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Overseas Investment Amendment Bill

Introduced on Dec 14. The Bill class residential and lifestyle housing and land as sensitive under the Overseas Investment Act and only makes it sale possible to non-residents under limited circumstance. It also gives new information-gathering and enforcement powers of the Overseas Investment Office. Completed first reading on Dec 19 with National and ACT opposing and sent to the Finance and Expenditure Committee for consideration. National also strongly opposed a curtailed select committee process with the Committee ordered to report back by Feb 20 by a majority of the House. Trade Minister David Parker indicated the committee would be given more time to consider the Bill with the CPTPP now due to be signed in March. The Govt sent further amendments to select committee bringing investments in sensitive land involving forestry rights under the Act. Under the proposed changes investors buying up to 1000 hectares of forestry rights each year will not need consent, but purchases above that level would be screened. This would apply to all forestry rights, including bare land planting. The changes would also introduce a light-handed “checklist” screening regime, for overseas investors if they were subject to the current screening regime. Report back extended until June 21. Reported back on June 18 with a larger number of amendments. These included carving out some groups from the ban. This included infrastructure companies and others. Other exceptions were also made for different types of purchase. Unusually the Speaker ruled one amendment exempting a specific development as out of order as it used a public bill to give private benefit. Second reading completed on June 26. Committee stage began on August 1 with National strongly opposing and filibustering the Bill. Committee stage eventually completed on August 14 with no major amendments and third reading completed on August 15 with National and ACT opposed. Overseas Investment Amendment Bill