21 May 2019

The Overseas Investment Office has received an application for the purchase of about 432 hectares of farmland in Otago.

The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has received an application from Plaman Global Corporation (PGC) and Plaman Resources Limited (PRL), which includes a request for consent for PRL to buy about 432 hectares of farmland next to 42 hectares it already owns in Otago.

In 2014 the OIO approved PRL to buy 42 hectares of land in Middlemarch so it could do tests to determine whether development of a large-scale black diatomite mining operation was viable.

The new land surrounds the existing 42 hectares, and PRL wants to buy it so it can significantly expand its mining operation.

The existing and new land is in an area known as Foulden Hills/Foulden Maar.

The proposed investment requires consent because it involves the acquisition of sensitive land.

The investment will be assessed against the investor test criteria (business experience and acumen and good character) and the benefit to New Zealand criteria. The rural land directive also applies as the land includes non-urban land greater than 5 hectares.

The application requires approval from Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage and Associate Finance Minister David Clark.

The OIO received the application on 2 February 2018. Average timeframes for assessing applications can be found here. The time includes:

  • OIO processing.
  • Waiting for applicants to provide further information.
  • Consulting with third parties.
  • Ministers considering applications. 

The current Plaman application is more complex than average applications.

Information about the assessment process is here.

The OIO has already received submissions about the application and continues to accept new submissions. People who have already made submissions are able to resubmit or withdraw them.

The application is currently being assessed and, taking into account the Official Information Act, the OIO cannot comment further or release any information until a decision is made. We will publish information on our website once a decision has been made.


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