Changes to foreign investment rules around NZ property

The delayed Bill still looks set to come into Law around the middle of the year and if passed, the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill will:

• Ban anyone except NZ and Australian citizens and permanent residents from buying an existing NZ home or residential property without Overseas Investment Office approval

•Cover developed as well as undeveloped residential land, including bare or substantially unimproved land likely to be subdivided for housing

•Include residential land as a new category of "sensitive land" in the Overseas Investment Act 2005

•Encompass apartments, townhouses, flats, homes, residential land and lifestyle blocks of up to 5ha

•Foreigners will be allowed to buy NZ residential and lifestyle properties if: they will be developing the land and adding to the housing supply; or they will convert the land to another use with wider benefits to the country; or they hold an appropriate visa and can show they have committed to live in NZ

•The law will not be retrospective, covering only new deals