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Independent review of OIO good character process

12 May 2016

QC to conduct independent review of OIO good character process

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) Chief Executive Peter Mersi announced today that Wellington-based barrister Terence Stapleton QC will review the Overseas Investment Office’s process for assessing good character.

The review is a response to issues that have emerged over the 2013 Ceol & Muir application to purchase sensitive land in Taranaki.

Mr Mersi says that it has become apparent that some information relevant to the good character test and held by the OIO was not made available to the relevant ministers.

“In order to test whether the process in place for assessing good character is
sufficiently robust, I have asked for an independent review of it.”

“I am pleased that Mr Stapleton QC has agreed to undertake the review. He is a high calibre and respected member of the legal fraternity, and we can expect a rigorous investigation.”

Mr Stapleton QC will provide his report and recommendations to Mr Mersi by 15 June.

Mr Mersi says the OIO will make available:

Current application files that have undergone OIO assessment and are ready for decision

OIO policies and process documents relevant to the good character test

Any other information that Mr Stapleton QC considers relevant to the OIO’s assessment of good character on any current application file.

ends

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