European Union investment in New Zealand

  • Legal update

    01 May 2024

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Following the conclusion of extensive negotiations beginning in June 2018, New Zealand entered into a Free Trade Agreement with the European Union (the EU), signed in Brussels on 9 July 2023. As a result, a higher threshold of NZD200 million (increased from the default NZD100 million) will apply from today (1 May 2024) to investments in significant business assets in New Zealand by qualifying investors from the EU. 

Who is a qualifying EU investor? 

In general terms, and under the strongest exemption category, this includes EU nationals and “EU enterprises”, being EU constituted (incorporated or unincorporated) enterprises or the EU branch of a non-NZ enterprise each of which have a substantial business in the EU or are more than 75% owned and controlled by NZ citizens / ordinary residents or an EU national. Any enterprises which have more than 25% non-NZ government involvement are excluded, as are an enterprise’s NZ branches.

We have prepared the attached summary setting out, at a high-level, New Zealand’s foreign investment regime. This summary does not cover other processes that may be relevant to a proposed transaction (including New Zealand’s anti-trust regime or New Zealand’s takeovers regime). 

If you have any questions in relation to the regime, please contact one of our experts.