DecisionConsent granted
Section 12(a) Overseas Investment Act 2005
Decision Date6 April 2017
InvestmentAn overseas investment in sensitive land, being the acquisition of a freehold interest in 274.1708 hectares of land at 1830 Awatere Valley Rd, Awatere Valley, Marlborough.
Consideration$23,000,000
ApplicantGlobal Ag Properties II New Zealand Limited Partnership and TIAA-CREF Global Agriculture II LLC
North America (55.5%)
Europe (37.9%)
Asia (6.6%)
VendorCraggy Range Vineyards Limited
Terrence Elmore Peabody, Australia (99.0%)
Stephen Mark Smith, New Zealand (1.0%)
Background

The Applicants are part of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America ("TIAA") group, which is a United States not-for-profit financial institution.  The primary beneficiaries of TIAA retirement plans are people who work in academic, government, medical and other non-profit fields.  

The land in question is known as Black Birch Vineyard.  Villa Maria Estate Limited currently leases part of the vineyard and will lease the entire vineyard by 2019, until 2028.

The lease allows for the owner of the vineyard to purchase a certain proportion of the grapes from Villa Maria at cost, beginning in 2018. The Applicants will purchase these grapes, contract with a local custom crush facility to produce wine, and export the wine to the United States for sale as premium New Zealand wine.

The Applicants intend to redevelop the vineyard at the end of the lease to Villa Maria.

The overseas investment transaction has satisfied the criteria in section 16 of the Overseas Investment Act 2005. The 'substantial and identifiable benefit to New Zealand' criteria were satisfied by particular reference to the following factors:

Overseas Investment Act 2005
17(2)(a)(v) – Additional investment for development purposes

Overseas Investment Regulations 2005
28(a) – Consequential benefits
28(b) – Key person in a key industry
More informationSilvana Schenone
Minter Ellison Rudd Watts
PO Box 3798
AUCKLAND 1140