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OIO May Not Be Following Its Own Act in Approving Land Sales

OIO May Not Be Following Its Own Act in Approving Land Sales


UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne is questioning how thoroughly the Overseas Investment Office adheres to the Overseas Investment Act when approving or disallowing land sales to foreign nationals.

Mr Dunne is concerned that the Office is not following all the provisions of the Overseas Investment Act when considering particular land sales to overseas interests.

“The Act states that public access to waterways must be protected and improved in addition to the protection and enhancement of significant habitats of trout, salmon, and wildlife.

“It appears that last year Shanghai Pengxin purchased land which included ‘stewardship land’ and some of the Rakaia riverbed.

“it is not clear what steps the OIO has taken to ensure that these provisions are being followed before approving overseas sales.

“For example, I understand is that Fish and Game, as the recognised statutory ‘custodians’ of the salmon and trout fishery, were not consulted before last year’s sales to Shanghai Pengxin were approved.

“Nor is it clear what steps the OIO proposes to take in the Lochinver Station case to ensure the protection of public access and the enhancement of the recreational fishery.

“Given the growing concern about water quality in our rivers, lakes, and streams and the wider environment generally I want a public statement from the OIO about how it carries out these legal requirements and an assurance that statutory agencies like Fish and Game and the new Game Animal Council will be consulted as a matter of course when such sales are being considered.

“Otherwise, the way the OIO operates its approval process is potentially ultra vires,” said Mr Dunne.

Ends

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