themselves.
|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.|
|National interest decisions*||Minister of Finance||No delegations. The Minister makes all decisions.|
The current Designation and Delegation letter 17 October 2018 (PDF 3MB) and Supplementary Delegation Letter of 8 June 2020 (PDF 754KB) contain information about the functions and powers under the Act and the Regulations that have been delegated to the OIO.
*Also applies to notification under for the temporary notification regime.