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Grozovsky brothers respond to OIO review


Rafael and Federico Grozovsky respond to Overseas Investment Office review

The owners of Onetai Station, Rafael and Federico Grozovsky, welcome the conclusion of the review by the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) and the principal finding that they are of good character. Bringing this process to an end will now allow them to focus on improving Onetai; implementing their water quality research; and developing their business links with New Zealand.

The sale of Onetai Station to Ceol & Muir was approved by the OIO in February 2014 and, as the report states clearly, the OIO would today still approve the sale of this land to the Grozovsky brothers.

Rafael and Federico Grozovsky accept the formal warnings issued by the OIO. These relate, as the OIO says itself, to only two ‘minor matters’. The OIO confirms the brothers did not mislead the OIO and the Grozovsky brothers have worked cooperatively with the OIO to resolve all issues including inviting the inspection of Onetai to view the work which has been done so far.

The OIO’s review was prompted by publicity arising from the leak of the so-called Panama Papers and claims about clients of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

The review finds nothing untoward in the connections between Ceol & Muir and Mossack Fonseca.

The review also investigated allegations about the character of the Grozovsky brothers.

It dismisses claims that Rafael and Federico Grozovsky have convictions for polluting the Lujan River in Argentina. Such claims are false and defamatory and have had a significant impact on their ability to progress their research work at Onetai.

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Proceedings were filed In Argentina against the brothers many years ago but have not progressed and remain unresolved. The brothers believe the proceedings lack any foundation and they are confident they will not be convicted of any offence.

The OIO confirmed it knew about these proceedings at the time it approved the sale. The OIO is critical that Rafael and Federico did not disclose the existence of these proceedings at the time the application was made, but accepts that irrespective of these proceedings the OIO still regards the brothers as being of good character.

The brothers accept, with the benefit of hindsight, that disclosing the proceedings at that time would have been preferable. Had they been asked by the OIO at the time to explain the background to the proceedings all the present issues could have been avoided.

The OIO also clears Rafael and Federico Grozovsky of any involvement in another alleged pollution incident at an Argentinian sugar mill. The brothers ceased to have any involvement with the company that owned the mill a year before the alleged incident.


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