Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Overseas Investment Act First Principles Review

10 November 2003 Media Statement

Iconic sites to get greater protection from ‘first principles’ review of the Overseas Investment Act

The government is undertaking a ‘first principles’ review of the Overseas Investment Act to better reflect economic policy priorities while also providing greater protection to iconic sites of special historical, cultural or environmental significance.

Announcing the move, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said the government was committed to maintaining a liberal investment regime because New Zealand needed foreign capital if it was to return to the top half of the OECD and to develop the economy to its fullest potential.

“We value the benefits foreign investors bring in terms of access to markets, technology and ideas,” he said. “But we also need to ensure that our unique cultural and natural heritage is protected.”

Currently foreigners need Overseas Investment Commission or ministerial consent to acquire 25 per cent or more of a business or property worth over $50 million; land over five hectares or worth more than $10 million; any land on most off-shore islands; certain sensitive land over 0.4 hectares; land over 0.2 hectares including or adjoining the foreshore; fishing quota.

Dr Cullen said specific questions for consideration were:
- Whether company purchases should be removed from the purview of the OIC and left to the normal disciplines of the Commerce Act;
- Whether the tests applied to the purchase of sensitive land or sites should be extended to explicitly include historical, cultural and environmental factors;
- Whether there is scope to reduce compliance costs for business transactions;
- What the appropriate governance and organisational arrangements are for implementing the screening regime.

“The review, in terms of approvals, will focus on the areas which have caused most concern: sensitive land [especially South Island high country and coastal land]; cultural and heritage issues and the monitoring process,” Dr Cullen said.

Treasury is leading the review with input from the Ministry of Economic Development, Department of Conservation, Reserve Bank, Land Information New Zealand, Te Puni Kokiri, Ministry of Fisheries, Overseas Investment Commission, Department of Immigration and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Work began in mid October with the aim of producing legislation in June next year to come into force in the 2005 calendar year. The public will have an opportunity to make submissions during the select committee stages of the bill.

In the meantime, the OIC will continue to process applications in accordance with the existing requirements.

Attached: full terms of reference for the review.

Terms of reference for the foreign investment review


The purpose of the review is two fold.
First, to ensure that the overseas investment regime focuses on those assets of critical interest, such as certain sensitive land areas, natural resources (eg fish) and assets with historical or cultural significance (eg heritage buildings).
Second, to maintain a liberal foreign investment regime and to reduce compliance costs where this is feasible, while ensuring the government’s objectives are achieved.

a. Consider what assets are of critical interest and should be subject to scrutiny by the regime, and any assets that are currently subject to scrutiny unnecessarily, while taking account of New Zealand’s international treaty obligations.

b. Consider the necessary criteria to ensure appropriate protection for the different asset classes to be covered by the regime.

c. Consider whether any flexibility in the coverage and the criteria is appropriate, in order for changes to reflect any shifting priorities that may occur over time.

d. Consider the appropriate level of monitoring and follow up on approvals

e. Consider the appropriate balance between legislation and regulation.

f. Consider how New Zealand’s regime compares with other foreign investment regimes.

g. Consider what, if any, measures should be introduced to mitigate the risks around the transitional period between announcement of the new regime and the legislation being in force.

Organisational design
h. Consider the appropriate organisational design (e.g. stand alone or attached to a department) for the delivery of the developed foreign investment screening regime.

i. Consider the appropriate governance arrangements of the OIC.

j. Other matters considered appropriate, with the agreement of the Minister of Finance.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news