The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) is the regulator tasked with ensuring responsible overseas investment in New Zealand. The OIO is situated in Land Information New Zealand (LINZ).

About the Overseas Investment Act

The Overseas Investment Act 2005 came into force on 25 August 2005. The Minister of Finance is responsible for the Act, and Treasury is responsible for policy advice relating to this Act. The Minister of Finance has designated the OIO as the regulator.

The Act and the Overseas Investment Regulations 2005 have been amended as follows:

  • On 5 July 2021, the first changes brought about by the Overseas Investment Amendment Act 2021 came into effect.
  • On 7 June 2021, the emergency notification regime (ENR) was replaced by the more targeted national security and public order (NSPO) notification regime. Notifications under ENR are still required for transactions entered into before 7 June 2021.
  • In June 2020, the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Amendment Act 2020 and Overseas Investment Amendment Regulations 2020 came into force.
  • In 2018, the Overseas Investment Amendment Act 2018 and the Overseas Investment Amendment Regulations 2018 came into force.

See this page for more information about recent changes to the overseas investment legislation:

Changes to the overseas investment legislation

The Overseas Investment Rules can be found in:

Ministerial Directive Letter

The Ministerial Directive Letter, and Supplementary Directive Letters, contain information on the Government’s general policy approach and other matters, including relating to the OIO’s functions, powers, and duties as regulator.

The current Ministerial Directive Letter was issued on 28 November 2017.

Ministerial Directive Letter (PDF 467KB)

Our technical commentary on the current ministerial directive letter has more information about how directive letters work, as well as information about the ‘rural land’ and ‘forest land’ directives and the effect they have had on the assessment of applications.

2017 Ministerial Directive Letter - technical commentary

You can also read the previous letter issued in December 2010.

Ministerial Directive Letter 8 December 2010 (PDF 344KB)

The Supplementary Directive Letter issued on 8 June 2020, took effect from 16 June 2020. It directs the OIO about when to advise the Minister of Finance about a transaction of national interest, providing advice on national interest assessments, varying, or revoking conditions of consent, and timeframes for making decisions under the temporary emergency notification regime.

Supplementary Ministerial Directive Letter 8 June 2020 (PDF 1MB)

A further Supplementary Directive and Delegation Letter, issued on 7 May 2021, directs the OIO on the Government’s policy approach to the national security and public order (NSPO) call-in power, and delegates the relevant powers to the OIO to give effect to these policies.

Supplementary Ministerial Direction and Delegation Letter about NSPO 7 May 2021 (PDF 400KB)

The Ministerial Directive Letter issued on 21 June 2021 directs the OIO in relation to aspects of the Overseas Investment Act 2005 amended by the Overseas Investment Amendment Act 2021 that came into force on 5 July 2021.

Ministerial Directive Letter 21 June 2021 (PDF 264KB)

Delegated powers 

The relevant Ministers generally make decisions after considering advice from the OIO. In some circumstances, the OIO has authority to make decisions under delegation from the Ministers. However, Ministers have the discretion to ‘call in’ a delegated decision and make it themselves.

TypeRelevant Minister(s)Delegation
Sensitive land applicationsMinister of Finance and Minister for Land InformationMany consent decisions delegated in the first instance.
Significant business assets applications (not including sensitive land)Associate Minister of FinanceAll consent decisions delegated in the first instance.
Fishing quota applicationsMinister of Finance and Oceans and FisheriesNo delegations. The Ministers make all decisions.
National interest decisions*Minister of FinanceNo delegations. The Minister makes all decisions.
Notification Pathway - Call in DecisionsMinister of FinanceNo delegations. The Minister makes all decisions.

*Also applies to notification under the temporary notification regime.

The Ministerial Letters listed below contain information about the functions and powers under the Act and the Regulations that have been delegated to the OIO.

Designation and Delegation letter of 17 October 2018 (PDF 3MB)

Supplementary Delegation Letter of 8 June 2020 (PDF 754KB)

Supplementary Ministerial Directive Letter 8 June 2020 (PDF 1MB)

Supplementary Ministerial Direction and Delegation Letter about NSPO 7 May 2021 (PDF 400KB)

Ministerial Directive Letter 21 June 2021 (PDF 264KB)

Supplementary Delegation Letter of 1 July 2021 (PDF 801KB)

Last Updated: 8 September 2021