Forestry registration rights are to be brought under the control of the Overseas Investment Office.
However, Cabinet has also agreed to streamline the way applications are considered by the office.
Forest owners had complained that tortuous proceedings by the Overseas Investment Office make it hard for overseas forestry companies to invest in New Zealand and put in jeopardy the government's one billion tree programme.
The streamlined path for applications would apply to cutting-rights for forests as well as freehold or leasehold land, which is already controlled.
The government is making these changes now before the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership comes into force.
Overseas investors will be still be able to purchase up to 1000ha of forestry rights per annum, or any forestry right of less than three years duration, without OIA approval.