Overseas people are able to buy hotel rooms in New Zealand, but there are some limitations.

About buying hotel rooms

Developers sometimes sell individual hotel rooms in order to fund the construction of a hotel.

Overseas people can buy these hotel rooms as an investment in New Zealand without the need for consent from the Overseas Investment Office. However:

  • the hotel must be built on residential only land (see Hotels built on sensitive land below).
  • they cannot live in them, and can only stay in them for up to 30 days in each year.
  • they must lease back the room for the hotel’s use on the remaining days.
  • when this lease ends, the overseas person must either renew it or sell the room.

Hotels built on sensitive land

The hotel must not be built on land that is classed as ‘sensitive’ for reasons other than being residential land. Working out if land is sensitive can be complex, but in general includes land that is rural or next to a lake, river, reserve or sea bed. A New Zealand property lawyer can help you with this. Learn more about sensitive land here.

Definition of hotel

'Hotel' is defined in the Overseas Investment Act 2005 as premises used, or intended to be used, in the course of business principally for providing temporary lodging to the public.


A consolidated version of the Overseas Investment Act 2005 will be available soon. Until then, the references for the Overseas Investment Amendment Act 2018 are provided.

The provisions covering whether overseas people can buy hotel rooms can be found at Schedule 3, Section 5 Hotel units acquired and leased back for hotel use. 


If an overseas person buys a hotel room, but does not meet these requirements, they may face significant penalties, and may be required to dispose of the property.

A New Zealander cannot buy a hotel room on behalf of an overseas person in order to get around these requirements.


This website provides general information only. The OIO and LINZ do not assume any responsibility for giving legal or other professional advice and disclaim any liability arising from the use of the information. If you require legal or other expert advice you should seek assistance from a professional adviser.

Last Updated: 19 October 2018