Earlier this year, trans-Tasman business investment became significantly easier with the enactment of the Overseas Investment (Australia) Amendment Regulations 2013. The regulations implemented an obligation under the Protocol on Investment to the New Zealand-Australia Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement, increasing substantially the thresholds for which non-government trans-Tasman investments require regulatory approval. For further details on these regulations see our earlier update here.
The Overseas Investment Office recently notified in the Gazette that the new Australian in-bound threshold, which applies to investments in business assets worth more than NZ$477 million, has been retained for the period from 1 January to 31 December 2014. The threshold of NZ$100 million for Australian Government investments has also been retained for the same period.
The regulations provide for both thresholds to be adjusted annually based on an inflation-based formula.
Australian investors continue to face the same rules as other overseas investors under the Overseas Investment Act for investments in sensitive land or fishing quota, and are also subject to the same rules where the proposed investment in a 'significant business asset' includes sensitive land and/or fishing quota.