New Zealand has tightened the foreign investment rules in strategic assets. Foreign investors hoping to buy strategic assets will now have to convince the government that it is in the national interest.

Associate Finance Minister David Parker said that the new rules will for the first time give the government the power to reject overseas investments in sensitive areas. He said the rules would apply to crucial infrastructure including ports and airports, telecommunications and electricity networks, as well as firms developing military technology or supplying intelligence agencies. He said the government could also veto foreign investments in media firms if they were a threat to democracy.

Mr Parker further clarified the new powers were not aimed at investments from China, which is New Zealand's largest trading partner. He added that it would be applied to all overseas investors, irrespective of where they are from.

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