The Government has introduced a temporary emergency notification regime for overseas investors as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
How it works
Overseas investors must notify the Overseas Investment Office of all investments, regardless of value, that would result in the overseas investor or an associate having:
- more than 25% overseas ownership of a New Zealand business or its assets; or
- an increase to an existing holding beyond 50% or 75% or up to 100%.
You must notify us before a transaction is given effect. If necessary, you can enter a transaction before notifying us if it’s conditional on a direction order being made.
Once you notify the Overseas Investment Office, we'll complete an initial assessment within 10 working days to make sure the transaction is not contrary to New Zealand's national interest. Most transactions will proceed after the initial assessment. A small number of transactions may require more time and a more thorough assessment.
There is no cost to submit a notification.
This new notification requirement will be reviewed by the Government every 90 days and will only remain in place while the effects of the COVID-19 emergency justify the requirement continuing.
How to notify us
The overseas investor, or their legal representative, needs to complete and submit this notification form:
The form asks for information including:
- the investor’s name and ownership information
- the nature and size of the assets to be acquired
- why the assets are being acquired
- whether there are any links to foreign governments.
To view the questions this form will ask, see the summary of the notification call-in transaction questions.
You must notify us before a transaction is given effect to. If necessary, you can enter a transaction before notifying us if it’s conditional on a direction order being made.
What happens next
When you submit the notification, the Overseas Investment Office and relevant Minister will assess the investment and tell you within 10 working days what needs to happen next.
In most cases we expect the investment to be able to go ahead.
Some notifications will need to be assessed further against the national interest assessment which may take up to a further 30 working days and could result in conditions being imposed or the investment being stopped. If an application is particularly complex or sensitive, then that could be extended for another 30 days. The Overseas Investment Office will be in contact throughout if this is the case.
Only direction orders with conditions, prohibition orders, and disposal orders are published. Transactions that proceed without conditions will not be published.
When the temporary notification regime ends
The notification regime is temporary while the New Zealand economy is still affected by COVID-19. The Government will review it every 90 days.
When the Government decides the notification regime is no longer needed, it will be replaced by a new national security and public order call in power that applies to investments that do not require consent under the Act. This will allow the Government to review investments in strategically important businesses like key electricity generators, telecommunications services, ports and airports, or media businesses.
The notification regime will be able to be reinstated in future emergency situations.