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New Zealand, a full member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), is one of the most open economies in the world. It has a small population of 4 million and is physically remote, being 1,500 km from its nearest neighbour – Australia, but it is closely engaged with the rest of the wrold economically and culturally. As a nation of migrants, New Zealand is ethnically diverse. It is also a politically advanced country with political stability, and its citizens enjoys democracy with a proportional representation voting system which tends to produce coalition governments. New Zealand has been rated first or first equal for freedom from corruption by Transparency International's Corruption Barometer in the past eight years.

New Zealand welcomes foreign investment although the consent of the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) is required for certain transactions involving "overseas persons". The screening regime is contained within the Overseas Investment Act 2005 (Act). An overseas person is defined as:

  • • an individual who is not a New Zealand citizen and who is not ordinarily resident in New Zealand
  • • partnership, body corporate or trust where an overseas person or persons have 25% or more ownership or control (or similar requirements are met), and
  • • a company incorporated outside New Zealand, or in which an overseas person or persons have 25% or more of any class of share, or the power to control 25% or more of the company's governing body, or 25% of voting rights, or the right to exercise control over 25% or more of voting rights.

Company incorporation can be a tricky process requiring specific knowledge. There are also statutory and legal obligations for companies and their directors set by the New Zealand Companies Act and fines of up to $10,000 if these obligations are ignored. It is therefore essential to seek advice and incorporate services through an experienced and professional consulting firm like Proxy. We have excellent knowledge of government policies and the procedures for obtaining overseas investment consent. Proxy is your choice for international companies operating in, or with interests in, New Zealand.

E-mail us at info@proxy.com.hk or Call us at +852 2516 9123