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New Protections For Farm Land

New protections to prevent the alienation of sensitive farm land to foreigners have been passed by Order in Council.

Finance Minister Michael Cullen said the tighter requirements had been legislated for in 1998 at New Zealand First’s instigation but that the supporting regulations had never been brought into force.

“The Labour-Alliance government agreed with what the amendments were designed to achieve, and has moved to give effect to them,” Dr Cullen said.

The changes are:

- that no farm land can be approved for sale by the Overseas Investment Commission unless it has first been offered on the open market to New Zealanders

- that Ministers can waive this requirement but only if the purchase will or is likely to result in substantial and identifiable benefits to New Zealand or to a region, district, locality or other part of New Zealand

- a halving from 0.4 hectares to 0.2 hectares of the threshold for consent for areas of land adjoining or including the foreshore.

Ends

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