Investment Protocol to the New Zealand–Australia Closer
Economic Relations Agreement will come into force on 1 March 2013,
increasing substantially the thresholds for which non-government
trans-Tasman investments will require regulatory
New Zealand investments into
Australian investments into New
The new Australian in-bound threshold will apply only to
investments in business assets worth more than NZ$477 million. If
the asset includes sensitive land and/or fishing quota, it will
still come within the screening regime.
In general the exemption will not apply to Australians acting in
any way on behalf of or under the direction, control or influence
of a non-Australian investor. However, an Australian subsidiary or
branch of an overseas company will qualify provided:
it carries on "substantive business operations in
is more than 75% owned or controlled, directly or indirectly,
by Australian or New Zealand individuals.
The new in-bound threshold applies only to Australian
non-government investors. The threshold will remain at NZ$100
million for Australian Government investments, at least for the
There is provision for both thresholds to be adjusted annually
to reflect movements in GDP in each country – these changes
to be notified in the Gazette.
The Protocol will not affect the New Zealand Government's
ability to give preference to New Zealand investors in the planned
partial asset sales programme.
The agreement was signed in February 2011 but has been awaiting
regulations before coming into effect. The 1 March date was
agreed by Prime Ministers John Key and Julia Gillard at the annual
Australia-New Zealand Leaders' meeting in Queenstown at the
The information in this article is for informative purposes
only and should not be relied on as legal advice. Please contact
Chapman Tripp for advice tailored to your situation.
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