The New Zealand government welcomes sustainable, productive and inclusive overseas investment. Overseas investment supports job creation, the creation and adoption of new technologies, increases human capital, and grants New Zealand more diverse international connections, including access to global distribution networks and markets. Without foreign investment, New Zealanders’ living standards would be lower.
At the same time, the Government recognises that foreign investment can pose risks. Foreign investment can take ownership and control of economic activity out of New Zealand and high levels of foreign ownership of sensitive New Zealand assets can conflict with a view that New Zealanders should own or control those assets. It can also, in extreme cases, present opportunities to undermine our national security.
The Overseas Investment Act 2005 (the Act) is New Zealand’s principal tool for regulating foreign investment. It seeks to balance the need to support high-quality investment, while ensuring that the government has tools to manage risks. The Act does so by providing an enduring framework for screening foreign investments in sensitive assets to help ensure that they benefit New Zealand and are consistent with New Zealand’s national interest.