3 May 2019
Oceana Gold (New Zealand) Ltd has been refused consent under the Overseas Investment Act to buy land to expand its Waihi gold mines.
In April 2018 Oceana Gold applied to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) to buy about 180 hectares of farm land near its current Waihi mines.
The decision summary for the application can be viewed here.
The OIO assessed the applications under the benefit to New Zealand pathway and on November 2018 provided its report to Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage and Associate Finance Minister David Clark. This included a provisional recommendation that the application be approved.
Ministers must exercise their own judgement when reaching decisions under the benefit to New Zealand pathway. This includes determining what weight to place on each benefit factor.
The Ministers carefully considered the applications. They met regularly to discuss the applications and requested additional information and advice. In February 2019 they requested further information from the applicant, which Oceana Gold provided to the Ministers.
Minister Clark was satisfied that the investment would result in substantial and identifiable benefit to New Zealand, which is a criterion for consent under the Overseas Investment Act. However, Minister Sage was not satisfied.
The Overseas Investment Act provides for two Ministers to each independently decide an application like this. Consent is only granted if both Ministers grant consent.
Ministers have not previously made different decisions under the Overseas Investment Act 2005.
In a separate decision, the Overseas Investment Office approved Oceana Gold’s application to buy four residential properties in central Waihi.
Updated on 5 June 2019
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