January to December 1997

Overseas Investment Commission

Commentary and Index prepared by CAFCA


January 1997 decisions

Barenbrug of the Netherlands buys Agriseeds

AAPC of Australia buys Novatel Auckland and Holiday Inn Queenstown

Cerebos Gregg’s and Rio Beverages Ltd set up New Juice Ltd

Morgan and Banks of Australia buys remaining 65% of Aotearoa branch

Sitel of the U.S.A. buys Telebusiness New Zealand Ltd for $14 million

CBD New Zealand Ltd buys Jetset Centre, Auckland, for $12,500,000

Waihi gold mining companies buy more land for the Martha Hill Mine

Izard Irwin of the U.S.A. buys 28 ha. of land by its Wellsford factory

Singapore company buys Foxton land occupied by BTR Nylex

Coca-Cola Amatil buys one hectare of land to expand its Auckland Head Office

Land for forestry

Other rural land sales

February 1997 decisions

Brierley buys TNT out of Union Shipping, merges it with Groupe Bollore

Skellerup/Maine Investments sells Lime and Marble/DML Mining

Lion Nathan sells NZ Wines and Spirits assets to Australian Liquor Marketers

Agroforestry sells remaining 25% share of Mangamuka Forest to China

Australian trust and Fulton Hogan buy Howick land for subdivision

Neil Construction of Malaysia buys Massey land for subdivision

Clear leases four hectares in North Shore City for new headquarters

Religious retreat established by Thai Buddhists with "business acumen"

RII and Rayonier form joint venture in Northland

Other land for forestry

Other rural land sales

March 1997 decisions

Bunge and Goodman Fielder both get approval to take over Defiance

Prudential of the U.K. buys NZI Life from General Accident of the U.K.

Viaduct Basin land sold by Turners and Growers to Heng Holdings of Singapore

Kiwi Income Properties buys Hong Kong Bank House, Queen St, Auckland

Australian company buys Timeout Northlands in Christchurch

Carter Holt buys forestry rights on 19 ha. at Brightwater, Nelson

Application to buy land for lifestyle purposes on Great Barrier Island refused

Other rural land sales

April 1997 decisions

Britomart Group consortium buys historic central Auckland land from Council

Computershare of Australia buys Registry Managers, share register

CBD NZ buys Gosling Chapman Centre and DDB Pinnacle, Auckland

Singaporeans buy Kaiapoi land adjoining historic place, for cattle breeding

Retrospective approval to Morgan & Banks for share of local namesake

CBA bank buys Leaseway Transportation Ltd

Korean company buys five ha. in Manukau City for factory/warehouse

U.S./China consortium increases interest in Richina Pacific by 10.73%

Universal Homes of Singapore buys more land in Auckland for subdivision

Wilbow Corporation buys four hectares for subdivision at Tauranga

Milburn buys further 18 hectares from Crown for Auckland quarry

Land for forestry

Other rural land sales

May 1997 decisions

Evergreen buys Fletcher’s forests in South Auckland and Coromandel …

… and in Manukau City …

… and makes another purchase at Pouto, Northland

JANZ of Japan buys world’s biggest natural sausage caser, NZ Casing Co

Blue Star acquisitions continue with McCollam Printers

Malaysian companies take up to 35% of Colonial Motor Company

Onex Corporation of Canada takes over Air New Zealand’s catering services

Telecom buys out Motorola’s cellphone reseller business

Singapore interests buy Sheraton Rotorua

CanWest into forestry near Te Anau

Other rural land sales

June 1997 decisions

French/U.K. consortium to run Papakura’s water supply

Weyerhaeuser buys Fletcher’s 17,000 hectares in Nelson/Marlborough

CanWest takes over Frader Group

Promet of Malaysia gets consent to buy Princess Wharf in Auckland

MMI of Australia takes over FAI of Australia

ICI buys National Starch and Chemical, and Quest International, from Unilever

Hong Kong owned Bermuda company buys Symonds St site from Nauru Govt

Two Malaysians buy land in Takapuna for $4m for residential development

Land for forestry

Another refusal: U.S. citizen declined permission to buy land in Canterbury

Other rural land sales

July 1997 decisions

Freightways breaks up: sells CHEP to Brambles and Armourguard to Tyco

TransAlta restructures interests in Wellington, Stratford and Southdown

SaskTel of Canada takes 35% of Saturn Communications

Utilicorp gets retrospective consent for a further 0.16% of WEL Energy

Brierley Investments buys Harrah’s 12.5% share in Sky City casino

Itochu buys remaining 49% of South Wood Export, with 2,307 ha. land, for $4m

Other Land for forestry

More refusals: German refused land in Northland, Venezuelan in Bay of Plenty

Other rural land sales

August 1997 decisions

AUSDOC of Australia buys express freight subsidiaries from Freightways

Tribune Group of the U.S.A. buys Shortland from Wilson and Horton

Kiwi Income Property buys further land on Mt Wellington Highway, Auckland

Calidore Group of the U.K. acquires Keystone Solutions Ltd

Tourism Asset Holdings of Australia buys Novotel Wellington

Property in The Strand, Parnell, Auckland, sold to Hong Kong resident for $10m

Allied Foods buys four ha. of land in Otahuhu to rebuild Stormonts Bakery

From one U.S. transnational to another: Snorkel sold by Figgie to Omniquip

Retrospective approval for change of ownership of Universal Beef Packers

Sale of Hawkes Bay Orchard refused

Other rural land sales

September 1997 decisions

Telecom buys out Ericsson’s cellphone operation

Dow Chemical buys leased Taranaki Regional Council land, part Maori Reserve

Iplex of Australia and Netherlands takes over James Hardie Pipelines

Mancon of Malaysia lends $6.6 million for Viaduct Basin development

Amtrust (formerly Gulf Resources) buys Price Waterhouse Centre, Auckland

Chelsea Sugar Refinery buys nine hectares leased from Ports of Auckland

Dynasty Pacific of Singapore floats its hotels

Dana Commercial Credit (U.S.A.) acquires rights to ‘Novotel’ name in Aotearoa

Sellotape restructures: sells consumer division to senior management

Venezuelan buys further land in Whakatane, despite July refusal

Hamurana Gardens, Rotorua, acquires further land

NZ Petroleum buys 8,712 hectares of forests in Taranaki, Gisborne/Hawkes Bay

Rayonier acquires forestry cutting rights to 850 ha. of land on Kawhia Harbour

Part of Woodbine Station near Queenstown changes hands

Purchase of Canterbury farm land by Taiwan company refused

Land for forestry

Other rural land sales

October 1997 decisions

Natural Gas Corporation may acquire remaining 30% of Natural Gas Waikato

AMP buys up central business district property for new property fund

Waltus floats, buys KPMG building in Auckland, Mobil-on-the-Park, Wellington

Manukau Cinemas sells Auckland cinemas to Village Force for lease back

Universal Homes of China acquires 28 hectares in Silverdale for subdivision

Neil Construction of Malaysia subdividing ten ha. at Henderson, Auckland

Australian joint venture subdividing 35 hectares at Henderson, Auckland

Mount Aitken Station, Waimate, Canterbury sold

Joint venture between Huttons and Best Corporation to own 595 ha. land

Swedish company buys two farms near Tauranga for animal serum

Southern Pacific Hotel Corporation takes DB’s 10% of Premier Hotels

Retrospective nod to ANZAC frigate contractor for land by Whangarei wharves

CablePrice (Hitachi) of Japan acquires Auckland land for sales office

General Electric of the U.S.A. buys out Weck-Pack Hire

Macraes buys more land for mining at Macraes township, Otago

Land for forestry

Other rural land sales

November 1997 decisions

Rabobank buys Wrightson Farmers Finance

Approval for Utilicorp and Mercury to take more of Power NZ and WEL Energy

Murdoch buys TVNZ’s acclaimed Natural History Unit

BellSouth buys TACS-B from Telstra

Bridgestone takes remaining 17% of Firestone NZ for $11 million

Murray International takes controlling interest in Pacific Retail

NFO Worldwide of the U.S.A. buys rest of CM Research Group for $16 million

New TV operator, Prime Television of Australia, starts up

Kiwi Income buys central Auckland property for $17.5m for $144m development

Land for forestry

December 1997 decisions

Man, Mackay and CSR join forces in sugar refining

Xena and Hercules change hands

Rexel of France buys GEC (New Zealand) and 37% of NZ Electric Lamp

Goodman Fielder’s Bluebird Foods buys Burn’s Philp’s NZ Food Industries

Credit Suisse buys Lucrum Holdings

Taiwan-based Hawera Forest Owners Association buys 668 ha. land for forestry

Ataidar Forests (U.S.A., Japan), takes Northern Pulp 435 ha. lease in Northland

U.S. firm buys Waikana Timber Company in Otautau, Southland

Trans Tasman floats 65% of its CBD properties in NZ Growth Property Trust

Other land for forestry

Georges Michel, French winery business, buys Merlens Winery in Marlborough

John Coney of Canada, owner of Morton Wines, restructures

Other rural land sales


Numbers of deleted or released decisions before appeal





















12 4 7 8 12 8 90
Applications refused 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 1 1* 0 0 0 6
Decisions released







31 16 23 32 24 42 287
* Note that in September, a refusal made in July was reversed.
Compiled by:
Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa,
P. O. Box 2258,