Find out about the requirements for advertising farm land before selling to an overseas person.

What is farm land advertising?

Farm land advertising is the process of offering farm land (and farm land securities) for sale on the open market to New Zealanders. This is to ensure that New Zealanders have the chance to buy farm land before it is acquired by an overseas person.

Farm land definition

If you intend to sell farm land to an overseas person you need to meet the advertising requirements set out below. In certain limited circumstances it is possible to apply for an exemption from this requirement.   

Exemptions

What you need to do to comply

The farm land advertising requirements are summarised below.  For the full set of legal requirements, see Regulations 4-11 and Schedule 1.

Overseas Investment Regulations 2005, r4-11

Overseas Investment Regulations 2005, schedule 1

Offer your land for purchase by a New Zealander on the open market

This means you must:

  • describe the land, or farm land securities
  • say that you are selling the farm land, or farm land securities
  • state that you are seeking offers to acquire the farm land, or farm land securities
  • provide your contact details.

Please note that while calling for tenders could meet these requirements, advertisements just inviting ‘expressions of interest’ will not.

You must use a method generally used for advertising land, such as on the internet, in a locally available newspaper, on signs, or in real estate offices. The minimum acceptable required standard for places and methods are set out in Schedule 1 of the regulations.

Overseas Investment Regulations 2005, schedule 1

Advertise the land for a certain amount of time

You must advertise the land for at least 20 working days.

Advertise within a certain period before an application from an overseas buyer is made

Generally, you must advertise the land within the 12-month period that falls before the applicant lodges their application for consent.

What happens if you don’t comply

If farm land has not been advertised correctly, one of the following could occur:

  • we may not accept the purchaser’s application for assessment
  • we may ask for the farm land to be re-advertised before we assess the remainder of the application
  • the application for consent could be declined on the grounds that it does not meet all the necessary requirements.

Exemptions

There are 2 types of exemptions from the requirement to advertise farm land.

Gazette Notice

A 2016 Gazette Notice exempts the following classes of persons or transactions from the requirement to advertise farm land:

  • farm land securities quoted on a securities market
  • the acquisition of farm land or farm land securities by an overseas person from a family member.

If this covers your situation, you are automatically exempt from the requirement to advertise farm land and you do not need to apply for an exemption.

Gazette Notice 

Section 20 Exemptions

If you are not covered by the exemption provided by the Gazette Notice, you can apply for an exemption under section 20 of the Act.  This provides exemptions under certain limited circumstances, such as boundary adjustments between existing parties, or where a property is land locked.

An application for exemption from farm land advertising under s20 is included in the application for consent to acquire the farm land.

Overseas Investment Act, section 20

Last Updated: 31 May 2021