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Overseas Investment Office

Queenstown is a picture perfect alpine town. Enjoying the most spectacular season

changes, it is an all year round tourist destination. Taken by the beauty of the town, the endless activities and envious lifestyle, many visitors decide to purchase a property so they have a base to enjoy Queenstown year after year.

Purchasing your own slice of Queenstown soil under most circumstances is very easy. The process for the most part is exactly the same as if you were a New Zealand resident.

There are some conditions where however, where your potential purchase may fall under the Overseas Investment Regulations 2005 and an application would need to be filed and accepted for a successful sale to proceed.

Property that would require OIO approval include:

· Land that exceeds 0.4ha and includes or adjoins the bed of a lake

· Land that includes the foreshore

· Land in excess of 0.2ha that adjoins the foreshore

· Land that is 5ha or greater

· Land that is greater than 0.4ha and adjoins or includes heritage, conservation or    historic areas

· Business or non-land assets worth more than $100 million

· Any land on most off shore islands.

Frequently asked questions:

Do all investments in New Zealand need consent?

No. New Zealand’s overseas investment legislation only affects transactions that include sensitive New Zealand assets, including land that is considered sensitive Note that transaction timeframes and procedure may be affected if consent is required. If you are an overseas person planning an investment, seek assistance from a professional adviser as early as possible to help ensure a smooth transaction.

How do I know if land is sensitive and requires consent?

Sensitive land is determined by the types of land and area thresholds details in the legislation. You will need to read and understand the legislation to determine if land is sensitive. While determining sensitive land is sometimes straightforward, often significant legal and land expertise is required, particularly if there are any nearby waterways. For legal or other expert advise, please seek assistance from a professional adviser.

Does IOI provide a map of all sensitive land?

No. Determining sensitive land is dependent on individual transaction details. Some research may be required to determine if land is sensitive.

How do I apply for consent?

All applications are made by way of letter with supporting information, Note that applying for consent generally requires significant legal and land expertise.

How long will a decision take?

The OIO aims to make a decision within 50 working days from the date of registration. Note that this target applies to high quality, well prepared and analyzed applications that do not include special features or require third party consultation. Assessment timeframes should be factored into the Agreement for Sale and Purchase.

Can I keep more application confidential?

Applications submitted to the OIO are a public record. However, the OIO may withhold information contained in an application in accordance with the Official Information Act 1982.

What happens if I don’t apply for consent?

The Court may cancel a transaction if it determines that requisite overseas investment consent was not granted. A party who was not required to obtain consent can also cancel a transaction.

The above questions and answers where sourced directly from the Overseas Investment website. To learn more about this process and to obtain further information please visit their website