March 07, 2018
Forest rights changes to beat CPTTPA deadline
Associate Finance Minister David Parker is reassuring iwi, Maori land and forest owners of changes to the treatment of overseas investments in forestry rights.
Cabinet has agreed to changes to bring forestry rights into the Overseas Investment Act screening regime, as well as open a streamlined approval path for overseas investors.
Mr Parker says while Maori hold a large percentage of forestry interests in New Zealand, it is not anticipated the change will prejudice interests Iwi have secured through the settlement process or fundamentally change the rights and interests of Maori in relation to their lands.
The change needed to be made before the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership came into force because otherwise future governments could not screen overseas purchases of New Zealand forests because there is little difference in effect between a long term lease and a long term forestry registration right.
Overseas investors will be able to purchase up to 1000 hectares of forestry rights a year, or any forestry right of less than three years duration, without OIA approval.
Ministers are finalising the details of the proposal and it will then be referred to Select Committee. There will be a short period for public consideration.
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