The sale of a Canterbury dairy farm for more than $17 million to a company owned by the Canadian government has been approved by the Overseas Investment Office (OIO).
OIO approval was given in November for the purchase in the latest round of decisions for overseas investment of sensitive New Zealand land.
The transaction includes a medium sized dairy farm of 335 hectares and a neighbouring dairy support block of 72ha, also on freehold land at Hororata. They will be combined to create a larger dairy farm.
Applying for OIO consent was Ramsay Dairy Farm Ltd, wholly owned by the Canadian government and linked to a public pension investment scheme.
The land was sold by Harry and Gail Schat, owners of Haglea Farm Ltd, and Jennifer, Neal and Mervyn Todd under Ddot Holdings Ltd. Harry Schat was previously North Canterbury president of Federated Farmers for three years.
Ramsay Dairy Farm Ltd has plans to convert some of the dairy support land to create a larger milking platform, and to increase the herd size by about 400 cows.
In its decision the OIO said the benefits to New Zealand included the creation of additional jobs on the amalgamated dairy farm, an increase in milk volumes being processed in New Zealand, increased export receipts and the introduction of capital investment to convert dairy support land to dairying.
Taken into consideration was the applicant’s previous investments that have been «of benefit to New Zealand», by creating jobs and bringing in additional investment for land development.