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Sale of Lochinver Station declined

Written By: - Date published: 12:58 pm, September 17th, 2015 - 38 comments
Categories: business, International - Tags: , , , ,

As widely reported:

Ministers reject advice – halt China Lochinver Station sale

Government ministers Paula Bennett and Louise Upston have gone against a recommendation by the Overseas Investment Office and turned down a $88 million bid by Chinese billionaire Jiang Zhaobai’s flagship firm to buy the Lochinver Station.

The Overseas Investment Office had recommended the Chinese-owned Pure 100 Farm Ltd be accepted in what Associate Finance Minister Paula Bennett described as a “finely balanced” decision. However, ministers did not believe the benefits to New Zealand were great enough and used their discretion to reject it. …

This was the right decision – surprisingly so:

It is the first time ministers have rejected a bid to buy a significant landholding in New Zealand since the rules were tightened in 2012 during the Crafar Farms decision to require the OIO to assess whether a foreign buyer could offer more than a New Zealand buyer would.

38 comments on “Sale of Lochinver Station declined”

  1. dukeofurl 1

    No surprise this is announced now , after the SFF deal that came through yesterday.

    AFter all the anguish from National when the Auckland Airport sale was stopped on political grounds by labour, this backflip will be easy to justify politically but hard to explain on ‘commercial terms’

    • Bob 1.1

      “this backflip will be easy to justify politically but hard to explain on ‘commercial terms’”
      Not really, apparently the proposed purchase agreement that went through to the OIO included one extra job coming from the purchase. I can only assume it was the 8,000 jobs in Drury that the Stevenson Group claimed the proceeds from the sale were likely to create, was the reason for the OIO rubber stamp.

  2. Treetop 2

    Key knows that the sale of Lochinver Station would piss off already pissed off farmers. Key also knows that off shore buyers are not contributing to the farming economy long term. Possibly there is something Key wants to hide, no sale, off the radar.

    Maybe a timing vote issue with the proposed 50% stake of Silver Fern Farms.

    • Naki man 2.1

      “Key knows that the sale of Lochinver Station would piss off already pissed off farmers.”
      I think most people would say farms shouldn’t be sold to overseas buyers
      but farmers like house owners want top dollar for their property and don’t care where the money comes from.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        Yeah, selfish arseholes.

        Of course, there’s also the fact that a number of people possibly want to become farmers but can’t afford the land because of offshore buying and the increasing number of them will be getting pissed off.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      Key also knows that off shore buyers are not contributing to the farming economy long term.

      And a lot of us have known for a long time that offshore owners never contribute to the economy and never have done. They just take, take, take.

  3. save NZ 3

    Yep Natz are happy to sell off all our assets, probably polling showed that Kiwis were getting a bit alarmed so they thought to try to show they are doing something.

    At the same time, the Chinese investors were probably not known cronies of the Natz and therefore to made an example of.

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    The correct decision, made serendipitously for the wrong reasons. It may yet face legal challenge. Not mention intense bribes lobbying at Cabinet Club.

  5. dv 5

    Does this mean in Joyce’s eyes Bennet and Upston are xenophobes

    This was a discussion in the nation a year or two back

    Mr Joyce, I just want to ask you about your own leader’s comments.
    Joyce: He’s against Chinese investment.
    Robertson: Oh, for goodness sake, Steven.
    Mr Joyce—
    Joyce: Little xenophobia from the Labour Party to start the day off.
    Mr Joyce—
    Robertson: See, this is typical of the personal politics. He doesn’t want to debate what New Zealanders want, which is to control their own future. Steven’s happy to sell off our future rather than have New Zealanders in control.

    Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/tvshows/thenation/debate-wealth-of-the-nation-2014080211#ixzz3lxMZgQdI

  6. Barfly 6

    Even a stopped clock gets the time right twice a day……..

  7. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7

    What self-important wankers. Acting like they own it.

    • Grant 7.1

      Freehold title (if Lochinver is freehold and not leasehold) is a limited form of ownership. It is always trumped by the interests of the State and in the final analysis the Crown does own all the land.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7.1.1

        I know, Grant. And they’re allowed to spy on you. And they don’t have to give you access to state funded education or healthcare. And they can imprison you. And tell you who you can marry.

  8. JanM 8

    They’re up to something, for sure!

  9. rob 9

    porka Bennett on tv3 about this turning down of this sale? (at this stage)
    not much of a poker face!!! there is something bigger to come! and not just her.
    this is a bluff to something alot bigger mark my words. can’t trust the fookers at all as they have proved ova and ova and all that support them should be flogged in their masses

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 9.1

      So, your take away message is that Paula Bennet is fat. Good on you. That political correctness has gone mad!

  10. rob 10

    take what u want dik whacker.
    yeap she is a trougher IMO.
    but more so a lying Tory hog.
    this is a setup for some other public shafting that i am sure of!

    [lprent: The only reason that is is allowed to stand is because of the use of pigfucker to describe particular political behaviours. I am unsure if that was just coincidental. You will be moderated for a while so I can see what your future behaviour holds. ]

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10.1

      I don’t really know where to start. I think judging women on their appearance is bad. But your grammar is appalling as well.

      I’m sorry, but I think I am just going to have to write you off as appalling.

    • BM 10.2

      Pigs?, shafting?

      Are you from Dunedin?

  11. BM 11

    Joking aside I’d be really surprised rob is allowed to make such sexist and offensive comments.

    Seriously, the guy’s a fuckwit and should be shit canned for writing what he has.

    Hopefully the rules aren’t different when it’s not your side.

  12. vto 12


    There is no benefit in having absentee foreign landlords. Ever.

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    This was the right decision – surprisingly so:

    Apparently National are starting to get worried that people really don’t like seeing NZ sold to offshore owners. This will be one of those points where they’ll say Something needed to be done and, See, we did something followed up by them doing nothing else as we see foreign ownership continue to climb. After all, they can’t piss off their donors too much.

  14. gnomic 14

    Sounds like the focus groups have spoken. Not a decision Bennett and Upston will have made under their own steam at their pay grade. Interesting, who knew it was even possible to contradict the Commission for Waving Through Foreign Investors? Has it ever happened before?


    • Bob 14.1

      “Interesting, who knew it was even possible to contradict the Commission for Waving Through Foreign Investors? Has it ever happened before?”

      According to Paddy Gower on 3 News last night, it has only happened 3 times before, all three were attempted purchases by some German who lives in Coatesville…I can’t think why the Government would be against German investment!

  15. Saarbo 15

    Interesting decision from Nats. I never thought that they would do this. I wonder if the Chinese treatment of our Dairy industry has played a small part. I know Fed Farmers et al not happy with foreigners buying productive farm land but I struggle to understand how Lochinvar sale is different to the 1000’s hectares that have been sold to Europeans in North Taranaki and East Coast.

    This does look xenophobic…..much more xenophobic than Twyfords thingy from a few months back. Just saying.

  16. Ffloyd 16

    Caught a brief glimpse of Bennett on TV. Is he channelling jenny Shipley? Shipley hairdo and glasses. Trying on a new persona for size perhaps? Whatever happened to loud and proud leopard skin wearing Westie?

  17. The Real Matthew 17

    I hope the buyers take the NZ Govt to court.

    Their bid passes every test the law puts before them. Ministers have made purely political decision which should be overturned by a Court of Law.

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