CAFCA - Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa

Foreign investment in Aotearoa/New Zealand

Overseas Investment Office - March 2011 Decisions

SkyCity Consolidates Control Of South Island Casinos

Another very busy month at the OIO. Firstly, the most significant approval by dollar value was SkyCity Entertainment Group Limited various overseas persons (30.6%), New Zealand Public and Various Entities, New Zealand (27.4%), Australia Investors, (23.9%), United States Public (6.4%), Investors Mutual Limited, Australia (6.2%), and United Kingdom Public (5.5%) receiving approval for the acquisition of direct and indirect rights or interests in: a further 50% of the shares of Christchurch Casinos Limited; and a further 40% of the shares of Queenstown Casinos Limited. The value of the assets of Christchurch Casinos Limited (CCL) and Queenstown Casinos Limited and their 25% or more subsidiaries is greater than $100m. The vendor was Skyline Enterprises Limited New Zealand (100%). Asset value was $246,000,000.

The OIO states: "The investment simplifies the ownership structures of the Christchurch and Queenstown casinos. Being part of the SkyCity group of companies will enable the full management expertise of SkyCity Entertainment Group Limited as a casino operator to be made available to Christchurch Casinos Limited and Queenstown Casinos Limited". Towards the end of 2010, SkyCity attempted to the remaining 50% of CCL it did not already own, but this was rejected by Skyline. Clearly SkyCity isn't giving up and presumably will soon make a higher off to Skyline shareholders. See our commentary in May 2004 for details of SkyCity's original purchase of a 40.5% stake in the Christchurch Casino, and our September 2010 commentary for details of Sky City increasing its' stake to 50%.

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Bathurst Increases South Island Coal Interests

Bathurst Resources Limited Various overseas persons (67.4%), Mathews Capital Partners Pty Ltd, Australia (13.8%), L1 Capital Pty Ltd, Australia (6.7%), JPMorgan Asset Management UK Ltd, United Kingdom (except Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) (4.5%), Northcape Capital Pty Ltd, Australia (3.5%), Perpetual Investments Ltd, Australia (2.1%), Focus Asset Management Pty Ltd, Australia (0.9%), New Zealand Public (0.6%), and JCP Investment Partners Ltd, Australia (0.5%) received approval for the acquisition of rights or interests in 100% of the shares of Eastern Resources Group Limited which owns or controls:

  • a leasehold interest in 76.3 hectares of land at Nightcaps, Southland; and
  • a leasehold interest in 4.5 hectares of land at Burnetts Face Road, Denniston, Buller District.

The vendors were Galilee Energy Limited Various, Various (54.8%), Becamal Pty Limited, Australia (16.9%), Ecarlate Pty Limited, Australia (12.1%), Ekco Investments Pty Limited, Australia (5.8%), Australia Public (5%), Corostar Pty Limited, Australia (2.6%), JP Morgan Nominees Australia Limited, Australia (2.3%), and New Zealand Public (0.5%). Consideration was $46,537,000. The OIO states: "The investment will see the Applicant further expand its coal production capabilities in the South Island . The Applicant aims to become a leading producer of high quality New Zealand coking and thermal coal".

NZPA reported details of this deal on (National Business Review, 16/11/10) "Coalminer Bathurst Resources is buying another coal project in the Buller region. Perth-based Bathurst is shelling out $A35 million ($NZ44.54m) to acquire Eastern Resources Group from Galilee Energy. The purchase will increase Bathurst's Buller coal resources by 55%, consolidating its Buller permits with Eastern's Whareatea West exploration permit. The Whareatea project is in the middle of Bathurst's Denniston Plateau project. It would bump up Bathurst's coal resource from 47.1m tonnes to 72.8m tonnes and could extend the mine life by over a decade to about 30 years, said Bathurst managing director Hamish Bohannan.

"'As far as Eastern's concerned, it's business as normal', he said. 'No changes there, no changes to jobs or anything else, no changes to profile. But what it does do, it means we've got a much more substantive project on the Buller plateau'. Bathurst will also gain two operating mines - Cascade in Buller and Takitimu in Ohai, Western Southland - giving it immediate cash flow. Cascade produces about 40,000 tonnes of coal a year, most sold under contract to the Cape Foulwind cement works. Takitimu produced 160,000 tonnes last financial year, mostly for the Fonterra-operated Clandeboye milk processing plant.

"Bathurst is seeking regulatory and Government approvals for the Eastern purchase, which it expected to complete late in 2010 or early 2011. It has already paid a non-refundable deposit of $A2.4m to Galilee. The acquisition is Bathurst's second major announcement in a week. Last week, it revealed it had paid $US35m to acquire L&M coal, which also held exploration and mining permits on the Denniston Plateau, 18km northeast of Westport. L&M has been renamed Buller Coal Holdings Ltd and becomes a wholly owned Bathurst subsidiary. Bathurst is currently seeking 16 consents from the West Coast Regional Council and eight from the Buller District Council for its proposed $84m Denniston Plateau opencast mine, which is expected to employ about 200. Bathurst aims to begin mining there by late next year. The resource consent application has attracted 128 submissions, most in support".

In May 2011 Bathurst signed up Chinese State-owned CITIC Group to take 30% of the coal from its open-cast Buller coal project. In July, the Press reported that Bathurst ma nagement were well "in the money", with the company issuing 75 million share options to management, some of which needed to be exercised by September 1, 2011. In the last week of August, resource consent commissioners approved all of Bathurst's 24 resource consents for Denniston, and their share price immediately rose 17% on the news. Perfect timing for option holders! See our October 2010 commentary for details of Bathurst's purchase of the Buller coal project from L&M Coal Holdings.

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Aussie Share Shuffle Of NZ Guardian Trust

The Trust Company Limited Australia (100%) has received approval to acquire the rights or interests in 100% of the shares of the NZ Guardian Trust Company Limited, which in a trustee capacity, owns or controls a freehold interest in 13,691.7 hectares of land at various locations around New Zealand. The vendor was Suncorp Group New Zealand Limited Australia (100%); consideration was $42,000,000. The OIO states: "The Applicant is positioning for growth in its chosen markets and considers the New Zealand Guardian Trust to be an established and reputable corporate trustee which the Applicant has the potential to grow as part of its international expansion plans. The Applicant will look to leverage off its regional presence in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore to attract business from further afield, helping to raise the profile of the New Zealand corporate trustee industry in the process".

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Aussies Take Control Of Rydges Hotel Rotorua

Amalgamated Holdings Limited Australia Public (99.8%) and various overseas persons (0.2%) received approval to acquire rights or interests in the remaining 75% of the shares of Rydges Rotorua Hotel Limited which owns or controls a leasehold interest in 0.8 hectares of land at 272 Fenton Street, Rotorua. The vendor was Graeme James Dennett and Jamie Marion Main as trustees of the Main Family Trust Jamie Marion Main, New Zealand (50%) and Graeme James Dennett, New Zealand (50%). Consideration was stated as confidential.

The OIO states: "The Applicant is one of Australia's premier entertainment, hospitality, tourism and leisure companies. The Applicant owns, leases, or manages over 40 hotels in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The Applicant indirectly owns (through its wholly owned subsidiary Noah Hotels (NZ) Limited) 25% of Rydges Rotorua Hotel Limited (Rydges)). Rydges is the owner of the Rydges Rotorua Hotel (Hotel). The Applicant, who manages the Hotel, wishes to acquire the balance of shares in Rydges to align the ownership of the Hotel with the management". See our June 1998 commentary for details of Amalgamated's original purchase of Noah Hotels.

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Lake Taupo Protection Trust Sells Land To US Forester

GMO Forestry Fund 9, LP United States Public (71%), United Kingdom Public (20.4%), Canada Public (4.6%), and Hong Kong Public (4%) received approval to acquire a freehold interest in 1,149.4 hectares of land at 3818 & 3335 Western Bay Road, SHW 32 and 17 & 301 Hingarae Road, Lake Taupo. The vendor was Lake Taupo Protection Trust New Zealand (100%); consideration was stated as confidential. The OIO states: "The Applicant proposes to acquire the land which is owned by the Lake Taupo Protection Trust (the vendor), a charitable trust established to protect and improve Lake Taupo's water quality by reducing annual nitrogen discharges entering Lake Taupo by a minimum of 20% by 2020.

"The Applicant will enter into a Nitrogen Management Deed with the Lake Taupo Protection Trust which requires it (and subsequent owners of the land) to use the land so that is has a nitrogen discharge allowance of 5kg, or less, of nitrogen per hectare per annum for the land for 999 years. The Applicant intends to establish a pinus radiata forest plantation on the land to comply with these requirements. The investment provides a further opportunity for GMO Renewable Resources to invest in timberlands in New Zealand thus expanding its existing New Zealand forestry investments".

According to the Waikato Regional Council Website: "Tthe Lake Taupo Protection Trust was set up in February 2007 to administer the $81.5 million fund to protect Lake Taupo's excellent water quality, which is under threat from the effects of past and current land use activities. The Trust is charged with developing a programme of work that will reduce the amount of manageable nitrogen leaching into the lake by 20%. It will use the funds to encourage and assist land use change, to purchase land/nitrogen in the Lake Taupo catchment and to fund any other initiatives that assist land owner to reduce the nitrogen impact of their activities on Lake Taupo". See our commentaries for May 1998, April, June and September 2005 for details of other GMO forestry purchases here.

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Another Two Southland Farms Bought By The Germans

In two separate decisions, Aquila AgrarINVEST Investitions GmbH, D/S Neuseeland Milchfarm Investitions GmbH and Alceda Star SA Germany (100%) has received approval to acquire two more Southland farms. The first approval was to acquire rights or interests in up to 100% of the units of Scotts Gap Bush Limited Partnership which owns or controls a freehold interest in 124.2 hectares of land at 38 Scotts Gap Feldwick Road, RD2 Otautau, Southland. The vendor was Douglas Stanley Munro New Zealand (100%); consideration was $3,442,500.

For this deal the OIO states: "The land is currently used as a sheep farm. It is proposed to convert the property to dairy, by constructing races, installing a water supply, subdividing the property and regrassing and fertilising it. The land adjoins a dairy farm owned by 46 South Limited Partnership which was the subject of an application for consent by the Aquila Group. It is intended that the 46 South Limited Partnership will convert its 121 hectare runoff block, constructing a 54 bale rotary and subdividing and watering the block. The new 245 hectare dairy farm will be run as a joint venture by the two partnerships.

"The Aquila Group seeks to create value for its investors by identifying farms that are below peak market prices, or are not being well farmed or managed, or are capable of expansion or growth, with the potential to increase profitability, production growth and improved management. The Applicant states that it is interested in a genuine return on its investments by adding value through additional capital expenditure, sound farming practices and good management".

The second approval was for the acquisition of rights or interests in up to 100% of the units of Ota Dairies Limited Partnership which owns or controls a freehold interest in 283.7 hectares of land at 225 & 245 Homestead Road & 256 Hilda Road, Edendale, Southland. The vendor was Richguy Limited Neil Finlay McNab & Brian Carl Madsen, New Zealand (49%), Matthew Ivor Richards, Bruce Charles Ellis and Vanessa Jane Richards, New Zealand (48%), Vanessa Jane Richards, New Zealand (1%), Matthew Ivor Richards, New Zealand (1%), Lorraine Anne Guy, New Zealand (0.5%), and Peter Graham Russell, New Zealand (0.5%); consideration was $10,614,500. I suppose they are rich guys now?

For this deal the OIO states: "Ota Creek Farm is currently used as a dairy farm. Ota Dairies Limited Partnership proposes to continue the existing dairy farm operation. The Partnership proposes to improve the farm's productive capacity by constructing a new cow shed and by changing management practices which will see improved milk solid production per cow. The Aquila Group seeks (as above)". See our commentaries for March and December 2010 for details of Aquila's other farm purchases here.

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Aussie Wine Investor Gets Retrospective OIO Approval

Challenger Life Company Limited Challenger Limited, Australia (100%) has received retrospective approval for increasing its shareholding in a number of Kiwi vineyards. Specifically, the acquisition of rights or interests in 27.74% of the ordinary units of Challenger Wine Trust which owns or controls:

  • a freehold interest in 360.8 hectares of land at 1370 Matapiro Rd, Crownthorpe, Hawkes Bay; and
  • a freehold interest in 200.5 hectares of land at 1917 Redwood Pass Rd, Dashwood, Marlborough; and
  • a freehold interest in 142.1 hectares of land at Rarangi Vineyard, 53 Flaxmill Drive, Marshlands, Marlborough; and
  • a freehold interest in 44.8 hectares of land at 169 Gimblett Rd and 2145 SHW 50, Fernhill, Hawkes Bay.

The consideration was stated as confidential. The vendor was Existing unit holders of Challenger Wine Trust. The OIO states: "The Applicant has applied for retrospective consent in respect of its current unit holding in excess of 25% in Challenger Wine Trust (CWT). In 2007, the Applicant increased its unit holding in CWT in excess of 25%. Since then the Applicant has further increased its unit holding to 27.74% through various market transactions.

"The Challenger Wine Trust owns 16 vineyards in Australia and four in New Zealand. CWT leases the four New Zealand vineyards to Delegat's Wine Estate Limited. The Applicant believes that its investment in CWT provides an exposure to a diversified portfolio of high quality well located vineyards that can generate predictable income returns and the potential for capital growth". See our January 2011 commentary for details of Regenal Investments Pty Limited (Hong Kong) investment in the other 73% of CWT.

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Previous Roger Award Finalist Scores More Cheap Forestry Land

Following on from their purchase of Renwick Forest in February 2011, Timbergrow Limited Tiong Thai King, Malaysia (65%), Tiong Family, Malaysia (20%), Tiong Hiew King, Malaysia (10%), and Tiong Ik King, Malaysia (5%) received approval for the acquisition of a freehold interest in 3,451 hectares of land at 2552 Waihopai Valley, Marlborough. The vendor was Halfway Bay Station 1974 Limited Alun William Rive, New Zealand (36.8%), Phillip Middleton Rive, New Zealand (36.7%), Anne Marie Rive, New Zealand (13.25%), and Graeme Peter Rive, New Zealand (13.25%). Consideration was $6,555,000, or just $1,900 per hectare.

The OIO states: "The Applicant is part of the Rimbunan Hijau Group of Companies which already holds forestry assets in New Zealand through Ernslaw One Limited and has operations throughout the world. The Investment will expand and enhance the Applicant's forestry interests in New Zealand. The Applicant is actively investing in new forests in New Zealand". With land this cheap, no wonder they are actively investing here. What's another few thousand hectares when you already own over 100,000! See our commentaries for November and December 1994, September and October 1995, June, August and September 1996, February 2000, September 2004, May 2006, March 2007, and February 2011 for details of other significant purchases here.

As reported previously in Watchdog, the Tiong family is one of Malaysia's most powerful and wealthy families. They own controversial rainforest logger, Rimbunan Hijau, newspapers and magazines. They are better known here for other significant forestry investments via Ernslaw One Limited. Details of their transgressions resulting in their most recent appearance as a Roger Award finalist can be seen here. (Ernslaw One came third in the 2004 Roger Award).

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Russian Investor Takes Control Of Mt Potts Station

Mt Potts Lodge Limited Alexandre Germanovitch, Britain/Russia (100%) received approval to acquire a freehold interest in 1,198 hectares of land at 2131 Hakatere Potts Rd, Rangitata Valley, Mt Somers, Mid Canterbury. The vendor was Mt Potts Station Limited Mark Andrew Dewsbery, New Zealand (51%) and Marie-Claire Dewsbery, New Zealand (49%); consideration was $3,700,000. The OIO states: "The Applicant intends to develop the Mt Potts tourist accommodation and farming business, utilising the expertise of a New Zealand luxury travel company Ahipara Luxury Travel". elaborated on this deal: "A Mid-Canterbury sheep and cattle station is set for a luxury makeover after being snapped up by a Russian-British businessman. Mt Potts Station in the Rangitata Valley was sold to Alexandre Germanovich for $3.7 million after OIO approval. The Office cited creation and retention of jobs, increased export receipts and added market competition as factors in its decision. The 1,200ha station is home to Mt Potts Lodge, which is used as a base for a heli-ski service. Germanovich plans to develop the lodge into luxury accommodation.

"Jean-Michel Jefferson, director of Ahipara Luxury Travel, which is advising on the project, said it was still in the 'thinking phase' but his vision was to take the lodge 'up in terms of quality and down in terms of numbers'. The station would continue running sheep and cattle. Jefferson said the development would be low impact, but financially significant. 'There's going to be no monstrous development of any sort'. Heli-ski operations would continue this winter while the upgrade was planned. Jefferson said Germanovich was 'a foreigner who fell in love with New Zealand and wants to keep a part of it beautiful, hopefully for a lot longer'. Another of the station's attractions is Mt Sunday, which doubled as Edoras, the fortress city of the Rohan people in the "Lord of the Rings" film trilogy".

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And Another Russian Buys Shipyard To Get His Beached Super Yachts

Selwood Road Trust Valery Cheschinsky, Russia (100%) received approval to acquire a freehold interest in 2.2 hectares of land at Selwood Rd, Henderson. The vendor was Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation as mortgagee Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region) (100%); consideration was $4,485,000.The OIO states: "Dr Valery Cheshinsky, a Russian national, is the appointer and final beneficiary of the Applicant. Dr Valery Cheshinsky through his related company Balenia Limited entered into an agreement with Sensation Yachts Limited (Sensation) to build five 50 meter super yachts. Sensation defaulted upon the completion of the super yachts and is now in liquidation. The Vendor, as mortgagee of Sensation, took possession of the land. The super yachts require substantial work to complete them. The incomplete super yachts cannot be removed from the land without damage occurring given their sheer size and dimensions. The Applicant seeks to purchase the land from the mortgagee in order to complete at least one of the yachts which will result in significant expenditure in terms of labour and equipment".

Diane Byrne reported background to this deal on (29/4/11). "The Russian client who ordered five super yachts from Sensation Yachts before it went out of business is buying the shipyard. According to the Australian Associated Press, Selwood Road Trust, the corporation owned by the client, Valery Cheshinsky, is paying $4.485 million (about $US3.619 million) to acquire the land and facility. The reason: to finish at least one of the three partially completed projects. Each yacht was to be 50 meters or larger.

"The funds are being paid to HSBC, which took ownership of Sensation Yachts' property in 2009. Two years prior, HSBC had loaned Ivan Erceg, then the owner of the shipyard, more than $6 million (US$4.6 million at the time), but he defaulted on it in 2008. This seems to be the final chapter in a long, arduous battle. Since acquiring Sensation, HSBC was attempting to have the hulls, construction equipment, computers, software, and other items taken off the grounds. The purpose was to sell the yard and regain its financial loss. Several creditors of Sensation Yachts argued against the move. Among them was Balenia, a Cayman Islands firm through which Cheshinsky reportedly ordered the megayachts. Balenia argued that the partially constructed hulls would be too difficult to move elsewhere. The High Court in Auckland, New Zealand agreed in a ruling last autumn, ordering the unused equipment except for the hulls to be removed and sold, so that the property could be sold. Cheshinsky still has a long road ahead, given the need to purchase equipment and hire craftsmen. To put the situation into further perspective, the first megayacht was expected to be completed in 2005, with the last one finished by 2007". Ivan Erceg's Sensation Yachts collapsed in 2009. It had earlier been reported that the company had been ordered to pay two wealthy Russian investors more than $32 million over a failed deal. The $90 million deal with the Cheshinskys was for five boats and they paid $25 million in deposits. I don't think I would like two wealthy Russians chasing me for $25 million!

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Other March Decisions

APEREF II Limited Australian Public (44%), AMP Investments New Zealand Property Fund, New Zealand (40.5%), AMP Superannuation Investment Trust, New Zealand (7.9%), New Zealand Public (4.4%), and John O'Sullivan, New Zealand (3.2%) has received approval to acquire the rights or interests in 100% of the shares of Waikanae North Limited which owns or controls a freehold interest in 60.9 hectares of land at SH1, Waikanae. The vendor was AMP Property Opportunity Fund Limited and AMP Property Opportunity Charitable Fund Limited joint venture New Zealand Public (44.8%), Australia Public (37%), and AMP Property Opportunity Charitable Fund Limited, New Zealand (18.2%); consideration was $7,020,000.

The OIO states: "The acquisition of the shares in Waikanae North Limited, by APEREF represented an opportunity for APEREF for a long-term investment in a residential property development, which met the investment objectives of APEREF and has potential for good returns to its shareholders. The development involved a residential subdivision, recreational areas, a neighbourhood retail area and a retirement village". APEREF is an acronym for AMP Private Equity Real Estate Fund. APEREF II Limited is a wholesale fund managed by AMP Capital Investors Limited. APEREF II Limited provides investors with the opportunity to participate in property development and trading investment in New Zealand in the commercial, industrial, residential, retail and retirement villages markets. AMP had previously received approval to acquire this property via APEREF II in May 2010. See our commentary then for references to other APEREF purchases here including its disastrous purchase of the NZ Breweries site in Khyber Pass Road, Newmarket, Auckland.

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Forests, Wine, & Land

Southland Plantation Forest Company of New Zealand Limited (SPFL) Japan Public (62.4%), Fuji Xerox Co Limited, Japan (19%), Unknown Overseas Persons, Various (10.7%), United Kingdom Public (2.8%), Various overseas persons (2.7%), and United States Public (2.4%) received approval to acquire a freehold interest in 18.1 hectares of land at Harrison Rd, Happy Valley, Southland. Consideration was $155,250. The vendor was MT & SM Day Limited Malcolm Thomas Day, New Zealand (50%) and Susan Mary Day, New Zealand (50%). The purchase provides permanent access to a neighbouring forestry block already owned by SPFL. SPFL has been a large purchaser of land in Southland. It already owns around 14,400 hectares, primarily planted in eucalyptus. See our commentaries for March 1999, February, April, and July 2001, and December 2004 for details of their last significant purchases here.

Folium Vineyard Limited Nakashimato Co. Limited, Japan (75%), Shigehiko Sugiura, Japan (12.5%), and Vine Laboratory Limited, Japan (12.5%) received approval to acquire a freehold interest in 8.4 hectares of land at 221 Brancott Rd, Marlborough. The vendor was Fromm and Partner Limited Wallace Diack Trustees Ltd and George Walliser, New Zealand (64.3%), Paul Francois Lenzinger, Switzerland (18%), William Hoare, New Zealand (11.8%), Sonja Oswald, Switzerland (5.9%); consideration was $2,245,000. The OIO states: "Japan is the eighth largest market in the world for the export of New Zealand wine. In Japan wine has become one of the most popular alcoholic beverages. The Applicant believes that New Zealand wine can be promoted more successfully in Japan. The Applicant intends to ensure that all wine on the vineyard is grown organically which will be a prominent marketing feature in Japan".

Craigpine Timber Limited Graeme Lewis Sims Black, Australia (32.3%), NMG Black 1980 Settlement Trust, Australia (18.4%), Nerissa Margaret Guest, Australia (17.1%), Australian Public (13.2%), Quentin John Sims Black, Australia (12.4%), and United Kingdom Public (6.6%) received approval to acquire a freehold interest in 100.7 hectares of land at Moneymore Road , Milton. The vendor was Moneymore Afforestation Partnership Roger Hamilton Smaill, New Zealand (40.6%), Douglas Milton Scott, Pamela Margaret Scott and Brian Robert Dodds as trustees of the DM Scott Family Trust, New Zealand (20.4%), Douglas Milton Scott, New Zealand (10.2%), Pamela Margaret Scott, New Zealand (10.2%), Pauline Margaret Dodds, New Zealand (9.3%), and Brian Robert Dodds, New Zealand (9.3%)); consideration was $186,300 or just $1,850 per hectare. See our commentaries for March and November 1999, April 2000, May 2007, March 2008, and September 2009 for details of other Craigpine purchases in Southland.

Michael Bruce & Shirley Ann Endean United Kingdom (except Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) (100%) received approval to acquire a freehold interest in 6.4 hectares of land at Pa Road, Kerikeri. Consideration was $1,610,000; the vendor was Snow Emanuel Limited Maxwell Robinson and Fiona Gemmell, New Zealand (86.7%), Lesley Hutchon Emanuel, New Zealand (10%), and Alfred Graeme Douglas Emanuel, New Zealand (3.3%) The Endeans have recently obtained NZ residency and intend to develop a vineyard on the property.

Emerald Vista Equestrian Ranch Limited Marianne C Stephens, United States of America (50 %) and Lon T Stephens, United States of America (50%) received approval to acquire a freehold interest in 58.6 hectares of land at 2217 South Head Road, Helensville. The vendor was Trevor Roderick and Jennifer Jean Holst New Zealand (100%); consideration was $925,000. The Applicants are applying for NZ residency and intend to build a dwelling on the land and to operate a cattle rearing and equestrian breeding farm.

Carbon Conscious Holdings NZ No 1 Limited Australia Public (60.6%), Michael Shields, Australia (13.6%), Broadacre Asset Management Limited, Australia (10.2%), Stoney Pastoral Co Pty Ltd, Australia (9.1%), and Barclay Wells Limited, Australia (6.5%) received approval to acquire a freehold interest in 438 hectares of land at Mata Rd, Gisborne. The vendor was Bremner Station Property Limited Max Carlson, New Zealand (25%), Dick Carlson, New Zealand (25%), Kelly Grey, New Zealand (25%), and Joe Carlson, New Zealand (25%); consideration was $2,035,500.

The OIO states: "The Applicant is ultimately controlled by Carbon Conscious Limited (Carbon Conscious), an Australian company which has a number of eucalypt forests in the Australian wheatbelt regions producing accredited carbon credits. Carbon Conscious now wishes to extend its business model to New Zealand using pinus radiata. The Applicant intends to acquire the land to establish a pinus radiata forest sink plantation". In Australia Carbon Conscious looks set to benefit substantially from proposed carbon tax to be introduced in 2012. This no doubt will allow it to pursue more opportunities here in NZ.

Greystone Wines Limited Peter Thomas, New Zealand (100%) received approval to acquire a freehold interest in 36 hectares of land at 424 Omihi Rd, Waipara Valley, North Canterbury. The vendor was Muddy Water Limited Michael Charles East, New Zealand (99%) and Jane Louise East, New Zealand (1%); consideration was $3,500,000.The OIO states: "The Applicant is a 100% owned subsidiary of Sun Genesis Limited, a company incorporated in Hong Kong. Sun Genesis Limited is owned by a New Zealand citizen Peter Thomas. The land at 424 Omihi Rd contains the Muddy Water vineyard and winery. The Applicant intends to further develop the Muddy Water vineyard and winery. The Applicant also believes there are many synergies between the Muddy Water vineyard and the Applicant's existing vineyard which is in close proximity to the Investment. The Applicant also intends to increase public access to the land by creating an extended bike and walking trail".

NZ Snow Limited Matthew Goodall, Australia (100%) received approval to acquire a freehold interest in 0.5 hectares of land at 4 Reavers Lane, Queenstown. The vendor was Abacus Funds Management Limited as Trustee for the Abacus Unitel Trust Australia (100%); consideration was $4,700,000 plus GST. The OIO states: "The Applicant's related company, Oz Snow Adventures Pty Limited, has been successfully providing holiday packages to Queenstown for the past six years. The acquisition of the property at Reavers Lane, which contains Reavers Lodge, will enable the companies to offer an accommodation option as part of their package holidays to New Zealand. This will allow the Applicant and Oz Snow to provide better accommodation at reasonable prices in order to attract increased numbers of short term tourist visitors to New Zealand".

Elka Gouzer-Waechter Switzerland (100%) received approval to acquire a freehold interest in 32.3 hectares of land at Lot 1 DP 323083 Mataka Station, Purerua Peninsula, Northland. The vendor was Westpac New Zealand Limited as Mortgagee Australia Public (92.9%) and New Zealand Public (7.1%); consideration was $1,200,000. The OIO states: "The Applicant is purchasing the land as a holiday retreat. It is one of 30 lifestyle lots within the Mataka Development which was established on the Purerua Peninsula in 2002. The sale of individual lots provides capital for the communal farming and conservation programmes which are an integral part of the development".

Downer EDI Works Limited Downer EDI Limited, Australia (87%) and Downer Group Finance Pty Limited, Australia (13%) received approval to acquire a freehold interest in 13.8 hectares of land at State Highway 3, Otorohanga. The vendor was Maintenance No. 2 Limited New Zealand (100%); consideration was stated as confidential. The OIO states: "The Applicant currently has a licence to use the land at State Highway 3, Otorohanga for stone quarrying and overburden depositing purposes. The acquisition is part of the Applicant's continuing programme to secure its supplies of aggregate for use in roading and infrastructure projects. Ownership will enable the Applicant to implement its long term development plans for the quarry".

Burger Family Property Trust the Burger Family, South Africa (100%) received approval to acquire a freehold interest in 73.3 hectares of land at Woodstock Rd, Oxford, Canterbury. The vendor was George Henry Bennett New Zealand (100%); consideration was $2,070,000. The Burgers are farmers from South Africa and plan to continue farming on this property.

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One Refusal

And finally for March a second decline for 2011. Santhara Ramanaidu & Carline D'Cruz Malaysia (100%) were declined approval to buy a freehold interest in 10.3 hectares of land at 71 Sicilian Lane, Lake Hayes, Queenstown. The vendor was Walter Frank and Olive May Le Page (50/50%); consideration was to be $3,800,000. The applicant's circumstances have changed and they no longer intend to reside in New Zealand.

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