Find out more about specific terms and phrases used in overseas investment content

 

 

Note: This reference is provided as a guide to website content only. For detailed interpretation see section 6 of the Overseas Investment Act 2005 and section 3 of the Overseas Investment Regulations 2005.

 

 

A
Access - public and walking
New Zealand legislation encourages landowners to provide walking access to areas of significance and public interest.
Read the OIO's resource on the walking access factor.
Applications
The OIO handles applications for consent, exemption and variation by overseas persons. It also handles notifications under the notification regime. Check application assessment and timeframes or about the application fees. Find out about presenting a consent application & suggested format for sensitive land applications and how to make a notification.
Assets - significant business assets
An overseas investment in significant business assets is the acquisition of assets which are worth more than $100 million.
Find out about significant business assets.
Associated land
Associated land adjoins land owned or controlled by the applicant or an associate.
Find out about aggregating associated land.
Associates
Associates are persons who intend making investments in New Zealand and who are indirectly owned or controlled by an overseas person.
Check the associate provisions.

B
Benefit to New Zealand
The OIO assesses benefit to New Zealand against a number of factors. (See Benefit to New Zealand Factors).

C
Certificate of incorporation
Evidence of a company's registration. The New Zealand Companies Office can show you how to register an overseas company.
Certificate for the purposes of Schedule 1 of the Overseas Investment Act 2005
Use this certificate to attest whether land is sensitive and whether it includes any marine and coastal area, or the bed of a river or lake.
Certificate for the purposes of Schedule 1 of the Overseas Investment Act 2005
Confidentiality
The OIO may withhold the existence of an application from the public, or withhold the details of an application.
Find out more in privacy/confidentiality.
Consent
Consent means a consent granted under the Overseas Investment Act for an overseas investment transaction. Consent is required before overseas persons can acquire more than 25% ownership or control interests in sensitive New Zealand assets, i.e. sensitive New Zealand land, significant business assets, or fishing quota. If an overseas person has an existing more-than-25% ownership or control interest in sensitive New Zealand assets, consent is required before they increase their interest to, or above, an ownership or control limit.
Find out if you need consent
Conservation land
Land may be sensitive if it adjoins conservation land. The Department of Conservation administers scientific, scenic, historic, and nature reserves. Local authorities also administer reserves and regional parks. Land may also be sensitive if it includes or adjoins land held for conservation purposes.
Check the sensitive land tables.
Critically direct supplier
A critical direct supplier is a person who has been notified by the Minister of their status as a critical direct supplier.

D
Decisions/determinations
Ministers generally make consent decisions after considering a recommendation made by the OIO. The OIO publicly releases a short summary of every consent granted or declined. Find out about timeframes.
Delegations
In certain circumstances the OIO makes consent decisions under delegation from the Ministers. Check whether Ministers or the regulator grant or decline consent and legislation and functions.
Disproportionate access to or control of
Overseas Investment Act 2005, s6 (as amended by section 4 of the Overseas Amendment Act 2021)

E
Excluded accommodation facility
Overseas Investment Act 2005, s6 (as amended by section 4 of the Overseas Amendment Act 2021)
Exemptions
Applicants may apply for discretionary exemptions from the requirement for consent under section 61D, or may fall within exemptions in the Overseas Investment Regulations 2005.
Discretionary exemptions

F
Farm land
Farm land is land that is used, exclusively or principally, for agricultural, horticultural or pastoral purposes, or for the keeping of bees, poultry or livestock.
Farm land securities
Farm land securities are securities to which the overseas investment in farm land relates. This is a broader definition than just shares in a company owning farm land.
Fees
Check the schedule of application fees, which include fees for administrative and information services.
Fishing (quota, sports fish)
Consent is required for overseas persons acquiring an interest in New Zealand fishing quota (provisional catch history, quota, or annual catch entitlement). Separately, applications for consent for sensitive land areas may need to consider the ongoing management and sustainability of New Zealand's populations of sports fish and wildlife.
H
Holiday homes
Overseas investors purchasing holiday homes and lifestyle properties may require consent if the property includes sensitive land. Find out more about acquiring lifestyle properties.

I
Islands
Land is sensitive if it is one of the islands specified in the legislation or above the area threshold on other islands (other than North or South Island, but including the islands adjacent to the North or South Island). Check the sensitive land tables.

J
Jobs
The jobs factor (benefit to New Zealand) supports applications when new jobs are being created or jobs (that might otherwise be lost) are retained.
K
Kaitiakitanga
For the purposes of the Overseas Investment Act 2005, means the exercise of guardianship by the tangata whenua of an area in accordance with tikanga Māori in relation to natural and physical resources; and includes the ethic of stewardship.

L
 
Legislation
Check the OIO's Legislation, Ministers and Delegated Powers.
Lifestyle properties
Overseas investors purchasing holiday homes and lifestyle properties may require consent if the property includes sensitive land. Find out more about acquiring lifestyle properties.

M
Māori reservations (wāhi tapu)
Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga maintains a register of wāhi tapu (sites of special significance according to tikanga Māori) and wāhi tapu areas (groups of wāhi tapu). Check the OIO guides for identifying special land, historic places & conservation land and for the historic heritage factor.
Marine and Coastal Area, foreshore, seabed
Marine and Coastal Area has the meaning set out in section 9(1) of the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011, however any reference to land adjoining the marine and coastal area is to land that adjoins this land on the landward side only.
Foreshore and seabed have the same meaning.
Minister
The relevant Ministers generally make consent decisions after considering a recommendation made by the regulator - the Overseas Investment Office (OIO). However, in certain circumstances, the OIO makes consent decisions under delegation from the Ministers.

N
Natual environment
Land, water, air, soil, all forms of plants and animals (whether native to New Zealand or introduced), and ecosystems and their constituent parts.
New Zealand-listed issuer
A listed issuer that is incorporated in New Zealand or, in the case of a managed investment scheme, established under New Zealand law. Note: ‘Listed issuer’ does not include issuers who have debt securities approved for trading on a licensed market.
Non-urban land
Find out how to determine non-urban land status.

O
Overseas investment
An overseas investment is the sale or transfer of property, issuing of securities or other transaction by an overseas person of sensitive New Zealand assets.
Overseas Investment Office
The OIO assesses applications from foreigners who want to make substantial investments in New Zealand. The OIO is a unit within LINZ's Regulatory Group. It was formally known as the Overseas Investment Commission, operating out of the Reserve Bank. Find out more about the OIO.
Overseas person
a person who is both:
  • not a New Zealand citizen, and
  • not ordinarily resident in New Zealand

or

an entity that is either or both:
  • incorporated overseas
  • more than 25% owned or controlled by an overseas person

or

a New Zealand individual or entity investing on behalf of an overseas person.

Trusts, body corporates, partnerships and other corporate entities may be overseas persons if they are incorporated overseas, more than 25% owned or controlled by an overseas person. A New Zealand individual or entity investing on behalf of an overseas person is also an overseas person.

Overseas Investment Act 2005, s7 (as amended by section 5 of the Overseas Amendment Act 2021)

Ownership / control
Find out about body corporates as overseas persons and calculating a more than 25% ownership or control interest.

R
Relevant government enterprise
Overseas Investment Act 2005, s6 (as amended by section 4 of the Overseas Amendment Act 2021)
Regulator
The regulator refers to the Overseas Investment Office in regards to whether or not the subject matter of the application is within the regulator's delegated powers.
Residency
Individuals ordinarily resident in New Zealand are not overseas persons. Overseas persons applying for consent are not required to show that their investment is likely to benefit New Zealand if they intend to reside in New Zealand indefinitely.
Retrospective consent
Find out about retrospective consent.

S
Securities of the same class
Securities that have attached to them identical rights, privileges, limitations, and conditions. Securities of a different class has a corresponding meaning.
Sensitive land
Land is sensitive if it is, or includes, land of a particular type, adjoins land of a particular type, or is on islands specified in the Act. Area thresholds apply.
Identifying sensitive land

 

Sensitive New Zealand assets
Sensitive New Zealand assets are sensitive New Zealand land, significant business assets, or fishing quota.
Special land
Special land is foreshore, seabed, riverbed or lakebed as defined in the Overseas Investment Act 2005.
Statutory declarations
The Overseas Investment Office requires statutory declarations for a number of purposes, such as verifying information contained in the application or verifying compliance with the conditions of consent.
Prepare a statutory declaration for the OIO.
Strategically important business
Strategically important businesses are businesses operating in a range of areas that are considered to be strategically important, including businesses involved in military or dual-use technology, ports or airports, electricity, water, telecommunications, and financial market infrastructure.

T
Trusts
The Act treats a trust as a person rather than a relationship between trustee and beneficiary. Find out more about discretionary trust beneficiaries. In limited circumstances a change of trustees involving an overseas person may be exempt from the consent requirement.
Tikanga Māori
Māori customary values and traditions.

W
Wāhi tapu
Wāhi tapu are sites of special significance according to Māori customary values and traditions.
Wāhi tūpuna
A place important to Māori for its ancestral significance and associated cultural and traditional values.
Last Updated: 24 November 2021