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Do Good, Do Well. New Zealand’s Investor Migration Programme Welcomes Values-Based, Active Investors

Matt Hoskin

Matt Hoskin

Matt Hoskin led the migrant investment team at Immigration New Zealand and is now with Invest New Zealand, supporting the delivery of the Active Investor Plus program.

New Zealand has a well-earned reputation as a beautiful and welcoming country. But in a market vying for offshore capital and expertise, New Zealand is putting itself a cut above the rest with both its ‘Do Good, Do Well’ investment drive and a new investor visa — Active Investor Plus.

With world-leading statistics around economic stability and corruption transparency, New Zealand is also world renowned for having a strong sense of environmental and social justice.

Launched in September 2022, ‘Do Good, Do Well’ is New Zealand’s new global investment drive that highlights the importance of sustainable, inclusive, and innovative business as the key to driving economic growth.

View of the skyline in Auckland, New Zealand, from the bay

New Zealand is distinguishing itself as not only a top destination for investor migrants considering a relocation but also one that takes a commitment to future generations seriously. Attracting investor migrants that share their spirit of innovation and a sense of kaitiakitanga (the Māori concept of guardianship of people and place).

A top destination for investor migrants

New Zealand has firmly established itself as one of the leading destinations for migrant investors. Since 2009 over 3000 investors and their families have chosen to bring their capital, expertise, insight and global networks to New Zealand and in doing so have made a significant contribution to the growth of businesses, our communities and our wider economy. This is within the context of a long history of openness to attracting migrants to grow the country.

Investor policies have been particularly successful in this regard, with over NZD 14 billion of investment deployed since 2009, as well as considerable and additional flow-on investment into highly productive areas of the economy.

Investors have found that New Zealand presents them and their families with some distinct advantages, over and above a quality lifestyle in a safe, diverse, and open society.

In a world of increasing geopolitical complexity and instability, New Zealand’s distance and yet global reach offers a reassuring position for investors. Levels of trust in government and democratic institutions remain high, with a predictable and transparent regulatory environment. In addition, the country has high quality education and health systems, as well as a simple, low-rate broad base tax regime with no taxes or stamp duties on inheritance or payroll, health care or social security. The top personal income tax rate is 39% and 28% for companies.

All these factors provide investors with the all-important confidence and certainty needed to plan for a long-term relationship with New Zealand, a level of trust which is reinforced by the issuance of a residence class visa once acceptable investments have been made.

New Zealand’s investor migration programme has been built on a deep understanding of the value investor migrants can deliver to New Zealand, and recognition of the fact that investors are global citizens and have many options vying for their attention. Success has been built around a focus on investors and their families as people first, and working across government and the private sector to support investors throughout their New Zealand journey and to quickly build the networks that they need to put down enduring roots.

A new visa to match 

This investor focus remains a constant as New Zealand’s investor policy settings have evolved to the new Active Investor Plus visa, which was launched in September 2022.

In line with the current direction of several residence-by-investment programmes in other jurisdictions, whilst more passive investments are welcome, the Active Investor Plus visa incentivises investment into higher value, higher reward asset classes, particularly direct investment into high growth potential companies and approved Private Equity or Venture Capital funds. These attract a weighting of three and two times respectively, which means that the cost of the investment required under the conditions of the visa can be reduced from NZD 15 million to NZD 5 million for a direct investment and NZD 7.5 million for an approved fund.

This reflects the New Zealand government’s recognition of the unique skills, experience and connections that investors can bring to support the growth of export focused businesses across sectors that include advanced transportation, food and beverage, renewable energies, tech and innovation, and tourism.

Another positive change to the Active Investor Plus visa is the role of New Zealand’s investment attraction agency, Invest New Zealand, which is now responsible for investor attraction, activation and community building. Whilst Immigration New Zealand is still responsible for processing the visa, Invest New Zealand has a global network of investment experts who will support investors at all stages of their New Zealand journey, including providing information and access to networks to assist them and their families to make the best decisions.

This also means providing access to the deals and funds that are acceptable under the Active Investor Plus policy. Invest New Zealand supports thousands of New Zealand companies and start-ups, all of which are aiming to grow into global markets, where New Zealand’s reputation provides a unique point of difference.

Although any new policy takes time to bed down, the number of Active Investor Plus visa applications received to date compares very favourably with the first two years of Investor One applications under the previous policy. This reflects the continued attraction of New Zealand’s values-based approach to business and goal to not only be the best in the world, but also be the best for the world.

For more information about New Zealand’s Active Investor Plus visa, visit Invest New Zealand.

 

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