Buying sensitive land for a friend may still require OIO consent

October 5, 2015

in Property,Trusts

Property: HousingAn overseas person is likely to require Overseas Investment Office (OIO) consent to purchase sensitive land in New Zealand. Current news articles often talk about overseas corporations acquiring large dairy farms and foreshore properties in controversial OIO applications. However, many ordinary properties like holiday homes and baches can also fall into the definition of sensitive land, which also require OIO consent in a similar manner as large dairy farms and foreshore properties.

It is also increasingly apparent that some New Zealand residents have been asked to purchase and hold sensitive properties as bare trustees for their overseas friends in order to circumvent the OIO application process.

However, a person associated with an overseas person, such as a friend, is likely to be a New Zealand agent for the overseas person and they may still require OIO consent should they purchase sensitive land in their own name.

There are specific provisions under the Overseas Investment Act that operate to control agents, trusts, business relationships and other management arrangements to capture situations where the sensitive land is indirectly owned or controlled by an overseas person.

A person that assists in the evasion of OIO consent obligations, could be fined up to $300,000 and imprisonment is also possible.

If you require any advice or further information on the matters dealt with in this publication please contact the lawyer at Farry and Co. who normally advises you, or alternatively contact:

Steven Lee
09 379 0055 or 03 477 8870


The information contained in this publication is intended as a guide only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Professional advice should be sought before applying any of the information to particular circumstances. While every reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, Farry and Co. does not accept liability for any errors it may contain.

Previous post:

Next post: