An American philanthropist has been granted approval to purchase 34 hectares of freehold land on Waiheke Island for nearly $19 million.
This is one of two Overseas Investment Office decisions to grant approval for land purchase to foreign interests. In another decision a lease on sensitive land has been approved.
Waiaua Bay Farms Ltd is owned by Julian Robertson Jr and the land is situated at Kauaroa Bay.
Mr Robertson plans to build a luxury lodge for 30-40 guests on the land at 341 Gordons Road.
The Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage and the Associate Minister of Finance, David Clark made the decision under the Overseas Investment Act, under section 12(a)
Land Information New Zealand says that once constructed, the operation of the luxury lodge will require new staff. The construction of the lodge is also likely to create jobs on Waiheke Island.
Mr Robertson will provide public access to parts of the property, which has until now been off limits. The public will be able to walk to the coast and a lookout point on the property which provides a 300-degree view across Auckland, Koi Island and Rocky Bay (Whakanewha Bay).
Ecological projects, including a wetland restoration, planting, weed removal and predator control, will be carried out.
The construction of the lodge, public access and the ecology programme are conditions of the consent to buy the property.
LINZ says Mr Robertson has invested in New Zealand properties for many years and contributed to philanthropic projects. He owns other luxury lodges in New Zealand – Kauri Cliffs in Northland, Cape Kidnappers in Hawke’s Bay, and Matakauri near Queenstown.
United States-owned New Zealand Redwood Company has been granted approval to purchase 1.146 hectares of farmland at Matiere in the Waikato.
Land Information New Zealand says the company specialises in growing redwoods, the world’s tallest trees, which are found naturally in a coastal strip from Oregon to California. It says the company is a reputable investor in New Zealand, and has made similar investments over the last 20 years.
Action Manufacturing LP, which is 85% New Zealand-owned, has been granted approval to lease 1.5 hectares of land at Te Rapa near Hamilton.
LINZ says the company will move its Hamilton campervan factory to the new site so it can expand the business to meet increasing export demand from Australia.
The land is considered sensitive because it is more than 0.4 hectares and adjoins a recreation reserve of more than 70 hectares.