Reform of the Overseas Investment Act 2005
Agriculture is a significant contributor to the economy:
- For the year to June 2018 62.2% of the value of New Zealand’s $55.5 billion merchandise exports came from agricultural products.
- Agriculture’s direct contribution to GDP is around 5-6% but that does not include its indirect contribution through food processing and services used by farmers.
- As at February 2018 53,500 agricultural businesses employed 84,400 people (excluding business owners).
- Since 1978 productivity in the agricultural sector has grown faster than for the economy as a whole.
Overseas investment has many benefits but it has proven to be controversial, despite New Zealand having relatively restrictive rules for overseas investment. Federated Farmers’ policy position, adopted in 2015, is that we support overseas investment, including in farmland, although we have reservations about mass aggregation and vertical integration of farmland and want the Overseas Investment Office to be rigorous in assessing applications and in monitoring and enforcing any conditions of approval.
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