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Companies, lobby groups and individuals have been having their say on the Government’s Overseas Investment Amendment Bill. The vibe? Negative

Companies, lobby groups and individuals have been having their say on the Government’s Overseas Investment Amendment Bill. The vibe? Negative

Submissions on the Government’s plan to ban foreign buyers from purchasing existing New Zealand houses have been flowing in thick and fast.

Since submissions on the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill opened earlier this month, a multitude of various different companies, lobby groups and individuals have given their two cents on the Bill.

Much of this, so far, has been negative.

Here is a taster of what some of the submitters have said:

The economists

In a scathing submission, NZIER says the Bill is a “poorly-designed solution to a poorly-defined problem.”

It says there is a lack of empirical evidence and poor data quality around overseas investment in existing houses or residential land.

The Treasury’s Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) contains “very little evidence” and Treasury was “railroaded” into delivering it by the Government, the submission says.

The little information it does contain has “no empirical content” and simply states the Government’s commitment to “ban overseas speculators from buying existing houses”.

NZIER says an RIS is meant to be all about how to implement the political proposal.

“This is effectively Treasury waving the white flag from a policy analysis perspective. It seems clear that Treasury were not asked to analyse whether the proposal makes any economic sense based on first principles.”

NZIER opposes the bill – “There is almost no evidence at all to justify the ban of foreign buyers of existing homes proposed under the Bill.”

Economic think-tank the New Zealand Initiative is also critical, pointing out the lack of analysis from the Treasury’s RIS.

Its submission argues the bill will make overseas investment into New Zealand more intrusive and restrictive.

“The Bill imposes clear costs on New Zealanders, yet no evidence has been put forward that establishes any plausible offsetting benefits,” it says.

There is some hope that the new rules might increase housing supply but NZ Initiative says no attempt has been made to establish that this is plausible or material.

“We submit that this is not good enough. The public, not Cabinet, funds the public service and is entitled to expect value for money assessments to be made before decisions are taken.”

Network and lines providers

And it’s not just the economists that are up in arms.

2Degrees says the new rules, if implemented, will impact its business.

Under the proposal, a number of telecommunications sites which are located on residential or lifestyle land will be caught by new overseas investment approval requirements, the company’s Director of Corporate Affairs Mat Bolland says.

“Telecommunications network operators (including 2degrees, Spark and Vodafone) are classified as an overseas person under the Overseas Investment Act because more than 25% of shares are, or can be at times, owned by overseas persons.”

Bolland says the current proposal will “substantially increase the costs and time required to roll out telecommunications sites to New Zealanders” as operators would be forced to apply for OIO consent for new sites, or the renewal of leases.

Wellington Electricity Lines Limited (WELL) has the same problem with the Bill as it currently stands, saying it will have “adverse and unintended impacts” on its operations as, like 2Degrees, it is considered an overseas person.

WELL purchases, leases and licences residential property for network purposes and expects that to ramp up, given the uptake of electric vehicles and an earthquake resilience programme.

If the Bill is made law as it currently stands, “WELL would be put in a position where it is required to pursue a costly and likely protracted consent process in order to ensure the efficient operation of its network.”


Queenstown Lakes District Council is not pulling its punches with its criticism of the Bill either.

“The Bill does not provide sufficient evidence to support the proposition that overseas buyers are pushing up house prices.”

In its submission, Queenstown Council takes issue with the impact the Bill would have on the luxury housing market.

“The Bill will cut off the significant benefits, investments and philanthropic donations currently received from overseas buyers in the luxury home market.”

It says the Bill is inconsistent with several Government strategies and if it’s implemented, it poses “a threat to the reputation of New Zealand, the importance of our values and the spirit of our international relationships”.

The Hauraki District Council’s submission lobbies mainly on behalf of gold mining company Oceana Gold NZ Limited (OGNZL).

It says gold mining contributes 26.2% of Hauraki’s GDP and provides a “significant number of jobs” within the district.

OGNZL has in the past purchased residential properties where the land is used for mining.

“The council considers that the ability for OGNZL to acquire residential properties is a vital component of the successful continuation of mining activities in Waihi.”  

As is the case with 2Degrees and WELL, OGNZL is seen as an overseas person and would have to meet the requirements specified in the Bill.

The Council is pushing for amendments to the Bill to be made in order to specify a time period of OGNZL to “divest properties following mining operations”.

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its a handful of submissions across the whole nation.. obviously the vibe of the submissions will be 'negative'.. get real Jason Walls


I'm shocked that everyone on the foreign buyer gravy train doesn't like the ban, shocked!

As for the lack of good data, absolutely, and we all know why there isn't any good data.

The throw away lines about "discouraging investment in NZ" are very disingenuous - a foreigner buying residential property is not an investment in NZ.


"Acshually they only make up 3% of the market so it's a non-issue" - Said someone once.......

Correct if it is just 3% than why be worried.

National lied and were shown the door and if by chance labour dilutes or modify the ban will too be shown the door and next election is not too far away.

Labour be aware.

No point threatening the Labour party, they're the best chance you've got. Of course National will dismantle any legislation the second they regain power. Labour/NZF/Green might make 2 to 4 terms depending on the economy and nastiness of the MSM. At best there'll be a small window of opportunity for locals to buy the dip.

Again the left supporters getting emotional and not seeing the unintended consequences. It's not just about houses. It's about the image and we are basically giving everyone outside of NZ the middle finger. What would do that to foreign capital/investment? Dry up. So how do we fund the lolly scramble from Labour? Borrow or print money and we know how that turned out for Venezuela, Zimbabwe. Learn from other people's mistakes instead of making the same ones.

God grief, and you accuse others of being emotional???

Huh? Banning the purchase of residential real estate is hardly going to affect overseas investment in New Zealand business, which is totally seperate. If overseas investors insist on purchasing real estate here, they can buy one of the many REITs listed on the NZX exchange.

Relax, the final bill will apply only to residential real estate.

It's hardly "giving the middle finger" to overseas capital. What a silly, miss-informed comment.

Huh? Banning the purchase of residential real estate is hardly going to affect overseas investment in New Zealand business, which is totally seperate. If overseas investors insist on purchasing real estate here, they can buy one of the many REITs listed on the NZX exchange.

Relax, in final bill this will apply only to residential real estate.

It's hardly "giving the middle finger" to overseas capital. What a silly, miss-informed comment.

I'm not concerned about the percentage because I think it an excellent principle that all New Zealand land be owned by NZ citizens only..


Surely the default position should be that foreign buyers are banned unless they can provide evidence that resident New Zealanders benefit not the other way around.

Surely the default position should be that NZ sellers can sell to whoever they want unless the Government can provide evidence New Zealand as a whole would not benefit.


Well no, if foreign buyers are banned the worst that can happen is a few sellers miss out on "supernormal" profits whereas if they are allowed the worst that can happen is they help stoke a property bubble and harm the whole economy. You tell me which is worse.

Do you have evidence to support your position? I think the answer is no as the NZIER stated in the article there is no evidence.
Free people are allowed to do with their property what they please rather than "sticky beaks" interfering in their lives. However, given that we have elected a "school prefect" as PM we might have a lot more interference in our lives.


We are surrounded by the evidence

So what's the evidence? Correlation does not mean causation.


So again, it'll have no effect anyway so no reason to object to it.

And that. They doth protesteth too much, methinks.


Simple, house prices being many times a households income, almost double figures. Don't try to pretend that isn't the case. They would never have gotten that far out of hand without foreign interference, without money that could pay OTT money.


Surely NoFax you can't support the possibility that Kiwis could become renters in their own country to foreign landlords? The reason there is no evidence around foreign residential property ownership is that no Government has had the balls to required a comprehensive analysis of the issue. Reports that have been published have been superficial at best.

There simply is not the database currently that allows an in depth analysis of urban property ownership, although a number of critics of existing policy have expressed the need for one.

So no evidence then - just anecdotes.

Evidence enough for me was when LINZ put "stats" out they were at great pains to say that we should not view them as comprehensive as there was far too much vague information in them. The stats also covered the entire country, foreign ownership is concentrated in a few spots.

It is the selfish attitudes of the Nofax types that are damaging this country.


To nofax.... if you are talking about consumerable products then year I would agree with you on that grounds of we should be able to trade freely how we please. But land or the right to own land is different because it undermines a nation's sovereignty over their region. Let's say if all New Zealand land is up for sale and Chinese nationals brought all these land up. Can you still say New Zealand is owned by New Zealanders??? No individual citizen own land in reality because it is only a privilege granted to that individual by the state that the citizen belongs to. So yes there is no problem with citizen trading land right to another citizen of the same state.

Well said


Quite revealing really. We are to some extent an outlying sub colony of MegaBank plc. Can't have people learning how things really work, now can we?


National did what it wanted, without asking for/looking at any submission. Labour should follow suit.

Simply untrue. National was just as bound by Parliamentary processes as the present Government is, and was usually more conscientious about following them. For example, by allowing a reasonable time for submissions to Select Committee rather than setting a deadline which was heavily cut into by the Christmas period

Is that a good enough reason to do nothing ?

The coalition will backtrack on the bill as it will have major implications for the country.
Australia did not ban buyers from overseas.
We need overseas investment and this bill was not thought out fully, just like most of the other things blurted out by them.

Well we should be right then, as we are pretty following what Aussie did. Cheers for that support


Why does NZ need overseas investment?
Why do working class NZers need to compete with overseas money to buy a house?
Overseas money has made some of us rich at the expense of the rest of NZ.


And we care what they think because....?

If we can't manage property rights & resource access for the benefit of Kiwis then what is the point of my vote and my citizenship?

But this isn't for the benefit of Kiwis. There's not the slightest evidence that any Kiwi will benefit from this, and plenty of evidence that many will suffer substantial costs


Not exactly sure how businesses get affected by foreigners not being able to buy houses, unless...............
Don't buckle Labour, this is what the majority of NZers want.


Maybe start with residential properties first? and create separate rules for houses, small commercial properties and large projects?

Clearly - there is no problem if Jack from USA would like to make a nice resort and a golf course in rural area - it is not harming the regular 'Joe Kiwi'. The issue is that when Mr Xian comes and buys 15 houses in Auckland and leaves them empty is harming the NZ'ers and messes up the market for years.


The odd golf course here and there is not an outstanding issue, but it isn't a couple of golf courses, it is just about the default setting now for the sale of much land. NZers are being increasingly shut out of their own country. We do not want to become the Hawaii of the South Seas, if it isn't too late already.


Ban Non NZ citizen and resident purchasing any existing (not new) residential properties in New Zealand.

Is this policy very hard to push? Why?

This is the most sensible policy Labour has ever proposed.

Except that it isn't. The subtle change now is that the legislation wants to ban ALL sales of ANY land to foreign domiciled shareholders. So that even a USA or UK or China investor in an NZ company stops that company from buying or leasing land under 5 Ha for the businesses purposes unless the coy applies for an expensive and long winded exception with the OIO.e.g. 2 Degress or Spark cannot buy or lease 20 m2 for a new cell tower in a residential area. Wellinton Electric cannot install power transformers in new subdivisions unless they apply to the OIO. Daft!


The essence of the objections by the communications companies appears to be, concessions that have been allowed in the past, are now a deadly-handshake for the future, and are presented as a reason to allow those past mistakes to continue and to be a reason to allow them to continue into the future.

Other reasoning is that the ban should be evaluated on simply economic grounds without taking into account the social costs - yep the lobbyists with loud mouths are coming out to play - should you put your mind to the social impacts on society of the past free-for-all and blind-eyed approach of past policy, one can see whatever economic advantages there were in the past, they are overwhelmed by the social costs

Can anyone honestly say the open-door mass immigration policy has not had a deleterious affect on some sections of society? and, the excessive demands on social infrastructure has imposed, not on just a few, but on the many


"Its submission argues the bill will make overseas investment into New Zealand more intrusive and restrictive"


"Its submission argues the bill will make overseas purchases of NZ homes and farms in New Zealand more intrusive and restrictive"

Excellent. Just what we need.

The old confusing investment with ownership thing, isn't it?

We have had unrestricted, unlimited, unimpeded inflows of foreign investment into NZ and yet for all that munificence we are not better off socially or economically in infrastructure for roads, schools, hospitals, in fact we are worse off

Problem is the elites, influencers, carpetbaggers do not want us to change anything and fix it


Here's my submission....go for it Labour! Foreign buyers should have been banned years ago. We wouldn't be in this position now if that had happened.

We all know Chinese money (probably dirty money at that) was a big influence in the Auckland market, dispite what the old government tried to tell us.

We also know the dirty secret in Auckland at the moment is just how many foreign owned houses are sitting empty! Literally every street has one or two.

Unadulterated BS!

geeeeez Trev, 27 votes against your 1

To be fair he now has two, but the updates are now 29 (and counting?)


If you are interested in Productivity and Benefits check out the following article in Newsroom

It’s a story about a foreign outfit from Hong Kong who first appeared on our shores in 2016 and obtained OIO approval to purchase 3551 hectares of land on the shores of Lake Pukaki which is a west of Lake Tekapo. Two of the most famous pristine gems on the NZ landscape. Nothing has happened yet but you need to check out how the foreign owned company Blue Lakes NZ Ltd has tied up our courts and “Government” and government departments and Land court and Environment Court and Local Councils and the MacKenzie Country in knots. Now they want to build on adjacent land that is crown land that they don’t own and is leased in perpetuity to Meridian Power

Expensive huh?

So if I want to invest in another jurisdiction that is unfavourable towards overseas investors, then I setup a straw company that complies with the relevant conditions and then fund that company through a loan from a trust or similar entity located in a favourable jurisdiction.

For the high net worth individuals developing trophy properties, including venture capital firms raiding our industries, the OIO probably does a good job on balance, but could be improved.

For the average residential house, we really just need to cut immigration (to near zero) and where possible implement stricter policy that enables revocation of residency.

talk sense

If you cut immigration levels to below replacements for our Babyboomers, who is going to pay for your pension?
The current birth rate is way below the rate for replacements to even keep the status quo.


So what you're saying is "We need to keep the ponzi scheme going"

The old people need younger ones to look after them. But then over time, they become the oldies, and even more youngies are needed to look after them. And so on. Unsustainable and will fall over at some point like all ponzi schemes.

This is where technology could be our saviour, we can stop dancing to "I know an old lady who swallowed a fly"


When the babyboomers were born NZ had very little infrastructure. The baby boomers built and paid for most of our hydro dams, hospitals, motorways and bridges.
Imagine if we had to build an Auckland harbor bridge now, we cant even build a new road to Northland or a railway to Marsden Point.
When the babyboomers built this country they were promised a pension.
When you are born in NZ or step off a plane as an immigrant you get this infrastructure for free.
If NZ had kept a stable population we wouldn't need a whole lot of new infrastructure now and there would have been plenty of people available to look after the oldies.
Population growth is an economic disaster when you look at the big picture.

You are right

The 40% non-native and millennial section of the population don't want to hear that

Our birthrate is currently growing our population by 28,000 people net gain over deaths.

Northland..Be interesting to see whether this recent research on conception rates and recession correlate to NZ too.

This is like a Brexit debate!

We can't back out now, the eyes of the world are watching us! Even the BBC which has proclaimed NZ as having no affordable cities, and this article has some very startling facts about our situation.

So it's a done deal! And the results of the new census will add further evidence of empty homes that so restricts our housing supply.

BBC article:

No census forms returned for empty houses, no one in there!

Yes which means there'll be a knock on that empty home door with a penalty notice for not completing that census. ;)

I fear that the foreign buyers ban might back-fire on the Labour Government.

Perhaps the Government will remember to consult with stakeholders in future??

TTP (the optimist)

We all know that you're an RE Ttp, and therefore you are terrified at having your cash flow serverly curtailed.

You have to face the reality of the situation that NZ residents are becoming tenants in our own land and that simply is not acceptable.

Worst still is that you are destroying illegitimate businesses through making NZ far to expensive to live in. Ah well you'll just have to drop your over bloated sales commission rate won't you.


I think you'll find that the stakeholders were consulted quite recently. There was this process known as a general election.

I'm not surprised they've made a hash of it. They rushed it, didn't properly consult, knee jerk policy dreamed up on the hoof. Their lack of depth and experience has been exposed at the first real hurdle. On an issue where they had significant mainstream support, even from economic rightists such as me. And to compound matters they go into lock down, refusing to face media on other than pre-scripted issues.

Middleman, they won’t meet media because they won’t have any answers to the questions.
Totally out of their depth this coalition, and Winston damn well knows it!

TM2 - the winds have shifted and if not careful, you might find yourself leaking in the wrong direction.

2 questions to the groups making such submissions against Bill

  1. Do they think that there is a housing crisis in NZ?
  2. Do they think that overseas ownership is less than 3%?
  3. Also wondering is there any way the public can file submissions in support of this bill ?

I'm happy to buy any small parcels of land needed for cellphone towers to lease to these organizations. Whats the problem.

Translation :
I am entitled to clip the ticket while doing nothing - I am a Kiwi.

Try protection of sovreignty for kiwis living and paying tax in NZ, otherwise it looks like your saying all landlords do nothing but ticket clip?

Ah, but the bill as written does not allow these organisations to lease land either! Well thought out that, not.

the queenstown submission is interesting in that they are saying it will effect rich overseas owners buying a second home in queenstown but not do any good for locals,
so they are putting overseas owners interests over their own locals?
and this is the place that ritches had to buy houses to put drivers in as they could not afford to live there.
the same place that NZ snow said would become an aspen, all owned by rich overseas owners and workers bused in to service them


This is National party mentality. For the rich. To the rich, by the rich and who cares about common kiwi.

It is this mentaility that crushed Bill English dream and rightly or if national would have come to power would have to change the name fron Newzealand to Ch......though damage has been done but better late than never.

Oh dearie me. Common taters, with some exceptions, seem to have read 'furriners monopolising Hooses'.

But the essence of the submissions quoted in the article is that the proposal actually catches 'Overseas Persons' - which includes large swathes of familiar companies. Who has not heard of Vodafone, Synlait, Toyota. All with majority overseas shareholding, so 'Overseas Person'.

The point made in submissions is equally simple: it ain't just Houses. The thing, as currently bodged together drafted, is far too wide in its catchment, has massive unintended consequences for the wider economy, and is unfit for purpose.

Bleating on aboot Hooses misses the point completely.

and why can they not lease the land and buildings which are fully tax deductible. its a red hearing, even some of the biggest forests the overseas owner only owns the trees the land is owned by locals

The bill says they cannoty lease either! Dumb.

Property bought in NZ, money paid in China. It is said it is a new way for some people to do business. Without a chain, how could this happen? Wake up Kiwi, NZ is being corrupted.

i guess its a case of ordinary working kiwi up against those willing to sell NZ for a quick buck.
hope labour hold there nerve they will be rewarded at the ballot box

The latest Property Institute Poll showed the public still ranked foreign buyers (7.3/10) as having the biggest influence on prices, ahead of developers (7/10) and local investors (6.3/10).

It is accepted all influenctial people, groups and association are bound to create obstacle as it harms speculators and people with vested interest.

Winston Peter is experience and thick skin to fall for such submission and have doubts if will bow down to such pressure.

If foreign buyers do not play a major role than WHY are so many being upset with foreign buyer ban.

Can labour party back out from its election promise or can it dilute it... Have doubts.

A fair question, indeed.

Does anyone know what is the time frame of the process.

There will be a price for ignoring the people in a democracy, either the democracy goes or something has to give.


Really I find the arguments to oppose the Foreign Buyers Ban extremely weak. There have been so many business that have had to fold due to the high cost of living in Auckland and now Wellington is catching up.

And the fact that Each year about $1.35 billion from the proceeds of fraud and illegal drugs is laundered through everyday New Zealand businesses (And ends up in mostly Auckland real estate).
According to the NZ Justice web site, it's still going to be around another year before the Real Estate Agents need to comply with Anti Money Laundering restrictions (Which are fairly tokenistic). How can we not bring in the Foreign Buyers Ban which will also help to combat these issues??

Why does the AML Act apply to real estate agents? Answer: Criminals often use real estate to convert the money they make from illegal activities into legitimate assets.

I'm OK with the 'vibe' mentioned by the article, I'm OK with the difficulty in forming a sensible piece of legislation. I hope that our government doesn't rush it and ruin it, although giving the impression of rushing it through it perhaps a good approach.
As long as we are waving the flag in front the world 'get ready because we do not wish to be a target for overseas speculation on the value of our land our peoples' favourite pastime (houses)', then it is enough to start dampening the unaffordable-house-market.

I am not OK with anyone saying "the evidence isn't there". Even if they are right, it should be "we need to gather the evidence". This topic, the nz home ownership dream, and the foriegn buyer fear of NZers is so major that there must be movement on it. Stomp on some personal freedoms even and find out who is buying, where they came from, what they ate for breakfast.

Politics changed in NZ a while back. Sometime in the Clarke/Cullen era, we ended up with executive power, politicians felt they could do whatever they dam well liked, they were modern day emperors.

The last National government took it to the next level, government by the few for the few. We now have politicians who go to Uni study politics and law get a job in parliament find a party to use as a vehicle for advancement, stand in an election and become an MP, then straight to the board of a Chinese bank, when their experience in previous lives as real estate agents or teachers don't appear be the skills a bank really needs.

When I was young most of the Mp's had been shot at in a war, they were servants of the people, they didn't want money or need the recognition. I remember the Mp John Fallon telling me how things had changed, in the past when you asked a question in Parliament, you were respected and mp's were expected to be honest and truthful in reply, the Labour party Mp's would just sneer and laugh at you.

Today it's perfectly ok to think of your future when an Mp, keep an eye on the next job, that is bad juju for the country, look at the Mp's stuffed into cushy jobs upon leaving parliament. Using contacts made and paid for while serving the country, and they see nothing wrong with this because they see money and power as a natural means of advancement, they believe in the meritocracy, 'Nothing personal, we are just better than you'.

This is also noticeable in the Maori tribes were those at the top take all the cream and very little flows down those that need it.

When I left the National party the new breed of Mp would turn up, talk condescendingly to us for half an hour and bugger off.

To day corporate power = political power. Voters are just chumps.

Something needs to change or we will lose what is most important to us.

AJ... I'd also add that since the Tony Blair era , populism politics has grown.. My understanding is that political parties might have focus groups to figure out what policies will give them the most votes...

so... to get in power they will give us "lollies", and "promises", and then when in power, like u say, simply do their own thing, for their own agenda, whether it is ideological or whatever...

The flip side of that is that, of course, is that voters have to be selfish, and vote to get the lollies....
Sure as hell... noone unselfishly votes to pay more tax...
I wonder how many people vote based on potential longer term effects of policy..??

It is a tangled business. In the last election I suspect the majority thought they were voting for less tax, but ended up paying more as Labour and Greens took away their tax cut. Is that what the majority wanted?

Interesting you mention Blair, the nice young man whose decisions cost millions of lives in the Middle East to be violated. I don't think that is what his supporters expected either.

you practice to deceive

They didn't have their tax cut taken away - they had their promise of a tax cut taken away

Welcome to Capitamocracy....Which really makes a mockery of Democracy and the Public.

I wish I could give this more than one like

Regarding tax. Is paying a little more tax/rates actually advantageous to the majority of workers if it IS used to provide better services such as education, hospitals and infrastructure (much better travel times to work being a hopeful benefit.) I do wonder if many of us had less cash to waste on frivolous pursuits that we may actually have a better life. Another benefit might be less junk in landfills.

And there you have leftist dogma perfectly described. The state knows best how to spend the money you earn. From previous quotes I’m guessing you are older than most here. Have you not got the message yet? If you are past 45 your input is not wanted in NZ life.

Ex Expat. Have you made money in the untaxed capital gains of housing. If so, you are an absolute hypocrite.

I paid off approximately $1,000,000 of mortgage the old fashioned way i.e. work for a salary to save over many years for a deposit then pay off the interest and principal from the same source. No inheritances, windfall gains etc. Based on current CV the market has given me an unrealised capital gain of approx. $1,500,000. If I continue to moderate consumption and am employed long enough to save sufficient to see me through to death, then I intend to pass the unencumbered house onto my children. Of course there’s many decades of political decisions to navigate in the meantime, hence my interest in what’s going on with taxes etc.

Edit: that should read pay off the mortgage on a house that cost $1,000,000 with improvements.

How's that subsidised public transport working for your commute these days?

Just as National failed to consult Iwi on the Kermedec sanctuary this Govt have failed to consult Iwi on the foreign buyer ban. Any foreign buyer ban or ocean sanctuary proposal that may impact Iwi commercial interests needs the approval of Tangata Whenua first.