McVeagh Fleming is committed to guiding you through the complexities of foreign investment in New Zealand, ensuring a seamless and successful experience.

New Zealand is a prime destination for foreign investment, boasting abundant resources and a strong economic outlook. The New Zealand government encourages foreign investment, but certain investments necessitate an application to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO), which can be intricate and time-consuming.

The Overseas Investment Act (OIA) recognizes that it is a privilege for overseas persons to invest in sensitive New Zealand assets. It allows the regulator to impose conditions to ensure that the promised benefits of an investment are delivered. Compliance with these conditions is mandatory; failure to comply can result in significant fines, penalties, or forced disposal of the investment.

At McVeagh Fleming, our specialist team, led by Arran Hunt, has significant experience in foreign investment and is here to help you navigate this process.

What is the Overseas Investment Office (OIO)?

The OIO is an agency of the New Zealand Government that evaluates applications for approval when an acquisition involves:

  • Sensitive land (including non-urban areas greater than five hectares and areas adjacent to bodies of water, parks, or other sensitive areas)
  • Business assets or securities valued over NZD100 million (with a higher threshold for non-government Australian investors)
  • Fishing quotas

The OIA mandates that overseas investors must obtain consent from the OIO before acquiring interests in significant business assets, sensitive land, or fishing quotas. Traditionally, Ministers have made these consent decisions, but lower-risk decisions are often delegated to the OIO. The National and ACT Parties have agreed to amend the OIA so that decision-making will primarily be handled by the OIO, with Ministers retaining authority only over matters of national security.

How McVeagh Fleming Can Assist

McVeagh Fleming's Overseas Investment Team has extensive experience in aiding investors to obtain the necessary government approvals, as well as extensive knowledge of immigration law. Our team, led by Arran Hunt, is adept at smoothing the legal process through practical advice and thorough preparation of the application for approval.

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