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Foreign direct investment in New Zealand farm land

MSI Global Alliance

Media Release: 26/06/14

Foreign direct investment in New Zealand farm land

By Michael Woodward, Mackay Bailey, Accountants, Christchurch

With current favourable commodity prices and global food security issues there is strong interest from foreign investors purchasing an interest in New Zealand farm land. This is particularly prevalent with dairy farms which New Zealand is well known for. In addition, we are seeing interest in pastoral grazing properties for sheep, cattle and deer as well as cropping farms.

Foreign nationals or corporates are able to directly invest in New Zealand farm land. Purchases of land in excess of 5ha or sensitive land generally require consent. Consents are considered by the Overseas Investment Office. In assessing consents, the OIO primarily considers whether the intended purchaser is of good character, is experienced in farming and the purchase will create an enduring benefit for New Zealand. Professional advice early on in the OIO process can ensure the successful granting of a consent.

At Mackay Bailey, we recently assisted investors from the United States with the purchase of a large sheep, cattle and deer grazing property. Advice included choosing the appropriate investment entity, advising on the tax implications of the investment, accounting support, payroll and even delivering employment contracts to on-farm staff on the day of takeover.

Looking to invest? Seek out an advisor who has relationships with other rural professionals including, estate agents and farm advisors, to help form a group of professionals to support your investment in New Zealand farm land.

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