Applicants seeking consent to acquire non-residential sensitive land under the benefit test must show that the investment is likely to benefit New Zealand.
The guidance below will help you to make benefit claims and counterfactual submissions in support of your application for consent. You should use our investment plan template to help structure your investment story, benefit claims and counterfactual submissions.
Unless you are making a residency based application, consent to acquire sensitive land under section 16(c)(i) can only be granted if the investment will or is likely to benefit New Zealand.
If the sensitive land includes non-urban land over 5 hectares then you must also demonstrate that the benefit will be, or is likely to be, substantial and identifiable (together known as the Benefit Test).
If the Benefit Test is relevant to your application you should review:
- Our Investment Plan template;
- Counterfactual guidance;
- Technical guidance on benefit factors; and
- How to make a benefit claim.
Once you have familiarised yourself with the above material, you will need to:
- Research and identify the counterfactual for your investment;
- Identify the point of difference between your investment and the counterfactual;
- Confirm what you are willing to commit to in terms of benefits;
- Complete the Investment Plan.
We are available to meet with you before you submit your application.
The Ministers or the OIO determine the relevance and relative importance to be given to each factor. Relevance is determined by matters including the nature of the investment and the land that is being acquired. The Directive Letter also provides guidance as to the factors that are considered to be of higher relative importance when assessing applications to acquire rural land or forest land.
Benefits will be weighted using various considerations such as the size of the benefit that is likely to occur. For example, the creation of 100 jobs in New Zealand is likely to be given a greater weight than the creation of one job. Other factors that may affect the weighting of benefits include whether the benefit is enduring or temporary, whether the benefit will occur in the short term or long term and the relative importance of the factor under which the benefit is expected to rise.
Each application is assessed on its own facts in the context of the proposed overseas investment. When assessing the Benefit Test, the relevant Ministers or the OIO will take into account the benefit to New Zealand that will, or is likely, to occur as a result of the investment having regard to the relevant factors and the interest in land that is being acquired.
Click on the links below for technical guidance on each factor.
- Additional investment for development purposes
- Added market competition, greater efficiency or productivity or enhanced domestic services
- Increased processing of primary products
- Increased export receipts
- Creation of new job opportunities or retention of existing jobs
- New technology or business skills
- Walking access
- Significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna
- Trout, salmon wildlife and game
- Historic heritage
- Offer to sell seabed, foreshore or riverbed to the Crown
Offer special land - foreshore, seabed, riverbed, lakebed - to the Crown
- Consequential benefit
- Key person in a key industry
- Affect image, trade or international relations and international obligations
- Owner to undertake other significant investment
- Previous investments
- Advance significant government policy or strategy
- Enhance the viability of other overseas investments
- Strategically important infrastructure
- New Zealand’s economic interests
- Oversight and participation by New Zealanders
This website provides general information only. The OIO and LINZ do not assume any responsibility for giving legal or other professional advice and disclaim any liability arising from the use of the information. If you require legal or other expert advice you should seek assistance from a professional adviser.