Find out how we assess and make a recommendation or decision about your application for consent and how long it may take to do this.

This page explains the assessment process the OIO will generally follow for all consents except those involving one home to live in, for which the process is simpler.

Step one: Quality assurance

When we receive your application, we do a quality assurance (QA) check to make sure that you have provided all the information that is requested in our application templates.

See our application templates

If you haven’t provided all the required information we will return your application at this point (along with your fee) and advise you of our reasons. You will then need to decide whether you will revise and resubmit your application.

Percentage of applications returned at QA by month

Chart showing percentage of applications returned at QA by month. See table below for figures

MonthPercentage returned
September 20196%
October 201911%
November 201910%
December 201920%
January 20209%
February 202025%
March 202018%
April 20206%
May 202014%
June 20200%
July 202012%
August 202021%
September 20204%

Step two: Triage

If we accept your application at QA, we then triage using a range of risk and complexity factors to help decide how much and which resources we will allocate to assessing the application, and how long we expect to take to assess your application.

The risk factors look at both:

  • The investor (eg. how much we already know about the investor, their track record of compliance and delivery of benefits in New Zealand, and whether they are subject to other regulatory scrutiny) and
  • The investment (eg. the size and value, and the significance of the asset within the New Zealand economy and culture).

The complexity factors also look at both:

  • The investor (eg. their home jurisdiction, and the simplicity or otherwise of the business structure) and
  • The investment (eg. the existing public profile of the asset and how many third party submissions may be received, the nature of the counterfactual and the analysis required).

These factors are not an exhaustive or exclusive list and we may change the factors at our discretion.

Following the triage, we:

  • Will notify you that the application has been accepted;
  • Where possible, will tell you which of our staff will be assessing your application;
  • May make any initial information requests that we identified during triage and
  • Will tell you how long we expect to take to make assess your application.

Step three: Assessing the investor and the investment

We then do a full assessment of the application, where we consider all relevant aspects of both:

We may raise questions with you or ask you for further information during our assessment.

However, if you initially gave us all the information requested in our Application Templates, and used the same order as shown in the Application Templates, we may be able to reduce the amount of further information we require, and we are likely to be able to assess your application more quickly.

During the assessment, we will start to form an view on whether the requirements of the Act are met and whether our recommendation should be to grant or decline the application.

You will be advised as early as possible if we intend to recommend that the decision maker decline consent. For more information on this, see The decline process.

As we assess the application, we may decide that it will take more time that we originally expected.  If this happens we will notify you as soon as possible of the change in the timeframe.

Step four: Statutory declarations

If we intend to make a recommendation or decision to give consent for the investment, we will require you to make the following statutory declarations:

When we request the statutory declarations we will also send you the relevant templates to use.

For more information see Preparing a statutory declaration to the OIO.

Step five: Draft conditions of consent

When we request the statutory declarations, we will also give you the opportunity to comment on the draft consent and the conditions that will apply to your consent, before the OIO or Ministers make a decision.

The conditions include:         

  • Special conditions that will apply only to you and were the most important considerations that particularly influenced our decision to give consent.
  • Standard conditions that we expect will apply to all overseas people who are given consent to acquire sensitive New Zealand land or significant business assets.
  • Reporting conditions that require you to provide information to us either regularly or when particular events occur.

See examples of our consent and conditions templates in the attachments section below.

You should read the conditions carefully and make sure you put processes in place so you can meet them.  This is important because if you do not meet the conditions, you may be required to dispose of the land and/or be subject to fines or other penalties.

While we will consider your comments, the decision-maker will decide what conditions should be imposed. These may be different to the draft conditions sent to you for comment.

Note that section 25B of the Overseas Investment Act 2005 also imposes the following two conditions on every consent granted:

  • The information provided by each applicant to the OIO or the Ministers in connection with the application was correct at the time it was provided; and
  • Each consent holder must comply with the representations and plans they made or submitted in support of the application and were notified by the OIO as having been taken into account when consent was granted, unless compliance should reasonably be excused.

Step six: Recommendations and decision

After you have provided the required statutory declarations, the OIO will either decide on your application under delegation, or submit its recommendation to the relevant Ministers.

See Delegated Powers for more information about whether decisions are made by Ministers or the OIO.

Ministers are not bound to follow the OIO’s recommendation.

We will notify you of the decision and provide you with a notice of decision. We will also provide a draft decision summary of the information we propose to publish on our website for your comment.

If consent is granted we will also list the conditions imposed on that consent.

Step seven: Publishing the decision summary

Once we have your comments on the draft decision summary, we will decide on the final content of the decision summary and publicly release it on our website at the end of the month following the month in which the application was decided (e.g. if an application is decided on 15 March, the decision would be published on 30 April).

Read more about privacy and confidentiality of the information in your application

Assessment timeframes

Read about assessment timeframes

Last Updated: 1 October 2020