A signed declaration by disgraced NBC news presenter Matt Lauer and an "open source" background check were enough to satisfy the New Zealand Government he was of good character.

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

A year later, Lauer was fired by NBC for inappropriate sexual behaviour towards female work colleagues, and in an apology statement wrote: "There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions.

"To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry.


"As I am writing this I realise the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC."

According to documents released to the Otago Daily Times by the Overseas Investment Office, an unnamed Land Information New Zealand team manager and an unnamed senior solicitor were satisfied the good character requirement of the Overseas Investment Act 2005 was met by Lauer's declaration and the check.

A recommendation was made to the Ministers of Finance and Land Information that Lauer and his wife were of good character and their purchase would benefit New Zealand.

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.