The New Zealand Government assesses certain overseas investments to ensure they are in line with New Zealand’s national interests.

How it works

The Minister of Finance will review certain types of transactions for consistency with national interest, which come through either the temporary emergency notification pathway or the usual consent pathways. 

Transactions of national interest:

  • relate to land or assets used for strategically important business, including those involved in military or dual-use technology, ports or airports, electricity, water, telecommunications, and financial market infrastructure; or 
  • involve certain levels of investment by an overseas investor that is, or is associated with, a foreign government.

Temporary emergency notification transactions or other transactions for which an application for consent has been made may be assessed at the discretion of the Minister of Finance.

Critical direct suppliers

For the purposes of section 20D(1) of the Overseas Investment Act 2005, the following suppliers are critical direct suppliers to the NZ Defence Force:

  • Agilient International Limited
  • The Air Doctor New Zealand Limited
  • Air New Zealand
  • Airbus New Zealand Limited
  • APX Limited
  • BABCOCK (NZ) Limited
  • BECA Limited
  • Beechcraft New Zealand Limited
  • CAE New Zealand PTY Limited
  • Compass Group New Zealand Limited
  • Datacom New Zealand Limited
  • Dell New Zealand Limited (Dell EMC)
  • Draeger New Zealand Limited
  • Eagle Technology Limited
  • Inmarsat New Zealand
  • Kuehne + Nagel Limited
  • Lockheed Martin Global, Inc
  • MHD Rockland Limited
  • Microsoft New Zealand Limited
  • New Zealand Ocean Technology Limited 
  • Penske New Zealand
  • Siemens (N.Z.) Limited
  • Systematic New Zealand Limited
  • Toll Group (NZ) Limited
  • Touch Base Limited
  • Vodafone New Zealand Limited

What the Minister considers

The Minister of Finance will consider a range of factors, the importance of which can vary depending on the investment. For example, businesses operating in sensitive areas of the economy may raise more national interest concerns, while investments that enhance New Zealand’s economic prosperity are less likely to be contrary to the national interest.

Among other things, the Minister of Finance may consider:

  • national security, public order and international relations
  • competition 
  • economic and social impact (the existing ‘benefit’ test serves as a guide for the sorts of matters the Minister may consider)
  • alignment with New Zealand’s values and interests
  • character of the investors.

Foreign Investment Policy and National Interest Guidance from Treasury

Glossary definition of strategically important businesses and critical direct suppliers

Legislation, Ministers & Delegated Powers

What happens next

For a transaction referred through the temporary emergency notification pathway, the Minister may make a:

  • direction order which allows the transaction to proceed either unconditionally or subject to conditions
  • prohibition order which bans the transaction from proceeding
  • disposal order requiring the investor to sell any assets already acquired under the transaction
  • recommendation that a person be put into statutory management to manage national security and public order risks, including by removing the overseas person’s access to or control over sensitive assets.

Temporary emergency notification requirement

For transactions of national interest (that is, transactions that also need consent under the Act), the Minister:

  • must tell the investor that the transaction is being considered as a transaction of national interest unless this is already identified in the consent application
  • may decline investments that the Minister considers are contrary to New Zealand’s national interest
  • may give a disposal order if sensitive assets have already been acquired.

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Last Updated: 8 July 2020