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Shanghai Pengxin Group to buy New Zealand farm

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Staff writer ▼ | August 1, 2014
Chinese food giant Shanghai Pengxin Group confirmed it was seeking to buy another major New Zealand dairy holding, stepping into a general election campaign row over foreign purchases of New Zealand's productive farmland.
Shanghai Pengxin Group
Controversy   Conservative Party against the deal
The sale, which is subject to approval by New Zealand's Overseas Investment Office (OIO) and Chinese authorities, was revealed by the leader of the Conservative Party, Colin Craig, in a campaign speech.

Mr. Craig claimed Shanghai Pengxin, which has been at the center of previous controversial farm purchases, had agreed to buy the 13,800-hectare Lochinver Station near the central North Island town of Taup, but the deal was being kept secret until after the election on Sept 20 for fear of a public backlash.

"Although the deal has been agreed between the parties, and the Overseas Investment Office has received an application, the deal has not been disclosed to the public. We believe voters should be aware of what's going on behind closed doors, this is clearly an election issue, it's time to take down the 'For Sale' sign on New Zealand."

Within hours, Shanghai Pengxin released a statement confirming the deal, which had been agreed through its New Zealand subsidiary, Pure 100 Farm Ltd, but giving no price.

"The Shanghai Pengxin philosophy is to work co-operatively through its local subsidiaries within the New Zealand farming industry and support new investment and innovative opportunities, as well as productivity enhancement, sustainable farming practices, and building supply chain capability," said the statement.