New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) has announced the appointment of an independent advisory panel to support the new Active Investor Plus visa scheme. The panel, which comprises experienced industry professionals, will be responsible for determining which investments qualify for the visa's special weighting, which allows overseas investors to apply for residency with a reduced investment amount if the investment is made into an approved company or fund.
The Active Investor Plus visa scheme, which was introduced in 2020, aims to attract high-net-worth individuals to invest in New Zealand and ultimately become residents of the country. Under the scheme, overseas investors who wish to apply for New Zealand residency must have a minimum of $15 million to invest. However, the special weighting allows for a reduced investment amount if the investment is made into an approved company or fund. This is a significant incentive for potential investors as it allows them to apply for residency with a direct $5 million investment into an approved New Zealand company or a $7.5 million investment into an approved managed fund.
The scheme is designed to ensure that migrant investors are taking an active role in the development of New Zealand's economy. The panel, which is led by Chair Mel Hewitson MNZM, brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in institutional investment and fund management, risk, compliance and financial regulation. Other panel members include Debbie Birch, a professional director with a focus on Māori economic development, and Pip Dunphy, an independent director with experience and knowledge in capital markets, banking, finance and investment management.
"We are delighted to have the experience and knowledge of Mel, Debbie and Pip for this panel," said Dylan Lawrence, the General Manager of Investment at NZTE. "They have a strong understanding of New Zealand's capital markets and will ensure that everyone has confidence in the process, and that the range of options available to our Active Investors are important parts of New Zealand's economic development."
The appointment of an independent advisory panel is a positive step towards ensuring transparency and fairness in the decision-making process. It also helps to build trust and confidence in the scheme among potential investors. The panel's role is to review and evaluate investment applications, and to ensure that the investments align with the scheme's objectives of supporting economic development and job creation in New Zealand.
Once investments are determined acceptable by the panel and confirmed by NZTE, the managed funds are added to a list published on NZTE's website, while direct investments receive a letter of confirmation to provide to their investor as evidence for Immigration New Zealand. The panel is scheduled to meet for the first time in February and is expected to meet monthly to review applications.
This new visa scheme is a part of New Zealand's efforts to attract more high net worth individuals and investment to the country. It is a significant opportunity for New Zealand to access global investment capital and expertise, and to create jobs and economic growth. The scheme is also an opportunity for potential investors to gain a pathway to residency in New Zealand, which is a desirable destination for many people due to its lifestyle, natural beauty, and political stability.