Contact us

Protecting our precious places

Cost recovery for OIO required covenants

The National Trust’s policy is to target our limited funds to support the establishment of covenants in situations where landowner motivation (to the best of our knowledge) is primarily philanthropic (for the public/community good). 

We will usually seek the recovery of costs to covenant if the establishment of a covenant is primarily driven by commercial benefit or is an imposed statutory obligation such as when overseas owners acquire or seek to acquire land and have to satisfy conditions imposed through the Overseas Investment Office (OIO).

The National Trust will operate on a ‘pay as you go’ approach when covenanting is an OIO requirement. Clear expectations will be set at the outset on the costs to be recovered from the applicant and what will be delivered to them.

Standard process when working with OIO proposals

1. Making initial contact

  • An applicant or their agent contacts our Wellington office or one of our regional representatives to advise us of their covenant requirement. 
  • The enquiry is lodged in our system.
  • A letter is sent to the applicant or their agent outlining the National Trust’s process and associated payment structure, and if acceptable to the applicant, the standard terms of engagement are agreed.
If the National Trust has not been advised of a legal obligation driving a covenant request and this becomes apparent after it has started working on the proposal, the applicant will be invoiced retrospectively for work already done. The owed amount must be settled for the covenanting process to continue.

2. Initial (rapid) assessment

  • The applicant is invoiced (invoice 01) by the National Trust for an upfront non-refundable payment to cover assessment costs. Assessment costs are those incurred by our regional representative to:
    • gather baseline covenant information
    • confirm the area's open space values
    • identify any long-term threats to the proposed covenant
    • prepare an initial proposal report, and
    • enter this information into our covenant database.
  • The applicant is sent a report with this assessment information including whether or not the proposal is likely to meet our criteria for protection.
  • If the applicant wishes, or remains legally compelled to proceed with a QEII National Trust covenant, the full proposal and registration process then proceeds.

3. Full proposal and registration process

  • The applicant is invoiced (invoice 02) and on receipt of payment the regional representative will then make a comprehensive assessment of the area and submit a full covenant proposal to our Wellington office for formal approval.
  • Once a covenant proposal is formally approved, the applicant is sent a covenant agreement to sign, together with an invoice (invoice 03) to cover the costs to progress the proposal up to the final registration of the covenant on the land title. 
  • To proceed with the final step of registering the covenant against the land title, the applicant must have:
    • met in full all surveying costs and completed any fencing as required in the proposal
    • made a one-off payment to cover the net present value (NPV) of all future monitoring costs (invoice 04*).

Cost recovery indication (note: all costs indicated below may be reviewed periodically by the National Trust)


*In special cases where a stricter monitoring regime is required as an obligation by a third party (Department of Conservation, OIO or Council), a custom calculation for the NPV cost of monitoring will be calculated and may differ than the amount indicated above.

MoST Content Management V3.0.6374