Policy Point: FDI: Unjustified Urgency

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Policy Point
18 May, 2020

On 14 May, the Government introduced an Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Amendment Bill to the House and held its first reading on the same day. It had such little regard for public consultation the deadline for submissions was set for 4 pm on Monday, 18 May – giving submitters only two full working days.

The proposed urgent changes represent a substantial potential barrier for any Kiwi business to rescue itself by accessing foreign direct investment (FDI). Specifically, the regime requires each business, no matter how small, to get prior Ministerial approval when raising enough capital from a foreign person to exceed more than 25% of its equity or to increase that person’s ownership to, or beyond, 50%, 75% or 100%.

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