Public Consultation on Phase 2 Overseas Investment Act reforms announced – closing date for submissions 24 May 2019

April 17, 2019

Annelies McClure Special Counsel

In a 16 April 2019 media statement, Associate Minister of Finance David Parker announced public consultation will begin on the second phase of Overseas Investment Act reforms.

This follows a significant number of changes made in October 2018, which restricted purchases of residential property by overseas persons and simplified forestry investment applications.  

Key areas of the proposed reforms are:

  • a ‘national interest’ test – which could allow Ministers to block certain transactions or operate as a form of escalation of, or replacement to, the “benefit to New Zealand” test

  • additional considerations – whether there should be greater ability to consider national security, water, and Māori cultural values when assessing the impact of an investment

  • enhanced good character assessment – what information should the Government request from investors to ensure they are of good character?

  • Whether a higher threshold (for example, a 49%, rather than a 25% or more ownership or control threshold) should apply to New Zealand listed and incorporated companies. 

The Treasury will be holding a series of public meetings throughout the country, including meetings with iwi, and professional groups regularly involved in overseas investment.  

The consultation document and related material can be found at: https://treasury.govt.nz/overseas-investment-consultation 

The Treasury is inviting interested people and organisations to give their views on the reform options on the consultation document. This can be done by attending a public meeting or hui, and/or completing a written submission. 

 Submissions close on 24 May 2019.

Get in touch!

Annelies McClure is widely acknowledged as New Zealand’s foremost expert on the Overseas Investment Act having headed the Overseas Investment Office between 2005 and 2017. If you have any questions, or need assistance in your business, please get in contact.

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