New Zealand Law Society - Second phase of overseas investment rules review announced

Second phase of overseas investment rules review announced

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Associate Finance Minister David Parker has announced the Government’s second phase of review for overseas investment rules.

The Treasury is leading the phase two review, and has released terms of reference.

The review’s aim, having regard to the Act’s purpose “that it is a privilege for overseas persons to own or control sensitive New Zealand assets”, is to enable the Government to effectively manage overseas investment; while ensuring that the Act operates efficiently and effectively; and supporting overseas investment in productive assets.

From 22 October 2018, overseas investment rules change to include most residential and lifestyle properties. In general, overseas people who are not residents cannot buy homes to live in, but other investment opportunities are available.

Other changes in effect from 22 October encourage foreign investment in forestry.

David Parker says the second phase of review will aim to streamline processes for overseas investment and adequately protecting sensitive assets, including land.

The Government will consult widely on options for reform. Public consultation will take place in the first half of 2019. 

Legislation to implement the changes is expected to be completed by 2020.

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