NZ millionaire immigration framework overdue for full engine rebore

By Marcus Beveridge

Managing Director Marcus Beveridge is probably without parallel in terms of representing business migrants to New Zealand over the last 30 years.

Marcus began doing this in the hallowed halls of Bell Gully Buddle Weir (BGBW) in the early 90s.

They say it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks but right now the old dog is uniquely placed to assist the motu get out of the economic doldrums that we are currently in.

Business migration could be the economic panacea that Aotearoa needs right now.

In simplistic terms, we need to:

1) Change the regulatory framework of the Active Investor Plus category (AIP);

2) Redesign the policy settings for the Entrepreneur Work Visa (EWV).

Doing so could result in:

1) Billions of dollars being injected into our economy. This could include, for example, funding for NZ’s ailing infrastructure, regional investment, and in the crudest terms employment for a specified number of Kiwis;

2) Increased and enhanced international connections for our export based economy;

3) Venture capital initiatives into high tech and high growth industries.

It would mitigate against us turning into a third world banana republic.

"Business migration could be the economic panacea that Aotearoa needs right now."

The Coalition Government needs to get its thinking cap on and get the job done. Rather than being influenced by bureaucratic boffins with no real world experience, its ministers, spin doctors, and policy teams need to robustly engage with those at the coal face so that we end up with attractive rules that result in outcomes we want.

Some of the levers that have dramatic consequences are things like setting English language requirements too high. This pretty much wipes out a large component of the North Asian market, which at one stage comprised 96% of the millionaire market. Careful and deliberate planning is required.

With reference to the EWV, frankly it is an outrage that these moronic rules have remained in place for close to a decade. Sure, the pre-existing LTBV requirements may have set the bar a bit low but changes made have overcorrected and at one stage the decline rate was in excess of 90%. An absolute disgrace. These rules could be tweaked so that an immigrant was required to run a modest business in a regional part of New Zealand for, say, 3 years employing for example 5 Kiwis and could work to residence. Winners all.

So where we are now is a crying shame, much in need of a full engine rebore to be completed by experienced business people with some limited input from career pencil pushers. In addition, if we are to extend the invitation to treat to become residents of New Zealand to the international marketplace, we need these applications to be processed expeditiously and decisively by those who are more empathetic to investors and entrepreneurs and look for reasons to approve such candidates rather than squabble over issues of de minimis significance.

As Aristotle opined, it is the quick and nimble who get paid and the agile who get laid.

For those that way inclined, please refer to the following links which set out a number of considerations and variables that can go into the mix. Note the RNZ article this week “Visas for wealthy investors decline, NZ economy takes hit – lawyers”  also.

Active Investor Plus – full engine rebore fails so far: read here

Q&A with Marcus Beveridge: read here

Visas for wealthy investors decline, NZ economy takes hit – lawyers: read here

Migrants need better lures: read here

Government kills golden goose that lays Immigrations golden eggs: read here

Note: Marcus has also made many TV, radio and other media appearances on business migration previously as Chairman of NZAMI and Convenor of the New Zealand Law Society Immigration Committee, amongst other things.

He is always willing to discuss these issues and may be contacted on 0274 877 332 or emailed at

We have taken care to ensure that the information given is accurate, however it is intended for general guidance only and it should not be relied upon in individual cases. Professional advice should always be sought before any decision or action is taken.