Coalition Government blocks sale of massive farmland to foreign buyer

The Overseas Investment Office have rejected the application of Mercury Agriculture LP, which is 92 per cent controlled by Canadian interests, to purchase more than 2000 hectares of South Canterbury and Otago land.

Mercury wanted to buy 2000ha at Rangitata, 1494ha near Ashburton, 816ha near Cromwell and 212ha near Temuka.

Vendors were the owners of Rangitata Dairies Limited Partnership and Rangitata GP Limited New Zealand and the price offered was withheld.

But the Coalition Government decided against the sale because all the land was classified as sensitive under the Overseas Investment Act as it is farmland.

From January to October, the office rejected six application, compared to two in the same period last year. The office approved 121 applications in those 10 months, compared to 76 in the same time last year.

By rejecting the sale, the Coalition Government has ensured that Kiwi assets remain in Kiwi hands.

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