Information for increasing housing

Overseas investors can apply for consent to develop new residential buildings on land that is classed as residential or lifestyle.

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Use this page to learn more and apply for consent to build new residences or long-term accommodation facilities on residential land, or development works to support these.

Anyone is eligible to apply for consent to buy residential land in New Zealand if they intend to build on it to increase housing supply, but not live in it.

The land must be classed as residential or lifestyle, but cannot also be ‘sensitive’ for other reasons.

If you wish to apply for consent to buy a home to live in, you can learn more here.

Increasing residential dwellings

Use this consent if you are buying residential land and intend to increase the number of dwellings on it. One or more dwellings must be added to the land. You cannot live in the dwellings once built.

You must also on-sell the dwellings, unless you are building 20 or more new residential dwellings and you intend to provide a shared equity, rent to buy or rental arrangement.

The fee for this consent is $34,100.

Increasing long-term accommodation facilities

Use this consent if you are buying residential land and intend to build a long-term accommodation facility on it, or increase the number of rooms in one. 'Long-term accommodation facility' means a retirement village or rest home, or a student hostel. You cannot live in the long-term accommodation facility once built.

You must also on-sell the development, unless you are either operating it as a long-term accommodation facility yourself, or you have made arrangements for it to be operated by someone else.

The fee for this consent is $34,100. 

Development works

Use this consent if you are buying residential land and intend to do development works to support the construction of residential dwellings or long-term accommodation facilities. These works can include the alteration, demolition or removal of a building or infrastructure. You can also use this consent for side works, including earth works.

Please note, this consent will not be granted for sub-division alone (without development works).

The fee for this consent is $34,100.

Standing consents

Large developers who intend to build multiple dwellings or facilities may choose to apply for a standing consent. This allows them to apply for consent before identifying the property or land they want to buy. A standing consent could relate to a large area of land, over multiple parcels, and the development of a significant number of dwellings. A standing consent covers a predetermined number of transactions and may have a use-by date. The investor is required to notify the Overseas Investment Office each time they use the standing consent to enter a transaction.

The developers will need to have detailed business plans well advanced to be granted a standing consent. The Overseas Investment Office will require that specific conditions are met. The standard for being granted a standing consent is high, and these consents are for quality investors with a proven track record. The Overseas Investment Office encourages anyone considering applying to book a pre-application meeting to discuss the requirements before making an application.

The fee for standing consent is $34,100, plus $13,000 for each transaction that is approved. The Overseas Investment Office will request the fees for all future transactions under the standing consent at the time the application is processed. There will be no additional fee each time a consent holder notifies the Overseas Investment Office of a transaction.

Apply for these consents

There is more detail in the application templates. Download the template for your situation and save it to your computer. Once it is completed, you can use the online submission link to apply. From inside the link you can upload your completed template and other documents.

Online submission for increasing housing consents.

Timeframes

We will endeavour to decide your consent applications within 50 working days.

Legislation

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

The provisions covering consents for increasing residential dwellings, long-term accommodations facilities and development works are detailed in Part 2, clause 8 (1) of the Act, and Schedule 2, Parts 3, 4, 5.

Monitoring and penalties

Penalties may include fines of up to $300,000, a civil penalty of up to three times the gain made by the parties, disposal of assets, and imprisonment for up to 12 months.

Investors cannot avoid the need for consent by investing through a New Zealand associate. The associate would require consent, and both the associate and the overseas person would be committing an offence. Learn more about associate provisions.

All consents are granted subject to conditions of consent. Conditions are generally monitored for five years after consent is granted. Some conditions (such as an obligation to remain of good character) could be monitored at any time. Consent holders normally report to the OIO annually.

Disclaimer

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: 23 October 2018