Our observation, along with most in the industry, is that migrant investors are averse to risk in their portfolio of NZ investments for the purposes of Residence. This is totally understandable. The investment is locked in to NZ-based assets or instruments for 3 years (Investor 1, $10 million) or 4 years (Investor 2, $3 million +). It must hold its value for the whole of that time - or, at the very least, have the same value at the end. Otherwise the Resident Visa is lost.
As a result, most successful applicants invest in safe, low-yield items such as Government bonds. The Government has tried to spice up the landscape by providing policy incentives to put one's money in "growth" investments - that is, anything other than bonds or philanthropic investment in charities (which is now also permissible). This could also include putting one's money forward as venture capital for a start-up, although I find it hard to imagine anyone doing that unless they were not absolutely wedded to the idea of having a NZ Resident Visa any time in the future.
However, commercial property may be a relatively safe bet. Not only is it unlikely to disappear any time soon (barring the odd earthquake . . . ) but it also promises a better Return on Investment (ROI) than sticking the money in the bank. Common advertised rates of return have been 5 - 10% for many years. And it looks like most commercial sites are fully tenanted -
occupancy rates are at their highest for some years
One particularly interesting area for investigation may be hotels. Reports from the
National Business Review
last week point to a scarcity of accommodation, so that room rates are fetching premium prices. It is unlikely that this is going to change much year-on-year into the future. New Zealand continues to be one of the world's most desirable destinations, because of its clean environment, low population and safety from threats such as terrorism.
This means that investment in a hotel as a going concern should reap good returns in the future. It would also be worth considering as one of the few worthwhile projects for an Entrepreneur Visa as we mentioned above. However, given that building a hotel is nowadays likely to tick into the tens of millions, you're better off to go direct for an Investor 1 Visa and save yourself the pain of the Entrepreneur route.