Ministers approve Milk New Zealand application for the Crafar farms

27 January 2012

Note: The decision referred to below was set aside by the High Court (refer Tiroa E and Te Hape B Trusts v Chief Executive of Land Information [2012] NZHC 147).  Instead, please refer to the Ministers' later 16 April 2012 decision to grant consent to Milk New Zealand Holding Limited to acquire the 16 Crafar Farms.

Associate Minister of Finance Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman and Minister for Land Information Hon Maurice Williamson have granted consent to Milk New Zealand Holding Limited (Milk New Zealand), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shanghai Pengxin Group Co. Limited (Pengxin), to acquire the 16 Crafar farms.

Annelies McClure, Manager of the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) within Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), said the Ministers concurred with the OIO's recommendation that consent be granted to Milk New Zealand to purchase the Crafar farms, following the acceptance of their bid by receivers KordaMentha.

"Our role throughout this process has been to ensure that any overseas bids accepted by the receivers met the investment criteria set out in the Overseas Investment Act 2005," said Ms McClure.

"The sale of New Zealand farm land is a sensitive topic that many New Zealanders feel very passionate about.  Consent will only ever be granted for investments that will benefit New Zealand and meet the requirements of New Zealand’s investment laws.

"Ministers were satisfied that all the relevant criteria had been met by Milk New Zealand.

"There has been recent public comment about the transparency of the OIO’s processes. What is important to bear in mind is that we have a responsibility to be mindful of the commercial sensitivities of all parties. This is a responsibility we take very seriously."

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