Changes to the Overseas Investment Act – do they affect me?

Property

Changes to the Overseas Investment Act have now been passed by Parliament and come into effect on 22 October 2018. What do these changes mean for you?

The recent changes to the Overseas Investment Act 2005 (OIA) don’t just affect overseas buyers.

From 22 October 2018 (when the changes come into effect), all purchasers of residential land will have to complete a “residential land statement”. You will need to provide this statement to your lawyer so that they can transfer the land to you.

To complete the residential land statement, you will need to answer the following questions:

  • Whether you are a current NZ citizen, or an Australian or Singaporean citizen buying residential land only; or
  • Whether you hold a NZ residence class visa or Australian or Singaporean permanent resident visa and all of the following apply:
    • You have been residing in NZ for at least the preceding 12 months; and
    • You are a tax resident in NZ; and
    • You have been present in NZ for 183 days or more in the preceding 12 months.
  • If not, whether you are an Australian or Singaporean citizen buying residential land that is sensitive for another reason and you have consent from the Overseas Investment Office (OIO); or
  • You have consent from the OIO; or
  • You have an exemption from the OIO.

The person signing the residential land statement will have to certify that the statement is true and correct and they will have to sign, date and provide their name and position or office held (if signing as an authorised person).

Your lawyer will have to hold a copy of this statement for at least 7 years after the transfer of the land concerned.

If you do not provide a copy of the residential land statement to your lawyer, or if your lawyer has reasonable grounds to believe that the statement is not correct, then your lawyer won’t be able to transfer the land to you.

Useful information regarding the requirement for OIO consent to purchase residential land can be found on the New Zealand Now website (www.newzealandnow.govt.nz) or you can contact our expert Immigration and Property teams for further advice.

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Copyright © Cavell Leitch. All rights reserved. Redistribution is only permitted with express written permission. For enquiries please contact us. This article by its nature cannot be comprehensive and cannot be relied on by clients as advice. It is provided to assist clients to identify legal issues on which they should seek legal advice. Please consult the professional staff of Cavell Leitch for advice specific to your situation.