New Zealand Law Society - No to overseas investor application to buy vineyards

No to overseas investor application to buy vineyards

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Ministers have declined an application from an overseas investor to buy six vineyards in New Zealand.

Associate Minister of Finance David Clark and Minister for Land Information Eugenie Sage were not satisfied the proposed investment would result in a substantial and identifiable benefit to New Zealand.

Global Ag Properties applied for consent under the Overseas Investment Act to buy more than 500 hectares of land across Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay.

The international partnership intended to continue to operate the vineyards, undertake replanting and make new capital investment.

Under the Overseas Investment Act, two Ministers must decide on applications like this.

Ministers must exercise their own judgement when reaching decisions under the benefit to New Zealand pathway. This includes determining what weight to place on each benefit factor.

The Ministers decided the benefits to New Zealand would not be substantial enough to approve the application.

During the assessment, the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) had concerns about the benefit factors and sought further information from Global Ag. The OIO noted in its report to the Ministers that the criteria were likely to be met but it was finely balanced and was a matter for Ministers to decide on, exercising their Ministerial judgement.