27 June 2019

An Australian company has received permission to buy 87 hectares of farm land at Matamata to give its horses a freer rein. The land is being converted from a dairy farm to a thoroughbred horse breeding, racing and sales operation.

GH Westbury operates in Australia and New Zealand, and it needs more land for its New Zealand horses to stretch their legs.

Benefits of the investment include new full-time jobs, additional investment into New Zealand, increased exports of yearlings and two-year-old horses and expanded services in the region. It’s also a more emission-friendly land use since horses produce far less methane than cows.

One condition of the consent is that 65 percent of foals born in New Zealand must be retained for auction in New Zealand.

Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage and Associate Finance Minister David Clark approved the investment, which also supports the Government’s policy to revitalise and reform the thoroughbred racing industry.

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