Overseas Investment Office (OIO)

Our Team

Melissa ClarkMelissa Clark

Steven LeeSteven Lee

Elise MarkwickElise Markwick

Eesha KaramchandaniEesha

New Zealand welcomes foreign investment. Abundant resources and a positive economic outlook make New Zealand an excellent place to invest and to live.

While the government encourages foreign investment, certain investments require an application to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO), which can be complex and time consuming.

Our specialist team has significant experience in foreign investment and we are here to help.


What is the Overseas Investment Office (OIO)?

The OIO is an agency of the New Zealand Government that assesses applications for approval where an acquisition involves:

  • Sensitive land (including non-urban areas greater than five hectares in area, and areas covering or adjoin bodies of water, parks or other areas of sensitivity)
  • Business assets or securities with a value greater than $NZD100M (higher for non-government Australian investors)
  • Fishing quotas

How Martelli McKegg can help

Martelli McKegg's Overseas Investment Team has extensive experience assisting investors to obtain the necessary government approvals. There will be few issues that we have not successfully overcome before.

Led by Melissa Clark, we can help smooth the legal process with practical advice about the process and thorough preparation of the application for approval.

We have obtained OIO approval for a range of investors in a wide variety of industries. Recent successful examples include numerous vineyards, a food manufacturing plant, and building materials manufacturing plant.

Our positive working relationship with OIO staff also enables us to maintain open and constructive dialogue with the regulator to ensure an efficient process. Quality legal advice from experienced specialists is fundamental to ensure a positive experience - and a cost effective and timely outcome to an investor's application.

Clients benefit from Martelli McKegg's links to Meritas - a global organisation of over 180 law firms spanning 90 countries by having access to a lawyer closer to home.

Residential Property - Ban on Foreign Buyers

The Overseas Investment Amendment Bill has received royal assent and will come into effect on 22 October 2018.

The new law restricts certain overseas people from buying residential property in New Zealand but agreements to purchase residential land entered into before 22 October 2018 will not be subject to the new regime.

Residential property is land that is categorised as "residential" or "life style" under the District Valuation Roll which will include most houses, flats and apartments. Gaining consent is basically a question of whether the acquisition would be of benefit to New Zealand, as assessed against a range of statutory criteria.

However, not all acquisitions of residential property will require OIO consent as there are various exemptions available.

If the proposed residential property transaction requires consent then early identification of the issues speeds up negotiation and if an exemption applies, then the sales process is dramatically simplified, which might otherwise put off purchasers. We are confident that we can provide clear and reliable advice to both prospective buyers and sellers or residential property.


"Melissa Clark and her team assisted DAIKEN Corporation to obtain OIO approval for a share acquisition.  Melissa steered our team through the approval process and continues to assist us with our annual reporting requirements.  Melissa gave us clear guidance about the type of information the OIO requires to ensure a successful outcome and this made the approval process run very smoothly." Daiken Corporation

Recent work

  • Regenal Investments Pty Limited - approval to acquire 73% of the Challenger Wine Trust (now Belvino Investments) which owns 700 hectares of vineyard land in Marlborough and the Hawkes Bay
  • DAIKEN Corporation - approval to acquire 85% of DAIKEN NZ which owns a large MDF manufacturing plant in Rangiora
  • Maehtech Pty Limited - approval to acquire 100% of Cheetham Salt Limited which has interests in the Lake Grassmere salt works in Marlborough
  • Ingham Enterprises Pty Limited - disposal of large scale poultry business (assisting vendor with OIO requirements)
  • QWIL Investments (NZ) Pty Limited - approval to acquire the Northbank vineyard in Marlborough with an operating lease to Treasury Wine Estates
  • QWIL Investments (NZ) Pty Limited - approval to acquire the Mudhouse vineyard portfolio comprising five vineyards in Marlborough, Waipara and Central Otago with operating leases to Accolade Wines
  • Wanganui Investments Limited - approval to acquire sensitive industrial land adjoining the Wanganui River
  • Various lifestyle blocks, hobby farms and rural holdings


OIO consent granted for school ipads

Insights from the latest OIO decisions

OIO approvals secured by school donations

Martelli McKegg's Foreign Investment Publication outlines the OIO process, including requirements for consent, timeframes and application fees.

The OIO has produced a helpful flowchart to assist when determining whether land is sensitive.

To discuss the investment process please contact any one of our team.


Melissa Clark

Steven Lee

Elise Markwick


Meritas - Doing business in Australia and New Zealand

Overseas Investment Office