Find out more about specific terms and phrases used in overseas investment content

 

 

Note: This reference is provided as a guide to website content only. For detailed interpretation see section 6 of the Overseas Investment Act 2005 and section 3 of the Overseas Investment Regulations 2005.

 

 

A
Access - public and walking
New Zealand legislation encourages landowners to provide walking access to areas of significance and public interest. Read the OIO's resource on the walking access factor.
Applications
The OIO handles applications for consent, exemption and variation by overseas persons. Check application assessment and timeframes or about the application fees. Find out about presenting a consent application & suggested format for sensitive land applications.
Assets - significant business assets
An overseas investment in significant business assets is the acquisition of assets which are worth more than $100 million. Find out about significant business assets.
Associated land
Associated land adjoins land owned or controlled by the applicant or an associate. Find out about aggregating associated land.
Associates
Associates are persons who intend making investments in New Zealand and who are indirectly owned or controlled by an overseas person. Check the associate provisions.

B
Benefit to New Zealand
The OIO assesses benefit to New Zealand against a number of factors. (See Benefit to New Zealand Factors).

C
Certificate of incorporation
Evidence of a company's registration. The New Zealand Companies Office can show you how to register an overseas company.
Certificate for the purposes of Schedule 1 of the Overseas Investment Act 2005
Use this OIO certificate (attachment below) to attest whether land is captured by each element of the sensitive land tables, and whether the land includes the foreshore, seabed or the bed of a river or lake.
Confidentiality
The OIO may withhold the existence of an application from the public, or withhold the details of an application. Find out more in privacy/confidentiality.
 
Consent
Consent is required before overseas persons can acquire 25% or more ownership or control interests in sensitive New Zealand assets (ie sensitive New Zealand land, significant business assets, or fishing quota).
Conservation land
Land may be sensitive if it adjoins conservation land. The Department of Conservation administers scientific, scenic, historic, and nature reserves. Local authorities also administer reserves and regional parks. Land may also be sensitive if it includes or adjoins land held for conservation purposes. Check the sensitive land tables.

D
Decisions/determinations
Ministers generally make consent decisions after considering a recommendation made by the OIO. The OIO publicly releases a short summary of every consent granted or declined. Find out about timeframes.
Delegations
In certain circumstances the OIO makes consent decisions under delegation from the Ministers. Check whether Ministers or the regulator grant or decline consent and legislation and functions.

E
Exemptions
Regulation 33 of the Overseas Investment Regulations 2005 outlines certain transactions that are exempt from the consent requirement. Under Regulation 34 specified persons are exempt from the requirement to obtain consent. Find out more about Regulation 34 exemptions.
Regulation 37 - Exemption applicationsgeneral guidance for applicants and their solicitors on the application of regulation 37 of the Overseas Investment Regulations 2005 (Regulations).

F
Farm land
Find out how the Act defines farm land. Farm land must be offered for acquisition on the open market to persons who are not overseas persons (farm land advertising).
Fees
Check the schedule of application fees, which include fees for administrative and information services.
Fishing (quota, sports fish)
Consent is required for overseas persons acquiring an interest in New Zealand fishing quota (provisional catch history, quota, or annual catch entitlement). Separately, applications for consent for sensitive land areas may need to consider the ongoing management and sustainability of New Zealand's populations of sports fish and wildlife.
Foreshore
The definition of foreshore is outlined in the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004. Generally, the foreshore means the shoreline up to the high tide mark. You may need to employ a licenced cadastral surveyor to determine if land includes or adjoins the foreshore.

H
Holiday homes
Overseas investors purchasing holiday homes and lifestyle properties may require consent if the property includes sensitive land. Find out more about acquiring lifestyle properties.

I
Islands
Land is sensitive if it is one of the islands specified in the legislation or above the area threshold on other islands (other than North or South Island, but including the islands adjacent to the North or South Island). Check the sensitive land tables.

J
Jobs
The jobs factor (benefit to New Zealand) supports applications when new jobs are being created or jobs (that might otherwise be lost) are retained.

L
 
Legislation
Check the OIO's Legislation, Ministers and Delegated Powers.
Lifestyle properties
Overseas investors purchasing holiday homes and lifestyle properties may require consent if the property includes sensitive land. Find out more about acquiring lifestyle properties.

M
Māori reservations (wāhi tapu)
Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga maintains a register of wāhi tapu (sites of special significance according to tikanga Māori) and wāhi tapu areas (groups of wāhi tapu). Check the OIO guides for identifying special land, historic places & conservation land and for the historic heritage factor.
Minister
The relevant Ministers generally make consent decisions after considering a recommendation made by the regulator - the Overseas Investment Office (OIO). However, in certain circumstances, the OIO makes consent decisions under delegation from the Ministers.

N
Non-urban land
Find out how to determine non-urban land status.

O
Overseas investment
An overseas investment is the sale or transfer of property, issuing of securities or other transaction by an overseas person of sensitive New Zealand assets.
Overseas Investment Office
The OIO assesses applications from foreigners who want to make substantial investments in New Zealand. The OIO is a unit within LINZ's Regulatory Group. It was formally known as the Overseas Investment Commission, operating out of the Reserve Bank. Find out more about the OIO.
Overseas person
Overseas persons are neither New Zealand citizens or ordinarily resident in New Zealand. Trusts and body corporates may be overseas persons. See defining overseas persons.
Ownership / control
Find out about body corporates as overseas persons and calculating 25% (or more) ownership or control interest.

R
Regulator
The regulator refers to the Overseas Investment Office in regards to whether or not the subject matter of the application is within the regulator's delegated powers.
Residency
Individuals ordinarily resident in New Zealand are not overseas persons. Overseas persons applying for consent are not required to show that their investment is likely to benefit New Zealand if they intend to reside in New Zealand indefinitely.
Retrospective consent
Find out about retrospective consent.

S
Sensitive land
Land is sensitive if it is or includes land of a particular type, adjoins land of a particular type, or is on islands specified in the Act. Area thresholds apply. Check the sensitive land tables for more information.
Sensitive New Zealand assets
Sensitive New Zealand assets are sensitive New Zealand land, significant business assets, or fishing quota.
Special land
See the section offer back of special land for a definition of special land.
Statutory declarations
The Overseas Investment Office requires statutory declarations for a number of purposes, such as evidence of good character, verifying that information contained in the application or verifying compliance with the conditions of consent. Find out how to prepare a statutory declaration for the OIO.

T
Trusts
The Act treats a trust as a person rather than a relationship between trustee and beneficiary. Find out more about discretionary trust beneficiaries. In limited circumstances a change of trustees involving an overseas person may be exempt from the consent requirement.
Tikanga Māori
Māori customary values and traditions.

W
Wāhi tapu
Wāhi tapu are sites of special significance according to Māori customary values and traditions.
Last Updated: 16 June 2017