The Rt Hon Bill English’s first cabinet reshuffle as Prime Minister has resulted in new appointments to the ministerial positions that oversee the Overseas Investment Act 2005 (the Act): the Minister of Finance and Minister of Land Information.
- Hon Steven Joyce is the new Minister of Finance, replacing Mr English. Previously Mr English delegated his OIO role to the Associate Minister of Finance, the Hon Paula Bennett. It is yet to be seen if Mr Joyce will delegate the role the Associate Minister of Finance, although such a move would be unsurprising given the portfolios that Mr Joyce is responsible for. Hon Simon Bridges and Hon Amy Adams are the newly appointed Associate Ministers of Finance.
- Mark Mitchell MP is the new Minister for Land Information, replacing Hon Louise Upston MP. Mr Mitchell is the National Party candidate for Rodney and is the chairperson for the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee. Before his time in Parliament, Mr Mitchell was in the New Zealand Police for 13 years, and has spent time in Iraq as a private security contractor.
While the reshuffle has the potential to cause some delay to applications requiring Ministerial consent, it comes at a time when Parliament is in recess and Ministers are away from Parliament in any event. We are therefore hopeful that any delay is likely to be relatively limited.
Despite the reshuffle, the Government has managed to have published in the Gazette new regulations aimed at streamlining the OIO process. These regulations will take effect on 1 February 2017, creating five further exemptions from the Act. See Applications under the Overseas Investment Act 2005 - a practical update for further information regarding the new exemptions.
This publication is necessarily brief and general in nature. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this publication.