22 Oct 2013

Investment by NZ overseas doubles in 12 years

10:57 am on 22 October 2013

New Zealanders are sending more of their money overseas to get an investment return.

Statistics New Zealand says money spent on shares, property or other investments abroad has doubled in the past 12 years to almost $164 billion, or three-quarters of the country's entire GDP.

The figures show 64% of the money is going to Australia, the United States, Britain, Japan and the Netherlands.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers financial adviser Geoff Nightingale this shows how increasingly connected New Zealand is to the world.

"That in a way is good for New Zealand because it reduces our economic risk, because we've got stakes in a whole lot of markets and access to a whole lot of markets. Which has got to be good for a small trading nation like New Zealand."

The figures also show New Zealanders were undeterred by controversial Government moves several years ago requiring tax to be paid on a theoretical 5% return, whether an investment makes that profit or not.

Mr Nightingale says investors have come to accept this, and the tax changes have encouraged, not discouraged, overseas investment.

But the figures for New Zealand investments abroad were still exceeded by overseas investments here.