1 April 2019

An international investment partnership will convert part of a Central Hawke’s Bay farm to an apple orchard after receiving permission to buy the 479 hectare property.

Craigmore Permanent Crop Limited Partnership, whose limited partners include investors from Hong Kong, Germany and the United Kingdom, bought the land in Ongaonga from New Zealand-owned LINZ Holdings Limited. The limited partnership is generally controlled by New Zealanders.

Craigmore plans to convert 130 hectares currently used for barley and maize to a large-scale apple orchard. Once the apple orchard is mature, it will support the equivalent of 79 full-time jobs and generate about $21 million in annual exports.

Other benefits include the introduction of funds to develop the orchard and build accommodation for seasonal workers. The land will also be used for more productive use. 

Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage and Associate Finance Minister David Clark in February granted consent to the purchase under the Overseas Investment Act. It required consent because the land includes more than five hectares of rural land. The investment was also required to meet the rural land directive in the Ministerial Directive Letter.

The partnership is part of Craigmore Farming Group, which has numerous investments in New Zealand. In December 2018 it received consent to buy Gisborne land, which will also be converted to an apple orchard.

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