OIO temporary emergency notification requirement to end

The New Zealand Government has announced today that the temporary emergency notification regime will end on Monday 7 June 2021.

The Government has completed its fourth 90-day review of the regime and has decided that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic do not justify the emergency OIO notification regime remaining in place.

The repeal of the emergency notification regime will take effect on Monday 7 June and will be replaced by a narrower national security and public order call-in power (further details are set out in our news alert here).

Transitional arrangements for both emergency notification requirements and national security and public order call-in (NSPO) notifications are based on the date the transaction takes place, not when the notification is made to the Office:

  • If your transaction is entered into before 7 June 2021, the temporary emergency notification regime applies.
  • If your transaction is entered into on or after 7 June 2021, the NSPO notification regime applies.

The Overseas Investment Amendment Bill (No 3) (Amendment Bill) was granted royal assent on 24 May 2021.  The changes under the Amendment Bill are set out in our news alert here.  We note that the Amendment Bill empowers the Government to reinstate an emergency notification regime through regulations provided that certain requirements are met.

Our view

As flagged in our 2021 M&A Forecast, given the resilience of the New Zealand economy in light of COVID-19, the justification for retaining the temporary emergency regime has faded and so we welcome the decision to remove it.  While the regime proved to be less onerous than expected, it is good to see the removal of time and cost constraints on transactions which clearly should not require screening and the lifting of a burden from the OIO.

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