• New Zealand Regions
      • Hawke's Bay
      • Bay of Plenty
      • Waikato
      • Whanganui
      • Manawatu
      • Northland
      • Auckland
      • Gisborne
      • Taranaki
      • Wellington
      • West Coast
      • Nelson
      • Canterbury
      • Otago
      • Marlborough
      • Southland
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      Hawke's Bay

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      Beaches, wineries and Art Deco. The Hawke's Bay has a diverse economy, including business services that support its sectors to be the second largest contributor to regional GDP in the country. A popular tourist destination, the region has some of the countries best restaurants as well as stunning scenery, markets and festivals.

      Districts

      HastingsNapier

      Bay of Plenty

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      The Bay of Plenty is officially New Zealand's sunniest destination, enjoying short-lived winters and long summer days. The Region offers some of the country's most spectacular views and many ways to enjoy the pristine scenery and natural wonders. Visitors also enjoy exploring the Bay's Māori heritage and pre-European roots.

      Districts

      OpotikiOpotiki iSiteKawerauWhakatane

      Waikato

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      The Waikato is known for its rolling plains, fertile land and the mighty Waikato River. The region is the fourth largest regional economy in New Zealand, with a strong focus on primary production and associated manufacturing.

      Districts

      South WaikatoWaikato District

      Whanganui

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      Welcome to Whanganui. This is our place; where history is full of stories, legends and rich legacy. Where a thriving arts scene, creativity and evolving culture inspire our modern lives. Where breath-taking natural landscapes capture imaginations at every turn.

      Manawatu

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      Located in the lower North Island, Manawatu is heartland New Zealand, offering an authentic Kiwi experience.

      The main in the region are Palmerston North, most notable for Massey University. Palmerston has a vibrant, arts and culture scene.

      The region's economy is based on food production and processing, research and education. The region is also home for the New Zealand defence force.

      Northland

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      Northland was originally home to some of our country's first human inhabitants. Today, it is one of the fastest growing regions in New Zealand and home to nearly 189,000 people. Rich in culture and history, the region boasts a stunning natural environment.

      Auckland

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      Auckland Region stretches from the the beaches of the Pacific Ocean in the east to the expansive beaches of the rugged west coast of the Tasman Sea. Auckland City, the largest urban area in New Zealand is considered the main economic center of New Zealand and a popular destination for international students and travellers.

      Gisborne

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      Gisborne is a Region on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island. It's known for wineries and surf beaches such as Makorori. The region has maintained a strong Maori heritage. The region's economy is made up mainly of agriculture, horticulture and forestry.

      Taranaki

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      Taranaki is a coastal and mountainous region on the western side of New Zealand's North Island. Its landscape is dominated by Mount Taranaki, its namesake volcano, which lies within the rainforested Egmont National Park.

      The port city of New Plymouth is the area's cultural and commercial hub. Taranaki's economy is diverse and includes dairy, oil and gas. The region is the highest contributor or national GDP per capita. 

      Wellington

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      The Wellington Region covers Wellington city in the south, Upper and Lower Hutt valleys to the north-east, and Porirua to the north-west. The region takes its name from Wellington, New Zealand's capital city.

      Wellington is famous for its arts and culture scene and is also the centre of New Zealand's film industry.

      West Coast

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      The West Coast, or as some locals call it, the "Wild West", is a long thin region that runs down the South Island's west coast.

      The region has the lowest population in all of New Zealand. It is famous for its rugged natural scenery such as the Pancake Rocks, the Blue Pools of Haast, and the glaciers.

      The main industries in the region are dairy farming and mining. Tourism also plays an important role.

      Nelson – Tasman

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      Nelson Tasman is an extraordinary, vibrant region where art and businesses thrive together among a stunning natural landscape. With one in five people internationally born, Nelson Tasman has 48 different cultures living in its environs.

      The region prides its self on being New Zealand’s leading Research and Development areas, with the highest proportion of people working in the research, science and tech sectors out of anywhere in New Zealand.

      Canterbury

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      Canterbury is a region on New Zealand’s South Island marked by grassy plains, clear lakes and snow-capped mountains. Its largest city, Christchurch, is famed for its art scene and green spaces.

      Otago

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      There are few places in the world which will leave you with a lasting sense of difference. Central Otago is undoubtedly one of them from its landscapes, its seasons, its people, its products and experiences.

      Marlborough

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      Marlborough Region is on the north-eastern corner of the South Island. The region is well known for its winemaking industry, and the Marlborough Sounds, an extensive network of coastal waterways, peninsulas and islands.

      Apart from the wine industry, aquaculture, agriculture and tourism play an important role in the local economy.

      Southland

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      Southland is New Zealand’s most southerly region and includes the World Heritage ranked Fiordland National Park.

      The region's only city Invercargill offers a relaxed pace of life with wide streets, little traffic, spacious parks and gardens, striking Victorian and Edwardian architecture and impressive sporting facilities including New Zealand’s first indoor velodrome. Southland's location is such that views of Aurora Australis or the Southern Lights are common.

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What is Involved in Obtaining OIO consent

Application

The process starts with the investor submitting an application to the OIO (in the prescribed form). An application fee becomes payable once the OIO has received all information it requires and has accepted the application for assessment. These filing fees range depending on the nature of the application:

(a) $32,000 in respect of significant business assets applications;

(b) $37,500 – $49,000 for sensitive land applications; and

(c) $52,000 – $54,000 for combined sensitive land/significant business assets applications.

Template application letters are available from the OIO. However – because every investment is different – the OIO recommends investors seek legal advice for an application at an early stage.

 

Timing

The OIO does not provide up front guidance as to processing times for applications. The timeframe will vary depending on the nature of the application. In particular, the more complex “sensitive land” applications take longer.

On the basis of recent experience, we expect an application to take approximately:

(a) 5 – 6 months for a significant business asset application; and

(b) 6 – 9 months for a sensitive land application.

However, there is no certainty around these timeframes, and applications can take significant time to process, depending on the complexity of the transaction and the workload of the OIO (among other factors).

Statutory time frames are due to be introduced into the regime by June 2021 which will provide greater certainty and accountability.

National interest test

The OIO will not give consent to a transaction it considers is contrary to the national interest. The test is largely discretionary, but there are relevant factors for determining national interest, including whether the target business operates a strategically important business, or if the investor is partially or fully owned or controlled by a foreign government. Strategically important businesses include any businesses that are a critical direct supplier, involved in ports or airports, electricity generation, water infrastructure, telecommunications, financial market infrastructure or media businesses with a significant impact.

 

Matters in a consent application

The application focuses on whether or not the overseas person has relevant business experience, is financially committed and of good character.

If the investment involves an interest in sensitive land, the applicant must also demonstrate that the purchase will bring a net benefit to New Zealand. The OIO looks at a number of factors when assessing such an acquisition, including whether the investment will:

(a) create new job opportunities;

(b) introduce new technology, or managerial or technical skills, to New Zealand;

(c) increase export receipts or develop new export markets or increased market access;

(d) add to competition, and create greater efficiency or productivity;

(e) enhance services available in New Zealand;

(f) introduce into New Zealand additional investment for development purposes;

(g) increase processing of primary products in New Zealand.

To assess a number of the above factors relevant to determining the benefit of an investment, the OIO applies a test known as the “counterfactual test”. This test assesses the difference between the benefits to New Zealand “with” the proposed investment and what would happen anyway “without” the proposed investment (for example, if a New Zealand buyer acquired the land).

The applicant must provide an investment plan and supporting statements detailing how it will manage any sensitive land going forward. This document is an important touchstone, as compliance with the plans set out is almost invariably a condition of consent.

 

Special rules for farm land, waterways and foreshore

If an overseas person wishes to acquire farm land, or shares in a company owning farm land, that land must be marketed for sale in New Zealand for 20 working days (to persons who are not overseas persons) before the OIO is able to consent to the purchase by an overseas person.

The Crown has a right of first refusal to purchase certain land which constitutes the beds of certain waterways or foreshore and seabed land.

The following “benefit” factors are given high importance by the OIO in situations where an overseas person wishes to invest in rural land exceeding five hectares in area:

(a) creation of jobs;

(b) introduction of new technology and business skills;

(c) increased export receipts;

(d) increased processing of primary products in New Zealand; and

(e) whether there are opportunities for New Zealand oversight or involvement (eg New Zealand directors or a New Zealand head office).

In relation to forestry investments, increased processing of primary products and advancing significant government policies have special prominence.

 

Ongoing monitoring of compliance

The OIO monitors the activities of the overseas person post acquisition to ensure that the investor is complying with the law, any representations made in its application for consent, and any conditions of consent imposed by the OIO.

A common requirement among the conditions of consent is that the applicant (or the individuals exercising control over the applicant) continue to be of good character. There are ongoing reporting requirements around this and other conditions of consent (for example, those directly relating to the benefits of the investment for New Zealand, such as increased employment and further development).

The Overseas Investment Act sets out various penalties for non-compliance with its provisions. These include fines of up to NZ$300,000 for a body corporate for proceeding with an overseas investment without obtaining the required consent and fines of up to NZ$100,000 for failing to comply with consent conditions. In cases of serious non-compliance, the OIO can seek court orders for disposition of property.

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