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Foreign firm kicks out Kiwi company after buying farm

Foreign firm kicks out Kiwi company after buying farm

An American company has kicked a Kiwi business off its land after successfully convincing the Overseas Investment Office to buy 100 per cent of a farm lease, without informing the office of the Kiwi firm’s access rights, Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove says.

“In 2010 Coast Range New Zealand successfully increased its stake in Flock Hill Station from 24.9 per cent to 100 per cent following an application to the Overseas Investment Office.

“Its application did not mention the land access rights that High Country Explorer Tours has had for 23 years that are crucial to its business, nor the investment High Country has made in developing a road for tourism across the farm.

“Coast Range recently terminated High Country’s access rights, effectively shutting down the business. This is despite saying in its OIO application that its purchase would not cost jobs. High Country employs up to 16 people, making a significant contribution to the tourism economy of Canterbury.

“High Country’s appeal to the Overseas Investment Office was turned down yesterday. That’s not on. The OIO is supposed to apply an economic benefit test. That has clearly been ignored.

“I call on the OIO to immediately review this case and help protect High Country and its employees. There is no way a long-standing Kiwi company should have its business shut down when an overseas application is granted.

“Under Labour this would never have happened. Labour believes in keeping Kiwi land in Kiwi hands and will, in effect, prevent farms sales to foreigners,” says Clayton Cosgrove.


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