Parliament

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

 

National interest test added to overseas investment rules

Hon David Parker

Associate Minister of Finance

19 November 2019

PĀNUI PĀPĀHO

MEDIA STATEMENT

The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers.

Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and other critical infrastructure are not assessed through a national interest lens.

“We are introducing a number of new powers, consistent with global best practice, to protect New Zealanders’ best interests in such important – often monopoly – assets,” David Parker said.

Responding to concerns about overseas investment in water bottling, the Government will also require consideration of the impact on water quality and sustainability of a water bottling enterprise, when assessing an investment in sensitive land.

The changes follow last year’s reform that generally banned foreign buyers from purchasing residential homes. That policy has been a huge success. New Zealanders now have a fairer shot at buying a home.

A “call in” power will apply to the sale of our most strategically important assets, such as firms developing military technology and direct suppliers to our defence and security agencies. This will apply to assets not currently screened under the Act.

“The power would only be used to control those investments that pose a significant risk to our national security or public order,” David Parker said.

“These tests could also be used to control investments in significant media entities where these are likely to damage our security or democracy.

“These powers will be used rarely and only where necessary for protecting New Zealand,” David Parker said.

Enforcement powers are also being improved. The maximum fixed penalties for not complying will rise from $300,000 to $10 million for corporates.

“Provisions of an existing Ministerial directive will be written into the Act, which requires overseas investments in farmland to show substantial benefit to New Zealand, by adding something substantially new or creating additional value to our economy,” David Parker said

“The reforms will apply to all overseas investors, irrespective of where they are from.

“The Government continues to welcome high quality investments that support our plan for a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy.”

So it is cutting red tape, including setting specific timeframes to give investors greater certainty and exempting a range of low risk transactions, such as some involving companies that are majority owned and controlled by New Zealanders.

A Bill implementing the changes will be introduced in early 2020.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Statement: Deadly Eruption Of Whakaari / White Island

At this stage, we can confirm that amongst those currently listed as missing or injured are New Zealanders who were part of the tour operation, and tourists from Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. That is to the best of our knowledge.

To those who have lost or are missing family and friends, we share in your unfathomable grief at this moment in time, and in your sorrow. Your loved ones stood alongside kiwis who were hosting you here. We grieve with you, and we grieve with them... More>>

Police Update: Two Further Fatalities
Two further people have died following the eruption on Whakaari / White Island, bringing the official toll to eight. One was being treated at Middlemore Hospital and one at Waikato Hospital. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Eruption And Tourism Safety
Adventure tourism is a central theme in New Zealand tourism, and by definition, adventure always includes a certain level of risk. That said, New Zealand itself is also at risk of being seen as a tourism destination where commercial factors – rather than safety factors – are routinely allowed to determine the point where the boundary line of acceptable risk is being drawn. More>>

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Welfare Vs Infrastructure Spending

If New Zealand has a pressing need to stimulate its flagging economy, it seems very weird that the government is choosing a $12 billion package of infrastructure spending – mainly on road and rail – that by definition, will take a very long time to deliver their stimulatory benefits ... More>>

New Reports: "Immediate Commitment To Doing Justice Differently"

Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and Te Tangi o te Manawanui: Recommendations for Reform from the Chief Victims Advisor. Both recommend a fresh approach to the way criminal justice has been approached... More>>

ALSO:

Latest 'Discussion Doc': National On Healthcare

National has today released our eighth Discussion Document which focusses on health and outlines a range of policies which will enable more Kiwis to access high-quality healthcare, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Select Committee Report: Combatting Foreign Election Interference

MPs have finally delivered their recommendations to combat foreign interference in elections in a long awaited and much delayed report. More>>

Mosque Attacks: Names Of Arresting Officers Released

Police are now in the position to name the two officers involved in the arrest of the alleged gunman responsible for the attacks on the Al Noor and Linwood Mosques on March 15. More>>

Big, Bold, Permanent Change Needed: Children's Commissioner On 2019 Child Poverty Monitor

“I want to see family incomes dramatically raised by increasing benefits and making the minimum wage a living wage. And the Government needs to move much faster at increasing the supply of social housing..." More>>

ALSO:

RNZ Live Updates: Weather Mayhem Strands Tourists; Major Roads Closed

Hundreds of tourists are stranded on the West Coast, and on the other side of the South Island a flood-damaged bridge has closed State Highway 1, after a weekend of torrential rain... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels