The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) is a regulatory unit within LINZ tasked with the administration of the following New Zealand legislation: the Overseas Investment Act 2005, the Overseas Investment Regulations 2005, and sections 56 to 57J of the Fisheries Act 1996.

The Overseas Investment Rules can be found in:

The Act came into force on 25 August 2005. The Minister of Finance is responsible for the Act, and Treasury is responsible for policy advice relating to this Act. The Minister of Finance has designated the OIO as the regulator.

Ministerial Directive Letter

The Ministerial Directive Letter contains information on the government’s general policy approach and other matters, including matters relating to the OIO’s functions, powers and duties as regulator.

The current Ministerial Directive was issued on 28 November 2017.

You can also read the previous letter issued in December 2010.

Powers for determining consent

The relevant Ministers generally make consent decisions after considering a recommendation made by the OIO. However, in certain circumstances, the OIO makes consent decisions under delegation from the Ministers.

Application typeRelevant Minister(s)Delegation
Sensitive land applicationsMinister of Finance and Minister for Land InformationMany consent decisions delegated. See the OIO Guide to Sensitive Land and/or the Designation and Delegation Letter below for more detail.
Significant business assets applications (not including sensitive land)Minister of FinanceAll consent decisions delegated. See the Designation and Delegation Letter below for more detail.
Fishing quota applicationsMinister of Finance and Minister of Primary IndustriesNo delegations. The Ministers make all decisions.

The current Designation and Delegation letter 22 April 2009 contains information on the functions and powers under the Act and the Regulations that have been delegated by the Minister of Finance and Minister for Land Information to the OIO.

Other powers

The OIO's powers and functions also include:

  • receiving and processing applications
  • consulting with government departments and other agencies as appropriate
  • providing information about overseas investment to applicants and the public generally
  • monitoring approved applications for compliance with any required conditions of consent
  • enforcing breaches of the Act and the relevant provisions of the Fisheries Act.

Schedule 5 of the Overseas Investment Regulations 2005

Under clauses 4 and 7 of Schedule 5 of the Overseas Investment Regulations 2005, the thresholds for Australian non-Government and Australian government investments are to be adjusted each year, if the calculations made in accordance with formulae set out in those clauses produce an amount greater than the previous year’s amount.

The thresholds for the period 1 January 2017 to the close of 31 December 2017 will increase, as the calculations produced an amount greater than the previous year’s amount. The thresholds for the period 1 January 2015 until the close of 31 December 2015 will be:

$501 million, if the investor is an Australian non-government investor; and
$105 million, if the investor is an Australian government investor.

See the notice which was gazetted on 25th of October 2016.

Last Updated: 29 November 2017