Information for using residential land for non-residential purposes

Overseas investors can apply for consent to use land that is classed as residential or lifestyle for a non-residential purpose.

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Use this page to learn more and apply for consent to buy residential land that you intend to use for non-residential purposes, such as building a supermarket, offices, a shopping mall or a hotel.

You can apply for consent to buy residential land in New Zealand if you intend to use it for a non-residential purpose. The land must be categorised 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.

About this consent

To use this consent, you must intend to use the land in the ordinary course of your business. For example, a residential housing developer might not be granted consent to buy residential land to build a supermarket under this consent.

You cannot use the residential land, or land bank it for future residential purposes, and you cannot live on the land unless you also have consent under ‘one home to live in’.

The fee for this consent is $34,100. Application templates and a link to making an online application are available below.

Standing consents

Investors who intend to buy residential land for non-residential use can 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 covers a predetermined number of transactions and may have a use by date. Investors must notify the OIO each time they use the standing consent to enter a transaction.

Investors will need to have detailed business plans that are 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 investors will need to justify the need for a standing consent over one-off consents. 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 a standing consent is $34,100, plus $13,000 for each transaction that is approved. The OIO 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 OIO of a transaction.

Application templates and a link to making an online application are available below.

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 non-residential use applications.

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. Until then, the references for the Overseas Investment Amendment Act 2018 are provided.

The provisions covering consents for non-residential use of residential land are detailed in Part 2, clause 8(1), and Schedule 2, Part 3, 4 and 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