In mid April the Government published a public consultation document on the second phase of its proposed reforms to the Overseas Investment Act 2005 (the Act). This consultation document followed changes made to the Act in late 2018 that simplified forestry investments and, most notably, brought "residential land" within the ambit of the Act's screening process.
The second phase of reforms focuses on the "what", the "who" and the "how", by seeking to address issues relating to the types of assets that are screened under the Act, the types of investors who are screened and how the screening process is conducted. A copy of the full consultation document can be accessed here.
PwC New Zealand and PwC Legal submitted a joint submission on the proposed reforms. This submission draws on the expertise and experience of industry experts within PwC New Zealand's corporate finance, tax, infrastructure and development, Maori business, real estate advisory and private business teams, as well as the specialist transactional lawyers at PwC Legal. Fundamentally, PwC New Zealand and PwC Legal support a reform that is aligned with the "ownership and control" purpose and intention of the Act, and is consistent with other legislation applicable to investments in New Zealand assets.
The closing date for submissions was 24 May 2019. Treasury is currently analysing all of the submissions received, and will use these to inform their advice to the Ministers on the reform package, with a view to implementing the reforms by mid 2020. We will be following developments closely and will provide a further update once a bill reflecting the proposed reforms has been introduced to Parliament.
PwC New Zealand and PwC Legal regularly act for a variety of domestic and offshore investors, vendors, and purchasers, and are very familiar with the issues covered by the proposed reforms. If you, or your business, have any questions regarding the proposed reforms or the consultation process more generally, or if you would like to discuss PwC New Zealand and PwC Legal's submission on the proposed reforms, please contact Tom Logan or Matt Keenan from PwC Legal, or Colum Rice or Murray Schnuriger from PwC New Zealand.