January - December 1998

Overseas Investment Commission

Commentary and Index prepared by CAFCA


January 1998 decisions

High country Makarora Station near Lake Wanaka, sold to U.S. company

Digital Microwave Corp. of the U.S. approval to take over MAS Technology

ICI buys business of Supply Services, Mount Maunganui

Kiwi Income buys Rozel, half owner of Majestic Centre, Wellington

Telegroup of the U.S.A. acquires business in Wellington

Land for forestry

Other rural land sales

February 1998 decisions

Hoyts buys out Endeavour

Benchmark (Howard Smith) of Australia buys largest safety manufacturer

Orica (ICI Australia) sells pharmaceutical division to Zeneca, buys H.B. Fuller

ABN AMRO of the Netherlands buys BZW from Barclays

Goodman Fielder buys out dairy industry shares in Aspak (Meadow-Lea)

Natural Gas Corp., Bay of Plenty Electricity construct Kapuni cogeneration plant

Waratah Receivables sets up

Taiwan shareholders buy remaining shares in Universal Beef Packers, Te Kuiti

Philippines businessman buys Lyttelton Marina

PPL ("Dolly") buys more Taupo land for inseminated sheep breeding

Milburn buys another 20% of McDonald’s Lime from Fernz

L&M of Switzerland, Hong Kong, and the U.K., buys 92 ha. for mining in Otago

FAI Properties buys Downtown Centre, Auckland, from St Lukes

Massey land bought by Universal Homes from Fletcher Homes for subdivision

Refusal then approval in one month: Australian couple buy 142 ha. in Waikato

New Zealand Aluminium Smelters buys land from Comalco for Tiwai Smelter

Land for forestry

Other rural land sales

March 1998 decisions

Suez Lyonnaise Des Eaux of France buys Waste Care from Browning-Ferris

Force Entertainment sold to Entertainment Property Trust of Australia

Carter Holt sells roofing, insulation and packaging moulded fibre divisions

Royal & Sun Alliance insurance takes over Norwich

General Electric of the U.S.A. takes over Giltrap’s vehicle leasing business

Formus (U.S.A.) buys radio frequencies, plans wireless telecommunications

Coin Acceptors, U.S.A., buys 60% of SmartMove, maker of cash-card readers

CPI Graphics of Australia takes over Scipa Graphics NZ of Switzerland

Ameron International Corporation takes over Croda Lusteroid Paints

Du Pont buys partner, Mitsubishi, out of Morrinsville peroxide plant

Kiwi income Property buys remaining 50% of Northlands Mall, Christchurch

Further 1.95% of NZP Holdings to Shin Nippon Yakugyo, exchanged for debt

FreshFoods of Singapore buys Unilever’s coffee business

Carglass of S. Africa buys Smith & Smith automotive glass from Pilkington

Pharmaceutical giants Roche and Boehringer Mannheim merge

ICO of the U.S.A. takes over J.R. Courtenay (NZ) Ltd

Stanley Tan and Jeffrey Tang, both of Singapore, exchange 36 companies

Swiss Lodge on Lake Rotorua

Land for forestry

Other rural land sales

April 1998 decisions

Three refusals

Mitsubishi’s Kirin Breweries of Japan takes control of Lion Nathan

Tourism Holdings Ltd buys Mount Cook Group

Degussa of Germany buys Du Pont’s hydrogen peroxide plant in Morrinsville

Lend Lease of Australia buys 50% of Kiwi Income Properties companies

Sime Darby of Malaysia buys 80% of Continental Car Services, Auckland

Jang Investments of South Korea buys Ascot golf course, Christchurch

Select of the U.K. takes over Andrews Partners Recruitment

Earnscleugh Station, Otago sold to Australian-led gold mining joint venture

Indonesian buys Closeburn Station, Queenstown, for farming and subdivision

Owner of Coleridge Downs (U.S.A.) swaps land with ECNZ

Roths of Canada buy further land near Carterton, Wairarapa

Accor of France buys more land for its Novotel Queenstown Hotel

Land for forestry

Other rural land sales

May 1998 decisions

Liberty Oil sets up company

Approval to both Emerald and AMP Asset Management to buy Direct Capital

Critic Investments, U.S.A., buys ENZA’s Frucor Beverages (including Fresh Up)

Steiner Corporation of the U.S.A. buys Endeavour Group

Amtrust (formerly Gulf Pacific) buys Telecom Tower and Karangahape Plaza

Telecom buys last cell phone company, Cellnet – shows competition sham

Capital Properties New Zealand Ltd formed to buy privatised GPS group

Glenburn Station (5,899 ha.), Wairarapa, sold to GMO, U.S.A., amid controversy

Scenic reserve, wahi tapu land in Onemana, Coromandel sold

Havelock North land to U.S. trust for organic farming for Annie’s Home-grown

Land for forestry

Other rural land sales

June 1998 decisions

Auckland International Airport sold

Novartis "enables rationalisation" of animal health industry: buys Youngs

Sterling Grace of the U.S.A. takes over Claymore Asset Management

Symantec takes over Binary Research for $52 million

Sanga takes over SolNet, exclusive agency for Sun computers

Rexel of France buys Ideal Electrical Suppliers

Heinz-Wattie buys Praise and ETA brands from Griffins

Noahs buys Lakeland Hotel in Queenstown

Six thousand hectare Poronui Station sold by Carter Holt to U.S. investors

Two applications refused: in Northland and Canterbury

Land for forestry

Other rural land sales

July 1998 decisions

Emerald Capital can buy remaining shares in New Zealand Experience

AMP, Goldman Sachs finance management buyout of McKechnie Pacific (NZ)

Richard Ellis buys out its Aotearoa subsidiary

Internatio-Muller buys BP Chemicals

BMW takes back 49% of BMW Financial Services from Allied Finance

Allied Foods expands its Otahuhu bakery

Payema takes larger stake in Norton New Zealand

Endeavour Services Corporation of the U.S.A. acquires land in Rotorua

Indonesian starts to subdivide Closeburn Station, Queenstown

U.S. owner buys second Taihape farm to help his bulls mate

Flight Park in Queenstown sold to Australia-resident Japanese

Land for forestry

Other rural land sales

August 1998 decisions

Utilicorp grabs Power New Zealand

Aggressive Stagecoach (U.K.) buys privatised Auckland Yellow Bus Company

Coalition buster: U.K. joint venture buys Wellington International Airport

Lloyds TSB of the U.K. buys Countrywide Bank from Bank of Scotland

Royal & Sun Alliance insurance takes over Guardian Assurance

Counterpoint takes over Pacific Capital and T/A Pacific’s shares in Dairy Brands

Singleton Group of Australia in joint venture owning Ogilvy and Mather

OSI subsidiary, Leges, of the U.S.A. taking remainder of Glovers Food

BRL Hardy (Australia) may increase shareholding in National Liquor Distributors

Castlepoint Station in the Wairarapa sold to U.S. residents

Sumitomo takes full ownership of Summit-Quinphos

Singapore resident buys 34% of company subdividing land at Ruakaka

Swiss capital into Framingham Wine Company of Marlborough

Hawera Forest Owners Assn (49% Taiwan) buys 99 ha. more land for forestry

Land for forestry

Other rural land sales

September 1998 decisions

Telecom, Optus and WorldCom building new communications cable to U.S.A.

Vodafone of the U.K. buys BellSouth New Zealand for $750 million

Nobilo and Selak into National Liquor Distributors of Australia and Canada

Stagecoach buys Fullers Group, including ferries to Waiheke Island

Colonial takes over Prudential Assurance for $406 million

Housing Corporation sells further mortgages to Westpac

Chubb buys assets of Alarm Control and Answer Services

Quexco of the U.S.A. gets approval to buy GNB from Pacific Dunlop

VA Tech Group of Austria buys Rolls-Royce Industrial Power

TiGold of Canada buys Westland Ilmenite, including 1,380 hectares of land

CITIC gets approval to buy Brierleys out of Central North Island Forests

PPG (U.S.A.) buys technical coating business of Orica (formerly ICI)

Matsushita (Panasonic) buys dealership for its products from Fisher and Paykel

Pacific Capital buys back shares after failure to finalise Britomart

Vermont completes acquisition of Viking Pacific after Maine/Skellerup collapse

U.S.A. resident buys 9,300 ha. Glenhope high country station

Tasman Agriculture Ltd buys 920 ha in three Otago and Southland farms

Nikken Foods (Japan) buys 162 ha. in Amberley, Canterbury for organic farming

Inghams of Australia buys land near Taupo for poultry farming

3,796 ha. land, forest rights from Flat Rock Forest Estate sold to U.K. companies

Other land for forestry

Waihi Gold buys out Coeur Gold and Viking from joint venture, buys more land

Other rural land sales

October 1998 decisions

TransAlta buys Southpower’s electricity retailing operation

Holderbank buys remaining shareholding in Milburn New Zealand

AMP buys retail operations of Citibank

Linfox Group of Australia buys old Wiri Ford plant for warehouse

Retrospective approval to Brocker for designated Beachhaven TVNZ land

Retrospective approval to Westpac to buy more mortgages

Stryker Corporation buys Howmedica from Pfizer

Quayside (Singapore) sells Viaduct Basin to Symphony, forced to buy units

Control of Noahs Hotel and AMP Centre, Christchurch, sold for $1

Walter Peak Station, Queenstown, sold to U.S.A.

More of Closeburn Station, Queenstown, sold for residential subdivision

Other rural land sales

November 1998 decisions

TransAlta buys retail electricity supply business from Power New Zealand

Sovereign sold to ASB Life

Azimuth Consultants bought out by Intelligroup of the U.S.A.

Land for forestry

Refusal reversed: sale of Maruia land to Canadian approved

Retrospective approval for land sale for gold mining at Earnscleugh, Otago

Other rural land sales

December 1998 decisions

More electricity assets sold:

Power New Zealand (Utilicorp) buys electricity lines business from TransAlta…

… and from Trustpower…

…and Natural Gas Corporation buys Waikato Electricity’s retailing business

Natural Gas Corporation buys BP out of Liquigas

St Lukes manager, Westfield of Australia, buys out Bankers Trust

Brambles leases Wellington warehouse from Building Solutions Ltd

Westpac buys more mortgages from Housing Corporation

Tip Top Ice Cream of Australia completing 1996 purchase of New American

SEA Holdings gets approval to increase shareholding in Trans Tasman to 60%

Kinki of Japan buys more land for car sales in Auckland

Sovereign buys land in Takapuna for headquarters for $11m

South Waikato District Council sells closed road to Carter Holt Harvey

Wairarapa’s Dunolly Station sold for forestry with Craigie Lea Station

Other land for forestry

Kenepuru Sound, Marlborough, farm sold to U.S.A. for dude ranch

Gourmet Paprika buys land at Woodhill, Northland for hydroponic peppers

Hauraki District Council sells 3 ha. of legal road in Waihi to expand Martha Mine

Other rural land sales

Numbers of deleted or released decisions before appeal














Total 1998












5 10 90

Applications refused











0 0 6

Decisions released











15 33 295


Compiled by:
Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa,
P. O. Box 2258,