Lochinver appeal shows OIO reform needed

Pure 100’s appeal of the Overseas Investment Office’s Lochinver decision shows the Office’s rules need to be tightened and toughened up immediately, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.

“At the moment you could drive a truck through the legal loopholes in the OIO. The law is vague and gives the minister so much leeway, decisions are ripe for appeal.

“This drags out a process that has taken over a year for Lochinver and now averages almost two months per consent request. Meanwhile funding and staffing for the Office has stalled for the last four years.

“Sellers and buyers have no certainty and don’t know where they stand. This is no way to get the right foreign investment into our country.

“Labour’s position is to reform the Overseas Investment Act to make rules clearer and tighter and the obligations on foreign investors more apparent.

“We would create a publically accessible register of foreign owners, ensure investors are held to account for their job creation and growth promises and conduct spot audits. 

“There is no doubt that both the Overseas Investment Act and the Overseas Investment Office need a real shake up because they are simply not delivering. 

“New Zealand needs good quality overseas investment that is going to deliver for our country and community. This means an overseas investment regime that is fit for purpose.  Our current one isn’t,” said Stuart Nash.