Overseas Investment Office (OIO)

Our Team

Melissa ClarkMelissa Clark

Kay KeamKay Keam

Steven LeeSteven Lee

New Zealand welcomes foreign investment. Abundant resources and a positive economic outlook make New Zealand an excellent place to invest. While the government encourages foreign investment, the process is controlled by legislation and can be complex and time consuming.

Certain investments require an application to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO).


What is the Overseas Investment Office (OIO)?

An agency of the New Zealand Government, the OIO assesses applications for approval where an acquisition involves:

  • Sensitive land (in simple terms, non-urban areas greater than five hectares in area, or smaller areas which are deemed "sensitive" because they include 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

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.

How Martelli McKegg can help facilitate your investment

Martelli McKegg's Foreign Investment Team has extensive experience assisting investors to obtain the necessary government approvals. 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.

Having obtained OIO approval for a range of investors in a wide variety of industries means there will be few issues that we have not successfully overcome before. Our positive working relationship with OIO staff also enables us to maintain open and constructive dialogue with the regulator to ensure an efficient process. We also co-ordinate the annual reporting that is required in most instances.

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 can also benefit from Martelli McKegg's links to Meritas - a global organisation of over 170 law firms.


"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." Eve Osborne - Executive Board Advisor, Daiken Corporation


OIO consent granted for school ipads

Insights from the latest OIO decisions

OIO approvals secured by school donations

Recent work (including work by Craig Nelson at his previous firm)

  • 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
  • Various lifestyle blocks, hobby farms and rural holdings
  • Blakely Pacific Limited - approval to acquire an 85 hectare forest in Canterbury (and other forest acquisitions before this)
  • Matariki Forests - approval to acquire a 309 hectare forest in Opotiki (and other forest acquisitions before this)
  • Duxton Asset Management Pte Limited - approval to acquire 50% of New Zealand Pastures Limited, which owns 23,471 hectares of farm land
  • O:TU Investments Limited - approval to acquire 337 hectares of land and vineyards in Marlborough
  • Heineken International B.V. - approval for Heineken to acquire up to 100% of Asia Pacific Breweries Limited, which in turn owns DB Breweries Limited

To discuss the investment process please contact Melissa Clark on +64 9 379 7333.


Melissa Clark

Kay Keam

Steven Lee


Meritas - Doing business in Australia and New Zealand

Overseas Investment Office