CAFCA - Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa

Foreign investment in Aotearoa/New Zealand

Overseas Investment Office - August 2017 Decisions

More Land For Port Blakely Forest, Waimate

Port Blakely Ltd, as trustee of the South Blakely Trust (Eddy Family, USA 100%), has consent to acquire approximately 83.1 hectares of land at 158 Kowhatu Road, RD7, Waimate from Peter Wilson McRae (NZ 100%). Price is $3,492,692. Port Bakely Ltd is an existing forestry owner in New Zealand. The OIO states that the land is predominantly weeds and wilding pine with the balance used for sheep and deer grazing and Port Blakely will plant a commercial forest on the land and operate it in conjunction with its commercial forest on neighbouring land. The stated benefits to New Zealand include:

  • more efficient planting, managing and harvesting through use of Port Blakely’s infrastructure on adjoining land;
  • enhancing the viability of the neighbouring forestry operation;
  • managing the forest in line with Forestry Stewardship Council certification;
  • extending existing public walking access arrangements to this land; and
  • ensuring appropriate protection of an historic site on the land.

Port Blakely’s Website says it is a fifth generation US business buying and sell logs in Washington State, British Columbia, Georgia. It has been growing, harvesting and replanting pinus radiata and Douglas fir in NZ for domestic markets and for export since 2000, and has a barge subsidiary in Tauranga. It has land and forestry rights on the Matakana Island sand barrier, protection of which is currently before the Environment Court.

See also the OIO Decisions of March 1994 (Matakana consent), May 1995, April 2003, March 2007, August 2010, October 2015 for other Port Blakely purchases. See also Blakely Pacific Ltd: March 1994, June 1994, August 1994, May 1995; April 1996, June 1996, September 1996, October 1996, November 1997, February 1998, May 2000, November 2000, September 2001, April 2003; Jan 2004, December 2005, March 2007, October 2009, August 2010, July 2013, June 2014, October 2015 and March 2016.

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Craigmore Buys Kiwifruit Orchard In Edgecumbe

Craigmore Permanent Crop Ltd Partnership (Germany 30.5%; Hong Kong (SAR) 24.5%; Switzerland 15.23; UK 13.7%; Finland 9.1%; USA 4%; NZ 3%) has consent to acquire approximately 13 hectares at 60 and 74 Orchard Road, Edgecumbe, Whakatane from Shaye Le Prou, Cole Shane Le Prou, Cuvier Trustees Limited Cuvier Trust (NZ 100%). Price withheld under s.9(2)(b)(ii) of the Official Information Act.

The OIO states that Craigmore Permanent Crop is a limited partnership for horticulture investment, part of the wider Craigmore Farming Group. The land is currently operated as a kiwifruit orchard growing G3 and Hayward kiwifruit, and Craigmore intends to improve production and returns by planting additional G3 kiwifruit vines, converting the entire orchard to G3 organic kiwifruit production, and upgrading infrastructure. The stated benefits to New Zealand include:

  • additional direct and indirect jobs tending, picking, and packing kiwifruit;
  • increasing kiwifruit production;
  • increasing export receipts; and
  • capital investment for planting additional G3 kiwifruit vines, converting the entire orchard to G3 organic kiwifruit production, and upgrading infrastructure.

For other OIO Decisions related to Craigmore Farms, see June 2012, February 2013, March 2013, November 2013, December 2013, March 2014, April 2014, May 2014, June 2014, July 2014, August 2014, November 2014, June 2015, July 2015, September 2015, and May 2017. Craigmore Farms currently manages a mix of dairy, grazing, forestry and horticultural operations spread over 15,000 hectares. For background on what happens when a Canterbury hill station boy gets a Harvard MBA (Master of Business Administration), a stint at Goldman Sachs and lots of European investors, see this article.

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NZ Lifestyles

Robert Joseph Osmetti (Australia 50%) and Tracy Scott Strachan (Australia 50%) have consent to acquire approximately four hectares of land at 14 Carlin Creek, Lakeside Estates, Queenstown from Scott Taylor & Rebecca Nelson (Australia 50%) and Rebecca Nelson, Australia (50%) for $975,000. The land comprises an 0.4 hectares lifestyle block and an undivided 1/39th interest in a further 3.6 hectares of common land, within a residential subdivision.

The applicants intend to build their fulltime residence here, with the intention of moving to New Zealand and retiring. They will implement a planting and a pest-control programme on the land, starting from Spring 2017. Company listing Websites show Robert Joseph Osmetti to be Executive Director of Lycopodium Ltd, an Australian engineering and project management consultancy – an engineer with 26 years’ experience in the minerals, oil refining and manufacturing industries.

Timothy Andrew Roberts/100WPS Ltd (Australia 100%) has consent to acquire approximately 40 hectares at Walter Peak Station, Mount Nicholas-Beach Road, Walter Peak, Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown Walter Peak Corporate Trustee Ltd as Trustee of the Walter Peak Station Trust (Morris Salomon Kahn, Israel 52.8%; Shmuel Meitar, Israel 37.2%; David Simon Kahn, Israel 10%). Price withheld under s.9(2)(b)(ii) of the Official Information Act. Roberts satisfied the OIO that he intends to obtain New Zealand residency and reside in New Zealand indefinitely.

He is therefore not required to show that investment in sensitive land is likely to benefit New Zealand, as ownership will assist new migrants to settle and the benefits of migration will be considered under immigration legislation. Bloomberg company listings show Roberts as Director of Mineral Resources Ltd from November 2016 and former Managing Director of Property Development Division of Multiplex Group Ltd (now Brookfield Australia Investments Group), with 18 years’ experience in the construction and property industry in Australia and overseas.

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