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Lochinver farm sale highlights weak foreign ownership laws

27 February 2014

Lochinver farm sale highlights weak foreign ownership laws

Tenders close today for the sale of one of New Zealand’s most valuable farms, raising the distinct possibility it will fall into foreign ownership, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

Tenders close at 4PM today for Lochinver Station, described as one of the most productive farms ever put up for sale. The 13,800 hectare property located along the Napier-Taupo highway has a capital valuation of $70.6 million.

“Our weak laws around foreign ownership of land means we risk losing highly productive farms like Lochinver Station to foreign owners,” said Dr Norman.

“As food prices rise globally, selling off our productive land to foreign owners is not a smart way to run an economy. Profits will flow offshore leaving us less able to pay down our huge foreign debt.

“The loss of Crafar farms into Chinese ownership should have been a wake-up call for this Government to restrict farm sales to New Zealanders and New Zealand permanent residents only.

“Lochinver Station borders fantastic hunting, fishing, and white water rafting country. Having the farm fall into foreign ownership and being locked up and only accessible to wealthy foreign tourists will be a hard loss to stomach for Kiwis.”

The Green Party will ensure that New Zealand land remains in New Zealand ownership. Dr Norman introduced a Member's Bill in 2010 which rules out overseas ownership of farmland over five hectares.

“This simple measure would take some of the pressure off rural land prices, making it easier for New Zealand families to buy a farm, and will also help our current account deficit, as more profits will stay in New Zealand,” said Dr Norman.

“When it comes to our productive farmland, we must keep it Kiwi.”

More information:
Lochinver Station is for sale by tender, closing on February 27, 2014, at 4PM. The sale is being managed by Bayleys' managing director Mike Bayley from Bayleys Taihape.

Table of recent large farm sales:

Farm - Area Size (ha) - Approximate value
Crafar farms Central NI – 7,892 - $200M
Lochinver Station - Volcanic Plateau – 13,837 - $71M†
St James Station – Canterbury - 78,196 - $45M
Mt Pember Station – Canterbury – 27,242 - $30M

† Under tender, capital valuation only

ENDS

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