The Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Amendment Bill was introduced to the Parliament on 14 May 2020 as a package to replace the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill (No 2).
We commend the Government on bringing forward amendments to the Overseas Investment Act 2005 to mitigate the economic effects of COVID-19. Particularly, that the Government will fast track some aspects of the Phase II reforms aimed at cutting unnecessary red tape (e.g. carve-outs for “sensitive adjoining land”, changes to the process for assessing “good character” and removing some fundamentally New Zealand companies from the need to seek Overseas Investment Office’s consent). These changes are welcomed and long overdue.
We believe that changes to the Overseas Investment Act l, if done properly, would bring considerable investment benefits and ensure that majority owned and controlled New Zealand entities are not caught by the overseas investment regime.
There are, however, certain aspects of the proposed amendments that require further consideration and consultation with stakeholders to ensure the Bill delivers on the objectives set by the Government. The submission provides recommendations on the actions the Government could take to achieve a wider range of benefits for all.