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New national interest test focus of consultation on overseas investment rules - Parker

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

To grow our economy and lift productivity we need investment, both by New Zealanders and overseas investors. Overseas investment is welcomed where it supports New Zealanders’ wellbeing.

The Government has today launched public consultation on the second phase of its Overseas Investment Act reforms, which is aimed at cutting red tape and giving decision-makers the ability to consider the broader impact on New Zealand of potential investments.

The consultation follows changes made in late 2018, which banned purchases of residential property by overseas persons and simplified forestry investments.

This second round of reforms is focused on reducing the Act’s complexity, to better support high-quality overseas investment, and ensuring investments are in the national interest, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said.

"To grow our economy and lift productivity we need investment - both by New Zealanders and by overseas investors. We know there is scope to simplify our overseas investment rules to ensure that New Zealand remains an attractive destination for productive investment.

"We’re looking at where we draw the line as to what constitutes a New Zealand owned or controlled company, and what information the government should request from investors to ensure they are of good character.

"The options also look at how decision makers could consider the broader effects of an investment, including whether to introduce a national interest test and whether there should be greater ability to consider national security, water, and Māori cultural values when assessing the impact of an investment."

The Treasury has produced a consultation document outlining options for reform. The options aim to achieve a balance between supporting high-quality investment and ensuring governments have flexibility to manage any issues arising from overseas investment.

"The Government recognises that overseas investment is an important issue and we want to encourage feedback on the options," said Minister Parker.

The Treasury will hold a series of public meetings throughout the country, including meetings with iwi and professional groups regularly involved in overseas investment.

The consultation document, related material and further information about the public meetings, as well as how to provide feedback, can be found here: https://treasury.govt.nz/overseas-investment-consultation

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