Hon Maurice Williamson
Minister for Land Information
17 April 2012
Clarification on monitoring of land sales
Claims the Government is failing to monitor foreign buyers of New Zealand land are dangerous and misleading, Land
Information Minister Maurice Williamson says.
The sale of land to foreign investors is monitored by the Overseas Investment Office (OIO).
There is a clear difference between the OIO’s monitoring of land sales to foreign buyers and the investigating of cases.
Monitoring includes checking that conditions of consent are complied with.
Investigations include investigating breaches of conditions of consent; not obtaining consent; failure to comply with
notices (e.g. information requests relating to suspected breaches.)
Statements there has been a decline in the number of investigations are misleading as an investigation is only carried
out if a breach is suspected. If there is no breach or no suspicion of a breach – there is no investigation.
The OIO monitoring of cases is robust and numbers have remained fairly consistent over the past three years.
Table 1 shows monitoring of cases from 2000 to 2011.
Table 2 shows the number of investigations carried out between 2000 and 2011. It is important to note an investigation is only
carried out if a breach is suspected.
Table 1) Number of cases monitored since 2000.
YearNumber of cases monitored200033120012682002315200336920042592005249200619620072552008162200932720103622011318
Table 2) Number of investigations since 2000.
InvestigationsClosed Closing balance 200002*
* In these years, late reporting (even by a few days) was classified as an “investigation”. Excluding late reporting
reduces the number of investigations to zero in the years 2000, 2001 and 2002, to 35 in 2003, to 41 in 2004 and to 16 in