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New Zealand agree to sell agriculture land to foreigners

The Overseas Investment Office has approved six deals allowing foreigners to buy property in New Zealand, though three of the deals involve entities that are majority New Zealand-owned, with partial foreign ownership.

The new Government has vowed to ban the sale of residential, farm and sensitive land to foreigners and is planning to overhaul the law.

Meantime, deals are still being approved under the existing Overseas Investment Act to sell land classified as "sensitive" to foreign entities.

Fletcher Residential (34 per cent owned by overseas interests) got consent to buy 1.7ha of sensitive land owned by Auckland Council at Three Kings in Auckland as a land exchange.

"The applicant has entered into a land exchange agreement with the Auckland Council for the applicant to develop and upgrade significant portions of the Auckland Council's existing reserve land and vesting 2.6127 hectares of its land to the Auckland Council as a new reserve," the OIO said.

Aotearoa New Zealand Fine Wine Estates of the United States got consent for an $8m deal to buy 80ha of vineyard land in North Canterbury.

"The land is currently operated as a vineyard. The applicant will increase the size of the vineyard and construct new wine-making and visitor wine-tasting facilities," the OIO said.

Craigmore Permanent Crop Limited Partnership (Germany, Hong Kong, Swiss, British, etc) got consent to buy 17.5ha of kiwifruit land at Te Puke.

"The applicant intends to improve orchard production and export returns by grafting new G3 kiwifruit vines, converting part of the orchard to organic G3 kiwifruit production, and upgrading infrastructure," the OIO said.

NZX listed Kiwi Property (13.6 per cent American and 4 per cent Australian owned) got consent for a $36.3m deal to buy sensitive land at Drury.

"The applicant intends to create a residential property and town centre development in Drury", the OIO said.

Church Street Trustee, owned by French Polynesia's Jean-Pierre Fourcade, got consent to buy 769ha of sensitive land near Motueka.

"The Applicant plans to establish a brand new vineyard on the property," the OIO said.

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