The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) is the regulator tasked with ensuring responsible overseas investment in New Zealand. The OIO is situated in Toitū Te Whenua 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 24 November 2021, the second changes brought about by the Overseas Investment Amendment Act 2021 came into effect including changes to the benefit test.
  • 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 24 November 2021.

Ministerial Directive Letter (PDF 346KB)

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.

The Ministerial Delegation letter contains information about the functions and powers under the Act and the Regulations that have been delegated to the OIO.

Ministerial Delegation Letter (PDF 9MB)

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.

Previous letters

The letters listed below have been superseded but contain information about the functions and powers under the Act and the Regulations that have been delegated to the OIO.

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

Ministerial Directive Letter 21 June 2021 (PDF 264KB)

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

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

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

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

Ministerial Directive Letter of 28 November 2017 (PDF 467KB)

Ministerial Directive Letter 8 December 2010 (PDF 344KB)

Last Updated: 25 November 2021