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Clarification on monitoring of land sales

Hon Maurice Williamson
Minister for Land Information

17 April 2012

Clarification on monitoring of land sales

Claims the Government is failing to monitor foreign buyers of New Zealand land are dangerous and misleading, Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson says.

The sale of land to foreign investors is monitored by the Overseas Investment Office (OIO).

There is a clear difference between the OIO’s monitoring of land sales to foreign buyers and the investigating of cases.

Monitoring includes checking that conditions of consent are complied with.

Investigations include investigating breaches of conditions of consent; not obtaining consent; failure to comply with notices (e.g. information requests relating to suspected breaches.)

Statements there has been a decline in the number of investigations are misleading as an investigation is only carried out if a breach is suspected. If there is no breach or no suspicion of a breach – there is no investigation.

The OIO monitoring of cases is robust and numbers have remained fairly consistent over the past three years.

Table 1 shows monitoring of cases from 2000 to 2011.

Table 2 shows the number of investigations carried out between 2000 and 2011. It is important to note an investigation is only carried out if a breach is suspected.

Table 1) Number of cases monitored since 2000.

YearNumber of cases monitored
2000331
2001268
2002315
2003369
2004259
2005249
2006196
2007255
2008162
2009327
2010362
2011318

Table 2) Number of investigations since 2000.

YearOpening balanceNew
Investigations
Closed Closing balance
200002*02
200124*06
200261*07
2003759*4323
20042360*5429
20052923*3220
20062061214
20071421827
200827231535
20093510936
2010368341
201141141045

* In these years, late reporting (even by a few days) was classified as an “investigation”. Excluding late reporting reduces the number of investigations to zero in the years 2000, 2001 and 2002, to 35 in 2003, to 41 in 2004 and to 16 in 2005.

ENDS

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