Find out more about investing in sensitive land to provide a benefit to New Zealand.

About this pathway

This consent pathway can be used by an overseas person who wants to invest in non-residential or otherwise sensitive land in New Zealand.

Examples of investments using this pathway:

  • Investment in 9 hectares of rural land to develop luxury tourist accommodation.
  • Investment in 20 hectares of land to develop into health facilities including two residential properties.
  • Investment in 100 hectares of land to plant a new variety of grapes and develop a restaurant on the land.
  • Investment in a factory, including the 2 hectares of land it is located on.

Identifying sensitive land

Who needs consent

If you are an overseas person, you need consent to invest in non-residential or otherwise sensitive land.

Overseas person definition

What investing includes

  • Buying freehold property
  • Leasing property
  • Acquiring any other non-exempted interest for a term of 10 years or more – including rights of renewal.

Find out more about exempted interests

Assessment criteria

Your application will be assessed against these criteria:

Investor test

We use the investor test to assess whether someone wanting to invest in New Zealand meets our requirements.

Investor test

Benefit to New Zealand test

The benefit to New Zealand test assesses a potential investment against 21 factors to determine if the investment is likely to provide 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.

Benefit to New Zealand test

Special land

If the sensitive land includes special land – qualifying foreshore, seabed, riverbed or lakebed – it must be offered to the Crown.

Offer special land to the Crown

Farm land

Farm land must be offered for sale on the open market before consent can be granted. There are minimum standards for advertising farm land for sale – but in most situations, standard market advertising will meet these requirements.

Farm land advertising

Applications that include a significant business asset

If your application includes a significant business asset, you will need to provide tax information when you apply. We will pass this information directly to Inland Revenue without viewing it. Please note that we will not start to assess your application until we receive confirmation from Inland Revenue that information is complete.

Tax information

Get legal help

To confirm which requirements apply to you, we recommend you seek expert legal and land advice as early as possible.

Seek expert advice


Find information and resources to help you apply for consent online.



Last Updated: 5 July 2021