This change brings inbound NZ investments into line with
those from the USA.
From 1 March, most New Zealand investments in Australia will not
require vetting by the Foreign Investment Review Board.
Private New Zealand investors will only be subject to foreign
investment screening if the target value is greater than A$1078
million (indexed annually) in relation to developed commercial real
estate and most businesses. The previous threshold was A$248
The A$248million threshold (indexed annually) continues to apply
acquisitions in the prescribed sensitive sectors (media,
telecommunications, transport, military related goods and services,
encryption and security technologies and communications systems,
and uranium or plutonium related activities); and
acquisitions by investors owned by the NZ Government.
In addition, investments in the financial sector will still
require approval under the Financial Sector (Shareholdings) Act
These changes bring inbound NZ investments into line with those
from the USA. They were first flagged in February 2011, when the
Australian and NZ Prime Ministers signed the Protocol on Investment
to the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade
Simpson Grierson, our Lex Mundi relationship firm in New
Zealand, has summarised the equivalent changes that will apply when
Australians invest in New Zealand.
A look across the ditch: new monetary limits for
Australians investing in New Zealand
From 1 March, changes have been made to the threshold for
acquisitions of "significant business assets" by
Australians investing in New Zealand.
Private Australian investors no longer require New Zealand
Overseas Investment Office consent for acquisitions where the
target has business assets of less than NZ$477 million.This
replaces the NZ$100 million threshold and will be adjusted annually
in line with inflation.
The current NZ$100 million threshold will remain for
non-Australian investors and Australian Government investors.
The changes do not apply to an investment involving
"sensitive land". The existing consent regime will still
apply to an Australian investor making an investment in sensitive
land. There are many different types of "sensitive land",
but the most common types are non-urban land over five hectares and
land over 0.4 hectares that adjoins certain land such as a lake, a
regional park, a reserve or a historic place. Many business
investments in New Zealand involve sensitive land because of this
Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide
commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon
as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular
transactions or on matters of interest arising from this bulletin.
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