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Having high living standards, a developed economy and a stable banking system, New Zealand is a magnet for potential investors seeking to start a business in this country. So, let’s take a closer look at foreign investment regulation in New Zealand.

New Zealand: Investment Activities

Prior to embarking on investment activities in New Zealand, potential investors must submit required documentation & obtain approval of relevant regulatory authorities. According to New Zealand legislation, an investment becomes effective upon the signing of a binding agreement.

Please note that foreign investment in New Zealand is regulated in accordance with the 2005 FIA & 2005 FIR.


Permission of the OIO (the country’s main financial regulator) is required for all transactions falling under the definition of ‘foreign investments’.

Applying for permission with the OIO requires providing information on:

  • investors’ identity;
  • a transaction;
  • an applicant’s financial status;
  • an applicant’s ultimate ownership;
  • directors;
  • how significant decisions are made & makers of such decisions;
  • professional skills of key decision makers;
  • copies of investors’ passports.

Starting a business in New Zealand also requires drawing up an investment plan & submitting it to relevant authorities. The purpose of this plan is to determine what financial benefits New Zealand stands to gain from this or that investment.

This is what a typical investment plan should contain:

  • job creation outlook;
  • potential for improving business productivity & efficiency;
  • possibility of introducing new services/technologies;
  • environmental impact projection.

Obtaining an OIO permit in New Zealand depends on a number of factors and can take from one month to one year..


Potential investors contemplating registering a company in New Zealand or conducting an  M&A transaction in New Zealand should keep in mind mandatory & voluntary notification requirements that are expected to be introduced soon. If you want to know more about the said requirements or are looking for information on regulation of foreign investment in New Zealand, you should consider contacting IQ Decision UK. Our team of highly qualified experts will be happy to fulfil your legal needs & ensure the result you’ve been looking forward to achieving.