The Overseas Investments Office says it doesn't have enough evidence to take action against disgraced US television host Matt Lauer after investigating whether he meets the good character requirements to own Otago's Hunter Valley station.

In November 2016, Lauer convinced the Government he and his wife Annette Lauer were suitable owners of the property, on the shores of Lake Hawea.

The purchase of the station, valued at more than $13 million, was completed early last year, and Lauer has said he and his family were "looking forward" to making a home in the Upper Clutha.

The Overseas Investment Office, at the time, and other officials were satisfied the good character requirement of the Overseas Investment Act 2005 was met by Lauer's declaration and the check.


But NBC then fired Lauer for inappropriate sexual behaviour towards female colleagues. In an apology statement he wrote: "There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions."

 Matt Lauer, former co-host of the NBC Today programme. Picture / AP
Matt Lauer, former co-host of the NBC Today programme. Picture / AP

After revelations of Lauer's behaviour came to light, the OIO looked into the good character conditions imposed on the American couple, and said today that no further action will be taken.

"After investigating the matter and taking legal advice, we have reached the position that we have insufficient evidence at this time to take proceedings against Mr Lauer for breach of the condition," said LINZ deputy chief executive Lisa Barrett.

"However, the OIO will continue to actively monitor the matter should further information come to light. In addition, the OIO has made it clear to Mr Lauer of his continuing obligation to remain of good character as a condition of his OIO consent." she said.

"To take any enforcement proceedings for a breach of the good character condition, the OIO needs to consider the nature of the allegation, what evidence there is about the allegation and the seriousness of the matter. The types of things we would need to consider are whether the person has been found guilty of an offence.

"Mr Lauer has not been charged with any offence, nor convicted, and the evidence available to the OIO at this time does not establish that Mr Lauer is unfit to continue to hold the asset. However in reaching this position we do not condone the inappropriate way that Mr Lauer has behaved."