In 2018 new laws were enforced to restrict foreigers from buying property in New Zealand. These changes do not affect existing ownership by overseas people.
A summary of who can buy property in New Zealand:
1. Provided you can show you call New Zealand home you will be able to buy residential property in New Zealand. This means you will:
Holds a resident class visa
Has resided in New Zealand for the last 12 months
Has been physically present in New Zealand for 183 days of that 12-month period
Is a tax resident of New Zealand
2. Australians and Singaporean citizens can also buy residential property in New Zealand due to free-trade agreements, but will still face screening by the OIO.
If you do not meet the criteria above, you will need to obtain consent from the Overseas Investment Office. This is neither a fast nor simple process and in order to obtain that consent, an overseas person will need to satisfy one of the following tests (which are less onerous than the Benefit Test under the current Act):
Increased housing test: If the overseas buyer would be developing land and adding to New Zealand’s housing supply.
Non-residential use test: If the overseas buyer intends to use the land for non-residential purposes.
Incidental residential use test: If the overseas buyer intends to use the land for a residential purpose in the course of business (for example, retirement village, rest home, student hostel or similar – but not a hospital, hotel, motel, campground, etc).
Commitment test: If the overseas buyer holds an appropriate visa and can show they have committed to reside in New Zealand.