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Australian and Overseas investors
Buying property in Invercargill is easy!
Kia-Ora, NZ and its government welcome you! There are very few barriers to buying or investing in New Zealand property for international purchasers (in fact quite the opposite is true, in that the NZ government continues to make investing in New Zealand property very attractive).
You can generally tell the locals in our region by their accents – they come from all over the world!
Buying property here is the same as investing anywhere, and for certain circumstances, the ‘Overseas Investment Office’ has a number of procedures to ensure it all runs smoothly. We recommend you check if the OIO rules apply to you and your investment, and in that case it’s worth enlisting a helping hand to get through the paperwork. Queenstown legal experts are well-versed in negotiating the regulations and Darryl Gunn, senior solicitor at Queenstown firm AWS Legal outlines the general rules of thumb below.
Naturally, these are for use as guidelines only. For further information contact Darryl or another local lawyer for more details, or click here for the New Zealand Immigration website
General OIO Overview
Land Purchases by Overseas Persons
What type of land acquisition may require OIO consent?*
Area: Where the land area exceeds 5 ha in area.
Foreshore: Where the land includes foreshore/seabed or adjoins foreshore/seabed.
Lakes: Where the land exceeds 0.4 ha in area and adjoins or includes the bed of a lake.
Reserves: Where the land exceeds 0.4 ha and includes or adjoins a reserve, park or conservation land.
Islands: Any land on most off-shore island.
Historic Places: Where the land exceeds 0.4 ha and includes or adjoins most historic or heritage areas.
Who is an Overseas Person (OP)?*
A non-New Zealander who is not resident in New Zealand
An overseas incorporated company,
A New Zealand company, partnership or joint venture where 25% or more of its shares or voting power or control is held by an OP
A trust where 25% or more of the trustees are Ops, or where Ops have an entitlement to 25% or more of the trust property
Any nominee of and OP.
General criteria applied by the OIO when assessing an application
Whether the Overseas Person: a. has business experience and acumen. b. is demonstrating commitment to the investment. c. is of good character.
Whether the acquisition is in the "national interest". This might include the creation of new job opportunities, new technologies or new export markets. Where farm land is involved you must also show that the acquisition is likely to result in substantial and identifiable benefits to new Zealand, or to a region or other part of New Zealand.
Whether adequate mechanisms are in place to protect flora, fauna, historic heritage or public walking access.
If the purchase is a "lifestyle" property (holiday home or acquisition for a non-economic purpose) the application will normally be viewed favourably in terms of the "national interest" test where the applicant: a. Will significantly develop the property, or b. Will make another significant investment in New Zealand, or b. Has an intention to reside permanently in New Zealand (this will usually require a grant of permanent residence or other immigration status superior to visitor status) c. Before selling land to an OP you must also satisfy certain additional requirements if farm land or foreshore, seabed, riverbed or lakebed is involved. This may include special advertising provisions or giving the Crown the first right of refusal.
Your ability to secure OIO consent may be linked to your NZ immigration permit/.residency status. In most cases immigration permits will be an important feature of your OIO consent application and immigration and OIO issues should be considered contemporaneously.
If you have any queries about OIO or immigration permits, we suggest that you contact our associate lawyer below:
The OIO requirements are complex. The content of this document is for general information purposes only and should not be acted on without specific legal advice. AWS Legal does not accept any liability other than to its clients and only then in relation to specific requests for advice * this list is not exhaustive but intended as a general guide only.