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5 December 2017

Government Cracks Down on Foreign Property Buyers

The new Government has recently announced its plan to effectively block non-residents or non-citizens from buying existing residential properties.

The key points from the recent announcement are:


  • Residential housing will be classified as “sensitive land”.
  • Housing classified as sensitive land will not be able to be purchased or gifted without Overseas Investment Office consent.
  • There will be a residency test for purchasers.
  • Those who already own property in New Zealand will not be affected as the legislation is not intended to be retrospective.
  • Those who are not residents or citizens will still be able to purchase land and build new housing or purchase “off the plan”.
  • Australian buyers will be exempt.
  • It is expected the legislation will be introduced to Parliament by Christmas and passed early in the New Year.


At this stage there are limited details of the proposed legislation changes available. We will be closely monitoring and reviewing the changes in order to advise our clients in relation to the new process and to assist with obtaining Overseas Investment Office consent where necessary.


The above information is of a general nature only. You should contact our firm for advice relating to your specific circumstance.


Chris Boivin

About Chris Boivin

Chris is a Partner advising clients on a wide range of matters. He assists with both commercial, rural and residential property matters, as well as business transactions and asset planning.

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Victoria Agnew

About Victoria Agnew

Victoria joined Saunders Robinson Brown in 2017. She provides legal support to our Trusts & Estates team.

View all posts by Victoria Agnew