Michael Graham Linforth of the U.K. and the Clive and Carol Buckley Family Limited Partnership of the U.S.A. (50% each) have been refused approval to acquire 0.57 hectares at 30 Government Road, Raglan, Waikato for $735,000 from ML Williamson of Aotearoa. According to the OIC,
The Applicant proposes to acquire the subject property, which has been utilised as a private residence, to provide the first real luxury rental property in the Raglan area. The Applicants claim that following extensive refurbishment of the property it is likely to provide added competition to the accommodation market in the Raglan area. It is also claimed that the operation will create new job opportunities in the form of two casual part-time positions.
On the information provided the Commission does not have sufficient evidence to be assured about the accuracy of the material provided or that the claimed national interest benefits will or are likely to eventuate.
[Decision number 200320019.]
Toll Group (NZ) Limited of Australia has approval to acquire all the shares it does not already own in Tranz Rail Holdings Limited for $186,000,000. Before Toll’s purchase, according to the OIC, the shares Toll did not own in Tranz Rail Holdings Limited were held 16.7% by minor shareholders in Australia, 74.4% by minor shareholders in Aotearoa, and 8.9% by Infrastructure and Utilities NZ Limited of Aotearoa. According to news reports, Toll held 10.1% before it launched its takeover bid.
The sale includes land owned by Tranz Rail as follows:
The takeover by Toll was a drawn-out affair triggered by the near-bankruptcy of the privatised Tranz Rail. Tranz Rail, the privatised New Zealand Rail Ltd, was a model for how appalling a privatisation can be. It was privatised in 1993 (see our commentary for July that year for further details). The new owners ran down its services, tracks and rolling stock, asset stripped in the most blatant and irresponsible way (much of the proceeds going overseas), produced massive redundancies in its workforce, and lowered safety to such a life-threatening level, killing and maiming both its workers and its customers, that it led to a public inquiry. Finally, its financial mismanagement led to a crash in its share price and the company’s eventual downfall. This has been documented in heartbreaking detail in the judgements of the Roger Award for the worst transnational operating in Aotearoa, which Tranz Rail won three times before being installed in its Hall of Shame to allow other corporate villains to have a turn (see http://canterbury.cyberplace.org.nz/community/CAFCA/publications/Roger/index.html).
The New Zealand Government made an offer for 35% of Tranz Rail, when it became obvious a bail-out was required, but Toll launched a competing bid for the whole company. In both cases, part of the deal was that the government would “Take back the track” (as the union movement had been demanding for some years) in order to ensure it was restored to a state where services could be run efficiently. Services in large parts of it had been slowed to as little as 40km/h because of its unsafe state. This in itself implies a large scale bailout of the service, reflecting the scandalous level of neglect by its outgoing owners. Although the nominal price for the track was a symbolic $1, the government is paying $50 million for track leases and has undertaken to spend $200 million over five years to upgrade the track. In return, Toll gets sole use of the track until 2070, subject to access fees, maintaining freight levels, and spending $100 million on rolling stock and locomotives. The handover of the track is from 1 July 2004. As the OIC records:
On 7 July 2003, the Crown and Toll entered into an agreement whereby if Toll’s takeover offer for Tranz Rail is successful, Toll must procure that Tranz Rail enters into the heads of agreement with the Crown which provides amongst other things:
(a) that Tranz Rail will sell and transfer the rail network and network assets to the Crown;
(b) that the Crown will grant Tranz Rail exclusive access to the network until 31 December 2070 and Tranz Rail will pay an annual access fee;
(c) that the Crown will invest $100 million in upgrading the network and a further $100 million in replacement capital;
(d) that Tranz Rail will invest $100 million in rolling stock;
(e) that the Crown will be responsible for track control and scheduling, subject to Tranz Rail’s rights on input on these functions; and
(f) Tranz Rail and the Crown will agree a KPI regime.
The exclusive access to the track, while possibly justified by the economics of the business, is an interesting development. It is in direct conflict with the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), one of the agreements under the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Rail was one of the services the then New Zealand government committed to be subject to the GATS when it signed up to it in 1994. One of the GATS provisions which applies to that commitment is Article XVI.2, on Market Access. It quite clearly prevents a government (or an entity such as the track company acting under powers delegated by the government) from restricting the number of service suppliers in a particular service market. The Article states: “the measures which a member shall not maintain or adopt … are … (a) limitations on the number of service suppliers whether in the form of ... monopolies, exclusive service suppliers … ”. Thus the granting of the monopoly over use of the track to Tranz Rail is a breach of the GATS. The matter was put to Paul Swain, Minister of Transport, by Independent journalist, Bob Edlin, after Edlin was briefed on the matter by Bill Rosenberg and Jane Kelsey. Swain’s justification to Edlin (Media Statement, “Gats and Rail statement for Bob Edlin”, 23/6/03) rested on two legs. First, that “The Crown is entitled to negotiate a commercial agreement with Tranz Rail on commercial terms. An owner of a railway track network can choose to contract with one or more entities wishing to operate trains on the network.” That is clearly not true under GATS when the owner is the government. It must open the use of the track to all comers. And second, that “Under the proposed Tranz Rail deal, the Government would not prevent third parties from investing in and establishing new railway infrastructure and services in New Zealand.” In other words, anyone is free to build a new railway track. The absurdity of suggesting that anyone would build a parallel track network when even one track is barely economic should be obvious, and would be critical to any consideration by a WTO Disputes Panel. While the government was acting sensibly in taking back the track, and possibly in giving Tranz Rail monopoly use of it, its continued commitment to GATS (and its interpretation of GATS) makes no sense at all.
Toll did not in the end get 100% of the company. Some minority shareholders – including some crucial institutional shareholders – refused to accept the 110 cents a share (though raised from 75 cents, then to 95 cents) on the basis of the value they thought Toll and the government’s takeover of the track would add to the company. It is not clear what share price the $186 million quoted by the OIC refers to, and it presumably reflects the shareholding that Toll owned at the time of the application to the OIC. Toll’s 110 cents/share offer would have been worth $230 million, but holders of less than 90% of shares – the number required for Toll to be allowed to compulsorily acquire the remainder – accepted. Toll refused to say how many did accept, though it had 84.2% of shares not long before the offer finally closed in December 2003 after a number of extensions of the deadline. By that time, shares were being sold on the stock exchange for 165 cents, above even the independent valuation of between $1.34 and $1.62 in July, made by merchant bankers Grant Samuel. Clearly, Toll got an exceedingly good deal.
Meanwhile, Toll has shown an interest in other parts of the transport system in Aotearoa, taking a 12% shareholding in the Owens Group, preventing a full takeover by the largest local transport operator, Mainfreight. It already runs stevedoring services at the ports of Lyttelton, Napier and Tauranga, and operates warehouses through its Southern Distribution Centre, which has contracts with Lion Nathan, BHP NZ Steel, and Fletcher Forest Products among others. Its record in Australia shows it will not stop there: it aims to manage the services and information in its customers’ entire “supply chain”, from transport to warehousing to ports. In Australia in recent years it has purchased the Mayne Group (courier, air freight, mail room management); Brambles Industries cargo shipping between Melbourne and Tasmania; DX Group’s air, road and courier business; BHP Stevedoring and BHP Transport and Logistics NZ; FreightCorp and National Rail rail businesses, in partnership with noted union-buster, Patrick Corporation; Wesfarmers’ Western Australian freight services and logistics operations; Strang Stevedoring at Newcastle, Port Kembla, Geelong, Portland and Melbourne; Finemores Holdings (bulk tankers); ARN Logistics (paper and packaging services); International Corporate Removals Australia; and online relocation service movinghome.com.au. The company has a market capitalisation of A$2.1 billion and employs 15,000 staff.
(References: Independent, “Toll: A sharp operator readies for NZ growth”, by Gareth Vaughan, 16/7/03, p.9; “Toll’s Tranz Rail bid teeters on the rails”, by Gareth Vaughan, 30/7/03, p.3; (Press, “Toll admits failure”, 23/12/03, p.B6; “Aust’s Toll enters buckling Tranz Rail”, by Adam Bennett, 1/1/04, p.B6.)
[Decision number 200320029.]
In a decision almost completely suppressed until released on appeal in November 2003, SK Foods International, 100% owned by Frederick Scott Salyer of the U.S.A., has approval to 100% of the shares in Cedenco Foods Limited. The acquisition includes 7.4 hectares at Innes Street, Gisborne.
The price is given as $14,510,850, but SKF already had 54.78% of the shares so this is presumably the price for the remaining 45.22%. SKF had obtained the right to acquire up to 100% of Cedenco in April 2001. At the time it in fact bought only 54.78% for $12,471,892. See our commentary for that month for further details. So this is an extension of this right, applied for in order to allow SKF to mount a full takeover of Cedenco.
SKF acquired the remaining shares in the company following an offer in August 2003, completing the takeover in October 2003. The offer was controversial, New Zealand Herald investment analyst Brian Gaynor commenting:
The SK Foods offer leaves a sour taste in the mouth for several reasons including the overly negative profit warnings for the September 2003 year, the cessation of dividend payments, the purchase of shares by SK Foods immediately after the announcement, the cancellation of Treasury shares just before the offer was announced and the absence of any truly independent directors.
But the most frustrating aspect is the comment by SK Foods that the company is too small to be listed and Grant Samuel's statement that overseas companies deserve a higher valuation (price) because they are larger and have well-known brands.
Why are we told that New Zealand companies are the right size for the sharemarket and should be valued on an international comparison basis when they are being floated but are told they are too small and should be worth less than overseas companies when they are being taken over?
The takeover price should contain a premium for control whereas the initial public offering price did not. On this basis, and the group's improved medium-term outlook, Cedenco shareholders deserve at least $2.30 a share, the same price as individual shareholders paid in the initial public offering nearly a decade ago.
(New Zealand Herald, “SK Foods' Cedenco bid leaves sour taste”, by Brian Gaynor, 20/8/03)
SK Foods, while disputing Gaynor's analysis, upped its offer from $2.15 to $2.30 a share to complete the takeover.
In contrast, the OIC states:
The Applicant obtained consent to acquire up to 100% of the shares in Cedenco Limited on 30 April 2001 and acquired 54.8% of the shares prior to that consent lapsing in April 2002. The Applicant is part of a group that is a major fruit and vegetable processing company in the United States with distributions throughout the world. The proposal to increase its shareholding in Cedenco results from a desire to diversify the Applicant's overall business mix and further expand its presence in the international place.
The Applicant is of the view that there is potential to further develop and enhance Cedenco's existing vegetable and fruit processing operations. Cedenco's future business operations are likely to benefit from the continued support of a strong and committed shareholder with extensive existing knowledge of and experience in fruit and vegetable processing.
Since the Applicant acquired its existing shareholding in Cedenco it has provided technical advice, market intelligence, and customer support to Cedenco's business. The Applicant has assisted Cedenco to develop United States market opportunities and this has resulted in Cedenco now having direst [sic] relationships with key ingredient procurement managers of global multi-nationals. The Applicant's involvement with Cedenco has resulted in increased operational and market efficiencies and the creation of new employment opportunities. The proposed acquisition by the Applicant of an increased shareholding in Cedenco is likely to enhance and speed up the introduction of new technologies, strategies and developments which in turn is likely to result in further improved efficiencies, cost benefits and better quality products.
[Decision number 200320017.]
Neil Construction Limited, owned by the Tiong Family of Malaysia, has approval to acquire 29 hectares at Cheyne Road, Pyes Pa, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty for $8,071,875 (inclusive of GST) from Plateau Orchard Partnership of Aotearoa. According to the OIC:
The Applicant proposes to acquire the subject property to add it to the company’s portfolio of residential subdivision. The property which is currently utilised by the vendor as a kiwifruit orchard has been zoned Residential A since 1999 under the Tauranga District Council’s Operative District Plan. The property adjoins a new residential development at its north-west corner.
The subdivision development proposed for the land will provide sections which will assist in meeting the ever increasing demand for residential lots in the Tauranga region. It is expected that the development of the property will result in 280 residential sites. The development will be undertaken in five stages commencing in the summer of 2004/05. The Applicant intends to continue the orchard operation on those parts of the property not required for immediate development.
[Decision number 200320016.]
… and so does Singapore consortium including part owner of DB Breweries
CPL (NZ) Pte Ltd, owned 75% by Fraser and Neave Limited of Singapore, and 25% Region Development Pte Limited, Singapore, has approval to acquire 27 hectares at Papamoa Beach Road and Maranui Street, Papamoa, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty for $13,500,000 (for the Land) from Stephen John Short of Aotearoa. Says the OIC:
The Applicant is a subsidiary of the Singaporean incorporated company Fraser and Neave Limited (who hold (directly and indirectly) approximately a 38 per cent shareholding in Asia Pacific Breweries Limited, who in turn hold 76.91 percent shareholding in DB Breweries Limited). The primary activities of the Fraser and Neave group of companies include property investment and development, the production of soft drinks, beer and dairy products, and publishing and printing. Its property investment and development subsidiary which has developed 18 residential projects in Singapore as well as having been involved in projects in Australia, the United Kingdom, Vietnam and China does not currently operate in New Zealand.
The subject property is currently undeveloped vacant land which is considered suitable for residential development given that the adjoining land has been developed into high quality residential homes. The Applicant, in conjunction with Stephen Short a New Zealand resident property development manager, proposes to undertake a residential property development on the land. It is proposed that the development will (subject to the appropriate development consents being obtained) comprise 278 lots and will be undertaken in five stages.
[Decision number 200320018.]
Trans Tasman buys property to extend its Auckland Airpark Business Centre
Trans Tasman Properties Limited, owned 55.16% by SEA Holdings Limited of Hong Kong, 4.82% by Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo and Co of the U.S.A., 3.9596% by “Unknown Overseas Persons”, and 36.0604% in Aotearoa, has approval to acquire 52 hectares at Montgomerie Road, Mangere, Auckland for $18,562,500 from Penihana Nominees Limited of Aotearoa. The property “includes/adjoins land that exceeds 0.4 hectares which is provided as a reserve, a public park, for recreation purposes, or a private open space.”
The property adjoins Trans Tasman Property’s (TTP’s) “major commercial real estate development, the Airpark Business Centre”. TTP received OIC approval to buy this land for $12,000,000 in July 2002 in order to develop it. See our commentary for that month for further details.
According to the OIC,
Following the successful development of the Airpark Business Centre the Applicant considers the subject property as the next logical area for development. The property is currently undeveloped bare land situated between existing developed areas and the airport boundary. The Applicant proposes to subdivide the property into approximately 41 sites.
The Applicant proposes to develop the sites by undertaking earthworks for roading and site development, kerbing and roading, and installation of services including electricity, telephone, gas, water and sewerage. The Applicant intends to sell a majority of the developed sites to third party investors. Building development will be undertaken by the Applicant whose immediate target is to develop up to 15 percent of the property as part of its own investment portfolio. In relation to these sites the Applicant will construct commercial/industrial buildings for tenants.
By August 2003, 26 of the Centre’s original 29 sites had been unconditional sold (Press, “TTP returns to black”, 4/8/03, p.B5).
TTP continues to be in trouble for its financial performance and its treatment of its minority shareholders. It made losses in 2001 and 2002, and by 2003 had retained losses of $132 million, though made a profit in the first half of 2003. Ron Brierley’s investment company/asset stripper, Guinness Peat Group (GPG), then a shareholder, tried to get the company wound up in 2002, but SEA Holdings prevented it. GPG sold its 3% shareholding in 2003. In May 2003 at its annual meeting, TTP admitted making poor investment decisions but SEA Holdings prevented minority shareholders from sacking some of the board, who accused it of lacking vision. The market value of its shares had dropped from 100 cents in 1995 to 29 cents in May.
By July, businessman and shareholder John Powell, head of the 1300-member TTP Minority Shareholders’ Association, and his company Latimer Holdings, filed a claim in the High Court for an order for a share buy-back at the net asset backing of 55 cents, compared to the then share market price of about 32 cents. He claimed that SEA Holdings was managing TTP for its own benefit and was thus oppressing minority shareholders. In November the Court found against Powell.
Powell’s focus was on SEA Holdings, which is not only the controlling shareholder but one of its associated companies has a management contract with TTP’s 50.1%-owned Australian subsidiary, Australian Growth Properties (AGP), worth about $5.5 million a year. That enabled SEA Holdings to get a return on the Australian investment when other shareholders went without. The discontent stemmed from the poor performance of TTP, and AGP’s deal to sell its Sydney properties – about 46% of TTP’s total assets and 80% of AGP’s – for A$397 million (about $450 million). Minority shareholders wanted the cash to be used to pay off TTP’s high debt, and the remainder to be paid out to them (worth about 20 cents a share), not trusting SEA Holdings, on past performance, to invest it wisely. Powell accused SEA Holdings of “running TTP for its own ends, at the expense of minority shareholders – finding ways of making money out of TTP, such as in management contracts”.
TTP refused to pay out the cash however, and responded in August by launching a takeover bid for the remaining 49.8% of AGP’s shares it did not own. By then, AGP had sold its Sydney properties and about 75% of its assets were cash.
(Press, “TTP admits faults, but board stays”, by Jillian Talbot, 23/5/03, p.B5; “TTP battle looms”, by Alan Williams, 10/7/03, p.B6; “Wait for cash in Trans Tasman”, by Jillian Talbot, 29/7/03, p.C3; “Call for Trans Tas to return capital”, by Jillian Talbot, 13/8/03, p.B18; “Big brother wants AGP”, by Jillian Talbot, 23/8/03, p.C3; “Court rules in favour of Sea NZ”, by Jillian Talbot, 1/11/03, p.C5).
[Decision number 200320023.]
In two decisions almost completely suppressed until released on appeal in November 2003, Antipodean Properties Ltd, owned 50% by Jonathan Berman of the U.K. and 50% by The William Pears Group of Companies Ltd of the U.K., has approval to acquire
· a “commercial property portfolio comprising nine properties” for a still suppressed amount [Decision number 200320024]; and
· 1.47 hectares at Three Kings Shopping Centre, 528-536 Mt Albert Road, Auckland for $11,000,000 (a price that was suppressed even in November 2003 but released on appeal in August 2004) [Decision number 200320026],
both from Overton Holdings Ltd of Aotearoa.
The OIC states:
The Applicant is the New Zealand subsidiary of a United Kingdom based private property investment group whose principal activity is investment property. It proposes to acquire a portfolio of commercial retail properties in New Zealand. The proposed acquisition will enable the Applicant to diversify the geographic spread of its properties and increase its holding of commercial property in New Zealand. The proposed acquisition comprises a portfolio of ten retail properties located at Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
The Three Kings Shopping Centre was the company's first investment in New Zealand.
· RR Waiohau Limited, owned by Fund 6 Global LLC of the U.S.A. has approval to acquire 302 hectares at Waoku Road, Kaikohe, South Auckland for $911,250 from LL Smith of Aotearoa. “The Applicant is an investment fund which invests in timberland and related business assets. The Applicant is managed by Renewable Resources LLC which manages international forest investments including 32,800 hectares in New Zealand comprising Forestry Rights, Crown Forestry Licences, leasehold and freehold land. The subject property was planted in pinus radiata in 1993 and 1994 and contains a plantable area of approximately 256 hectares. The remaining area consists of scrub, riparian vegetation and tracks. The Applicant proposes to undertake a more intensive silvicultural regime than that undertaken by the vendor. This is likely to result in an increased volume of clearwood being available for harvesting. The Applicant intends to replant the property as it is harvested.” It seems likely that Renewable Resources LLC is in fact GMO Renewal Resources LLC. GMO Renewable Resources bought the historic 5,899 hectare Glenburn Station in Wairarapa in May 1998, amid considerable controversy, but has substantial land holdings other than that. GMO is a subsidiary of Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo and Co., LLC, which was a major shareholder in Trans Tasman Properties Ltd. See above, and our commentary for June 2002 for further details. [Decision number 200320009.]
· The Axon and Shiny Family Trust of Taiwan has approval to acquire 10.7 hectares at Otorohaea Trig Road, RD 2, Ngaruawahia, Waikato for $80,250 from New Zealand Forestry Group Limited, owned 76% by W Garratt of Aotearoa and 24% by J Hong of Taiwan. Like previous such sales, the purchaser is a member of the Carlyon Forest Body Corporate “which has entered into an arrangement with New Zealand Forestry Group the Vendor, to develop approximately 199.28 hectares of land at Ngaruawahia. The majority of this area (80 percent) has already been planted in forestry with the remaining land to be planted in 2003.” This sale is like many in this and other regions organised by New Zealand Forestry Group, the last such sale being in June 2003 (see our commentary for that month for further details). The investors provide the money, while New Zealand Forestry Group manages the development of the forestry operation. [Decision number 200320021.]
· Prime Resources Company Limited, owned by Bong Chae Chung of Korea, has approval to acquire 39 hectares at Parikanapa Road, Gisborne for $269,143 from Forest Enterprises Limited of Aotearoa. “The subject property contains 35.2 hectares which was planted by the vendor in pinus radiata forestry in 1996. The vendor is in the business of the management and marketing of forestry investments. The subject property is a smaller block that was subdivided from a larger forestry investment property. The vendor will continue to manage this property. It is likely that the forest will be re-established following harvesting. The acquisition represents the first investment in New Zealand by the Applicant. The Applicant intends to establish an investment portfolio in New Zealand primarily in the forestry and agricultural sectors.” [Decision number 200320015.]
· Treloch Forest Trust of Russia has approval to acquire 136 hectares at Tauwhareparae, Tolaga Bay, Gisborne for $192,375 from Emerald Pines Limited of Aotearoa. “In 1996 the vendor established 14.3 hectares of the subject property in forestry and was seeking a partner to fund the forestry development on the remainder of the land which is partially scrub covered. The vendor has now decided to sell the subject property. The Applicant proposes to plant a further 102 hectares which is likely to ensure the forestry potential of the property is maximised. Planting is likely to be undertaken in 2004.” The land “includes/adjoins land that exceeds 0.4 hectares held for conservation purposes”. [Decision number 200320028.]
· Canterbury House joint venture, owned by Michael Howard Reid (61.7195%), Anthony James Mathios (12.9134%) and Arthur Brooks Dublin (12.4505%) all of the U.S.A. and Thomas Robert Malcolm Johnson (12.9166%) of Aotearoa, has approval to acquire 42 hectares of leasehold at State Highway 1, Waipara, Canterbury for $2,000,000 from “existing shareholders in Canterbury House Vineyards Limited”, Michael Howard Reid (91.22%) and Arthur Brooks Dublin (8.78%). “The Canterbury House Winery Group comprises a fully operational working vineyard, winery and restaurant located at Waipara, Canterbury. Mr MH Reid obtained consent from the Commission to acquire 92.666 hectares of land in 1994. To date approximately 43 hectares have been established in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling vines. The further development of the property requires the injection of additional capital investment. To effect this capital injection it is proposed to establish the joint venture.” The original land purchase in April 1994 was for $552,500. See our commentary for that month for further details. [Decision number 200320027.]
Worldwide Leisure Limited, owned by Alexander Pieter Van Heeren, of Belgium, has approval to acquire 4.9 hectares at Huka Falls Road, Taupo, Bay of Plenty for $5,062,500 from P and DL Harland-Baker of Aotearoa. According to the OIC:
In 1984 Mr Van Heeren, who was then a New Zealand resident, acquired a fishing lodge at Huka Falls. He subsequently established the world renowned Huka Lodge on the property. At the time Mr Van Heeren also entered into a right of first refusal to acquire the adjoining property being the land the subject of this application. The right of first refusal also contained a land covenant which restricted the use of the land so that it would not adversely impact on the operation of Huka Lodge.
The Applicant now wishes to exercise the right of first refusal. The Applicant states that it is critical to the continued success of Huka Lodge that any development of the adjoining property be of a similar character, scale intensity and be presented in a similar fashion to the Lodge site. The Applicant proposes to develop the property as an enhancement/extension of Huka Lodge.
Van Heeren was closely associated with the profiteers from the privatisations of the 1990s (see item on Tranz Rail above). He took a 9.1% shareholding in New Zealand Rail when it was privatised as Tranz Rail in 1993, along with merchant bankers Fay Richwhite (both of whose principals have also since left Aotearoa – for Switzerland), and Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation, and Berkshire Partners, both of the U.S. Van Heeren was then described as having “interests in forestry and other export industries” as well as owning Huka Lodge (Press, “Business pair named ‘back-up shareholders’ for NZ Rail”, 17/9/93). He (and his company Tessaro Developments Ltd) received retrospective approval from the OIC in March 1994, the consent being requested because “the solicitors acting for Mr Van Heeren have doubts as to whether he is deemed to be an ordinary resident, notwithstanding he has been here for fourteen years.”
[Decision number 200320025.]
· Michael, Nafiseh & Jasper Reiser of the U.K. have approval to acquire 53 hectares at Mataka Station, Purerua Peninsula, Bay of Islands, Northland for $2,025,000 from Mataka Limited, which is owned 21.12% by GW Dixon and IBA Group Limited of the U.K., 45.55% by WN Birnie and EC Williams of Aotearoa, and 33.33% by CS Brown, K Gosling and B Buckley of Aotearoa. “The acquisition of this property by the Applicant is part of a rural lifestyle subdivision development on Mataka Station. The establishment and sale of the lifestyle lots will provide capital that will enable the farming operation of Mataka Station to become economically viable, and also to preserve and enhance the conservation and historic values of the property.” [Decision number 200320020.]
· Martin and Katherine Jane Jackson of the U.K. have approval to acquire 5.9 hectares at 251 Old Coach Road, Whitianga, Coromandel for $1,125,000 from Old Coach Road Trust of Aotearoa. “The Applicants propose to acquire the property known as Silencio Lodge near Whitianga. The Applicants have applied for New Zealand permanent residency under the Business Investor category and propose to reside on the property. The property has been utilised as a four room bed and breakfast accommodation lodge by the vendors which will be continued by the Applicants. The Applicants are demonstrating their commitment to New Zealand through applying for and taking up New Zealand permanent residency.” The property adjoins land hectares held for conservation purposes. [Decision number 200320022.]
Twelve of the 15 investments this month involved land, but one of the three non-land ones was the large Toll takeover of Tranzrail, pushing up the total value for the month, with the net value (i.e. disregarding sales from one overseas investor to another) not much different from the gross. For the full year, the gross value is not much lower than last year at this point, but the net value is well ahead. Three decisions were suppressed almost in their entirety.
Investment involving land
Gross and net sales of land approved by the OIC during the years to August have fallen considerably in area. One application was refused.
Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa,
P. O. Box 2258