Overseas Investment Amendment Bill
Hon. Dr. Nick Smith MP NELSON
Overseas Investment (Queen’s Chain Extension)Amendment Bill
This bill amends the process of consent for an overseas person purchasing land adjacent to the sea, any river or lake by requiring consideration to be given to issues of public access.
The bill arises from increased overseas ownership of pristine areas of New Zealand, particularly along the coast. Overseas owners often have a different attitude to public access than the previous owners (usually farmers) with some wanting to create private rivers, beaches or lakes by restricting access. This is contrary to the New Zealand way of life.
The issues of access must be balanced against the important principle of private property rights. If a “Queens Chain” in the form of an esplanade reserve is required for public purposes, the bill proposes that compensation be paid from the Reserves Fund.
The process set up in the bill is that the Overseas Investment Commission, when considering an application for sale of an area of land to an overseas person that includes riparian land, may after consulting with the territorial authority, require the area be set aside as an esplanade reserve.
The mechanism proposed is similar to that used when a subdivision occurs and an esplanade reserve is required under the Resource Management Act (RMA). An important difference in this bill, as compared to the RMA, is that compensation would be paid as determined by an independent valuation process.
Hon. Dr. Nick Smith
Overseas Investment (Queen’s Chain Extension) Amendment Bill
1. Title Commencement New Section 9A inserted
Title This Act is the Overseas Investment Commission (Queen’s Chain) Amendment Act 2004 In this Act, the Overseas Investment Act 1973 is the principle Act
Commencement This Act comes into force on the date it receives the Royal assent
New Section 9A inserted The principle Act is amended by inserting after Section 9, the following section:
Section 9A Land Adjacent to Waters
9A (1) This section applies to proposals submitted to the Overseas Investment Commission for approval, consent or permission for land as defined in the First Schedule and where no marginal strip, esplanade reserve, esplanade strip, public road exists between the land and any sea, river or lake.
The definition of a sea, river or lake, for the purposes of this section, shall be the same as under the Resource Management Act.
The Commission shall notify the relevant territorial local authority or territorial local authorities of any such applications before the Commission and the territorial local authority shall consider whether the public interest justifies the creation of new esplanade reserves or strips.
In considering the public interest in subsection (3), the territorial local authority will consider: The present and potential recreational use of an esplanade reserve. The present and potential benefits to public access of an esplanade reserve. The present and potential benefits to water quality. The cost of compensation to the landowner.
The territorial local authority shall, within 20 working days, notify the Commission whether it requires an esplanade reserve or strip to be set aside for public purposes.
The process for setting aside the esplanade reserve or strips shall be as per Part 10 of the Resource Management Act except it shall not be considered a subdivision and no fees may be charged of the Commission or landowner.
Compensation shall be paid from the Reserves Fund to the landowner where an esplanade reserve or strip is required, the level of compensation as set out in Section 62 of the Public Works Act