Find out what is involved if you are selling a sensitive New Zealand asset to an overseas person.

Selling a sensitive New Zealand asset to an overseas person

You have obligations under the Overseas Investment Act if you are selling any of the following types of assets to an overseas person or someone investing on behalf of an overseas person:

  • non-residential sensitive land – for example, farm land
  • business assets worth more than $100 million
  • fishing quota.

The obligations are the same if the overseas person will hold more than 25% of the capital of a business worth $100 million, or 25% of a company owning sensitive New Zealand land.

Overseas person definition

Investing on behalf of an overseas person

Selling non-residential sensitive land

Farm land

If the land is farm land, then you will need to advertise it on the open market before an application for consent is made. There are special rules about this to make sure that New Zealanders have a fair opportunity to buy your land before it is offered to an overseas person.

Farm land

Farm land advertising

Special land

If the land you are selling includes special land – foreshore, seabed, riverbed or lakebed – you may need to offer it to the Crown before consent can be granted.

Offering special land to the Crown

Vendor Information Form

You will need to complete an online Vendor Information Form. This tells us about the land’s current state, what the land is currently used for and what your plans would be for it if you did not sell it. You will need to liaise with the buyer or their solicitor to send this to us at around the same time as they apply for consent.

Vendor Information Form

Selling business assets worth more than $100 million

When the buyer applies for consent to buy your business, or a stake in it, you will need to complete an online Vendor Information Form. You will need to liaise with the buyer or their solicitor to send this to us at around the same time as they apply for consent.

Vendor Information Form

Selling fishing quota

Contact us to find out what you need to do as the seller of fishing quota.

Contact the Overseas Investment Office

Before signing an agreement to sell

  • Make the sale conditional on the buyer obtaining consent from the Overseas Investment Office before settlement. A court can cancel a sale that goes ahead without the required consent, and civil and criminal penalties are available for breaches of the Overseas Investment Act.
  • Consider including a provision in the agreement to make sure the buyer keeps you informed of the assessment progress as we will be unable to comment on any aspect of their application with you.
  • Seek specialist legal advice about your transaction.

Seek expert advice

Last Updated: 31 May 2021