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New Foreign Buyer Rules

As from 22 October 2018 anyone looking to buy land in New Zealand who is classified as an “overseas person” will be subject to the new foreign buyer rules.

What’s important to note first is that the new laws will not apply to contracts entered into before the new law comes into force. Nor will it stop those “ordinarily resident in New Zealand” from buying residential property, provided that they can show they call New Zealand home, which means the person:

  • Holds a resident class visa

  • Has resided in New Zealand for the last 12 months

  • Has been physically present in New Zealand for 183 days of that 12-month period; and

  • Is a tax resident of New Zealand.

Key points to note about the changes include:

  • The new rules apply to residential land, including bare land, lifestyle properties, apartments and mixed use properties.

  • The new rules will apply to sale and purchase agreements entered into on or after 22 October 2018. The date of the agreement is the relevant date. For example, an agreement to purchase a house dated 21 October will not be captured by the new regime but an agreement dated 22 October will be subject to the new rules.

  • From 22 October, all purchasers of residential land, regardless of whether they are an “overseas person” or not, will need to complete a new document called a Residential Land Statement. The Statement requires purchasers to declare whether or not they are an “overseas person” and therefore require the consent of the Overseas Investment Office to buy the property. Purchaser’s lawyers will require the Statement to be completed by purchasers prior to settlement.

A basic infographic published by the OIO is included in the post above to assist purchasers and vendors understand the Overseas Investment rules generally. Please Call us to discuss your individual real estate requirements.

For more information refer to Land Information New Zealand Web Site:


The material and information contained herein is for general information purposes only and is not intended to form professional legal advise. Neither Steve Howes nor Mackenzie Country Real Estate accept liability for any claim or other action that may arise directly or indirectly from the use of or reliance on the material and information provided herein. In all instances you are encouraged to seek independent legal advice if you are unsure of your legal position.

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