July 1995 decisions

This month reports the largest number of OIC decisions since we started analysing them in December 1989: 63, including eight deletions. However, 17 of these relate to one forestry operation hawking off small blocks of land to Taiwanese residents. The majority relate to land sales.

National Power of U.K. approved to build Stratford Power Station with Todd

The controversial combined cycle gas turbine power station proposed for Stratford, Taranaki features this month. National Power Plc, a U.K. public listed company which "currently operates four similar plants in England and state they will provide leading edge technology and experience to the project" gained approval to "carry on business in New Zealand on its own account in partnership with Todd Petroleum Mining Company Ltd." The consideration was "approximately $300 million".

National Power and Todd were selected on 16 June as sole preferred bidder for the 350 megawatt power station by the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand Ltd. However the good intentions disintegrated only two months later when Electricorp announced that the partnership had withdrawn and it was putting the station up for tender again. National Power blamed "unexpected technical problems" that transmission SOE, Trans Power, had raised regarding the suitability and reliability of National Power’s proposed design. The plant might automatically disconnect at times of system stress said Trans Power (Press, "Power station back to tender after problems", 21/8/95, p.35). Presumably National Power’s claims to the OIC of leading edge technology were not to be taken too seriously.

Just a month later Electricorp announced that a consortium comprising Fletcher Challenge, TransAlta Energy of Canada, and Auckland distribution company Mercury Energy would build it. Each of the three companies would provide a third of the equity for the station, which was expected to cost $400 million. Electricorp said the sale of the project to the consortium was a "major step in the creation of a competitive electricity generation market". In other words it will be the first significant privatised power station in Aotearoa. The sale included a 12.6 hectare site near Stratford and a supply of 230 petajoules of gas. The station should be commissioned in 1998. (Press, "Consortium wins power project", 15/9/95, p.18.)

Whether the station provides real competition is a moot point: all three partners in the consortium are significant owners of electricity supply companies and will want to maximise the benefits of the Stratford plant to their own operations. Added to that is Fletchers’ 33% shareholding in the Natural Gas Corporation. And then there is the original reason for the plant being controversial: its carbon dioxide emissions.

The following four decisions were released only appeal to the OIC.

Transmark of Hong Kong approved to buy U-Bix

Transmark Corporation Ltd, which is listed but 66.6% owned by Shriro Pacific Ltd of Hong Kong, has gained approval to buy 100% of U-Bix Business Machines Ltd, another public company, then owned 35% by Global Asset Management Inc of the U.S.A. The price is said to be"$15,000,000 for 40%". Both companies import and distribute electronic products: U-bix photocopiers and telephone equipment; Transmark consumer products such as toasters, TVs, home security systems, watches and cameras. Of the remaining shareholding in U-Bix, 29% is owned by Maori interests (Independent, 8/4/93, "The Renaissance of Maori Commerce?", Rebecca MacFie). In August 1995 it was announced in the news media that Transmark had bought GAM’s shares and with an existing holding of 3% and 2% bought at the same time, had 40% of U-Bix. It paid $9.135 million for these shares (at 105 cents a share), so its total cost will have been well below what it told the OIC. This is probably explained by U-Bix’s plummeting share price which ranged from a high of 360 cents to a low of 85 cents during the period between November 1993 and August 1995. Shriro, which is owned by Mark Shriro who lives in Monaco, owns its stake in Transmark through subsidiary Siegen Investments. Transmark’s chairman, David Wilson, lives in Hong Kong. (Press, 3/6/95, "Transmark stake", p.28, Press, 15/8/95, "Transmark takes control of U-Bix", p.32.)

New Zealand Land trust of Singapore may buy City Life Apartments, Wellington

City Life Holdings (Wellington) Ltd, ultimately owned by the New Zealand Land Trust of Singapore and George Horsburgh of Aotearoa, has approval to acquire "the properties, fixtures, fittings and equipment and business known as City Life Apartments on The Terrace, Wellington" for $10,014,369. They were owned by The Habitat Group Ltd, which is part of the Pacific group of property companies, of which City Life Holdings is also part. This acquisition is to bail out Habitat which would otherwise have to liquidate (see June 1995 decisions). The property is leased serviced apartments and "will be operated in conjunction with a similar operation in the old TAB Building in Lambton Quay, Wellington. The beneficiaries of the New Zealand Land Trust are Stanley Tan Poh Leng (otherwise known as Stanley Tan), Trustees in the Dynasty Trust, Pang Yoke Min, David Tan, and Johnny O Sy all of Singapore, and are "associated with" Messrs Tang, Subsidiary, Tang and Pong of Singapore according to this decision.

Pepin Island, Nelson, sale to Netherlands resident approved

The sale of Pepin Island, Nelson, which is "not in fact an island because it is a peninsula connected by an isthmus to the South Island", has been approved to a Netherlands resident, Dr V. Hallman,  for $2 million. The property is 521 hectares and is being bought by the purchaser’s company Pepin Island Sheep Station and Resort Ltd for development "into a farm stay resort with low impact chalets which will provide high class accommodation. The resort will be combined with the existing farming activities and the development will be managed by an operator experienced in managing resorts of this nature." In October 1995, Tasman MP Nick Smith expressed concern that the Island was to be sold to a "German businesswoman with significant investments in the steel industry". He was worried that access to the beach would be lost under new ownership.

JANZ syndicate of Japan gets approval to buy remainder of Huttons Kiwi

A syndicate of mainly Japanese companies called Janz Investments Ltd which in June was given approval to acquire the 57.08% of Huttons Kiwi owned by Brierley Investments Ltd, now has approval to buy out the remaining 42.92% for "up to $6,525,190". According to this decision, Huttons Kiwi has assets in Taranaki, Manawatu and Marlborough, though the June decision listed Manawatu, Waikato and Canterbury. The acquisition of the shares is at little cost to Janz because the share purchase "will be achieved through a capital reduction which will result in the distribution to shareholders of the equivalent of 50 cents for every share and an offer to acquire the shares at 19.4 cents per share (cum div) or 17.4 cents per share (ex div). The Commission is further advised that the proposal will increase overseas investment in the under capitalised New Zealand meat industry. It will also create increased efficiencies through synergies with Asian New Zealand Meat Company Ltd." Janz is owned by Itoham Foods Incorporated of Japan, Nippon Suisan Kaisha Ltd of Japan, Romney No, 19 Ltd of Aotearoa and various employees of Asian New Zealand Meat Company Ltd of Aotearoa. For further details, see our commentary on the June 1995 decisions.

Kingsgate International of Singapore may issue more shares to owners

Kingsgate International Corporation Ltd, 50.35% owned by CDL Hotels New Zealand Ltd and 31.79% by Tai Tak Securities Pte Ltd and Tai Tak Holdings Ltd of Singapore, has approval to issue up to 131,060,443 shares at 10 cents a share to CDL Hotels New Zealand Ltd and/or Tai Tak Securities Pte Ltd to raise more capital. CDL Hotels New Zealand Ltd is 68% owned by CDL Hotels International Ltd, itself 52.8% owned by City Developments Ltd of Singapore, 37.8% by "offshore institutional investors" and 9.4% by Hong Leong parties of Singapore. Tai Tak Securities Pte Ltd is owned by Messrs Ho Whye Chung and Ho Sim Guan of Singapore. CDL acquired its shares from the Hos’ companies in 1994 (see April 1994 decisions).

CDL Hotels New Zealand Ltd has also been given approval to acquire the whole of Kingsgate International Corporation Ltd. However this is strictly "on appro": "The applicants state that currently there are no firm arrangements in place to acquire further shares but that they wish to be in a position to do so should the opportunity arise." They already had had approval from the OIC in April 1994 to acquire 85.34% of the shares. Kingsgate’s major assets are two tourist related property investments in Australia. They are both in Sydney: the 400-room Hyatt Kingsgate Hotel and shopping centre, and the Birkenhead Point waterfront warehouse and marina.

Singapore/Malaysia consortium may buy James Cook Hotel, Wellington

A Singapore/Malaysia consortium has approval to buy the James Cook Hotel and associated car park and commercial and retail properties in Wellington for $37,500,000. The property is currently owned by the JR McKenzie Trust through James Cook Hotel Ltd and Rangatira Credits and Investments Ltd which it controls. The Malaysian partner is in the final analysis, the Government of the State of Johor Malaysia through its investment arm, the State Economic Corporation, which in turn owns Johor Land Berhand. The Singaporean partner is Hotel Grand Central Ltd which "is a publicly listed Singapore company with expertise acquired through its hotel and property investment activities in south east Asia. It owns a number of hotel investments." In 1993, Grand Central acquired Plimmer City Centre on the corner of Gilmer Terrace and Boulcott Street and on Plimmer Steps, Wellington for $15.75 million, the Central Tower and Cashel Street Car Parking Buildings, Christchurch for "approximately $10 million", to convert into a hotel, and the DB Tower, Auckland for $7.1 million. It also owns the Grand Central Building in Manners Mall, Wellington.

U.S. company to buy Aurora House, Wellington for $36 million

New Zealand Properties (No. 1) Inc of the U.S.A. has approval to buy Aurora House and Chambers on The Terrace, Wellington for $36,450,000. The owner of New Zealand Properties is "Trust interests" associated with five U.S. residents, who "state that they have embarked on an investment strategy whereby available funds are spread internationally in commercial property." This property (owned by Mayfair Ltd [in liquidation]) has been in receivership and liquidation since 1989.

Singaporean Hind Hotels buys factories from Skellerups to lease back

Hind Hotels International Ltd, a Singaporean public company controlled by the Jhunjhnuwala family of Singapore has approval to acquire Florencia Properties Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Skellerup Group Ltd for $15,100,000. Florencia owns one property in Auckland and one in Christchurch from which Skellerups undertake manufacturing operations, which they will lease back. "Hind Hotels views the acquisition as a natural extension to its investment property portfolio in New Zealand." According to the Press ("Offices planned", 25/1/96, p.20), Hind owns "more than $90 million in property in New Zealand". In May 1992 we reported:

In a decision initially suppressed but released on appeal, the Commission approved UK company, Chapman Properties Number One Company Ltd ("owned by NZIB Investments Ltd which is acting for a syndicate of creditor banks") buying an office complex in Great South Road, Penrose, known as Central Office Park, from Central Office Park Ltd (under statutory management) for "approximately" $38 million. Central Office Park Ltd is owned by the Aurora Group, from which "the applicant [Chapman Properties] will acquire certain other assets." By June this had been sold on to Hind Hotels International Ltd (major shareholders C.L., S.S. and L.N. Jhunjhnuwala) of Singapore at the same price.

Permanent Trustee Australia Ltd sets up Big Bonds

Permanent Trustee Australia Ltd of Australia is setting up a company, Big Bonds (NZ) Ltd "to carry on business purchasing financial assets and issuing debt securities."

Benchmark Building Supplies of Australia leases land in Tamaki, Auckland

Benchmark Building Supplies Ltd, owned by Howard Smith Ltd of Australia, is taking a 30 year lease on 2.62 hectares of land in Ti Rakau and Burswood Drives, East Tamaki, Auckland to establish a retail outlet. Rental rates are yet to be determined but initial monthly rent instalments were $50,467 + GST. The land is owned by Burswood Developments Ltd.

Swift Energy of U.S.A. may prospect for and exploit petroleum resources

Swift Energy International Inc of the U.S.A. has approval to undertake "petroleum prospecting and the exploitation of any petroleum resources located in any licence area as may be approved …" "Swift is engaged in the exploration development and operation of oil and gas properties in the United States of America." When first released the money put in was suppressed. It was released on appeal to the OIC and is nil.

"Regularisation" of Apple Fields land purchase, and Killinchy Gold Dairy Foods

Further "regularisation" (read "retrospective approval") of the position of Apple Fields Ltd is approved in a number of decisions after it, "unknown to Apple Fields", became an overseas company in March 1994. One decision gives retrospective consent to acquire "interests in orchard partnerships and land owning companies (approximately 23 hectares)" for "approximately" $199,925. A second decision, in identical terms, applies to 20 hectares priced at $440,008. A third decision gives retrospective consent to "entering into transactions with Rural Super Bonds Superannuation Scheme (approximately 1,163 hectares)" priced at "approximately $11,400,050". This super scheme was the subject of significant criticism by the Securities Commission (see commentary on the January 1995 decisions).

The fourth decision gives retrospective consent to the joint venture set up with the former owners and founders of Killinchy Gold ice cream manufacturers to form the dairy processor Killinchy Gold Dairy Foods Ltd, for "approximately $1,200,000". Since we last reviewed this particular venture (see January 1995) it has found itself in a spot of trouble. The structure of the joint venture is that 21% of the shares are held by Killinchy Gold founders, Brent and Faye Thornton. The other 79% are held by Dairy Brands New Zealand Ltd, which is half owned by Apple Fields and the other half was to be sold to "processors and investors", interest coming from "overseas as well as New Zealand". Dairy Brands owns the dairy assets of Apple Fields, including 31 dairy farms in Canterbury, Otago and Southland. Its directors are a line-up of the Politically Correct of the New Right: Ruth Richardson, Murray Valentine (Apple Fields chairman), Rob Campbell and David Bainbridge, a Tauranga businessman. The float was principally a means to reduce the debt of the parent company: its rationale was said by Tom Kain to be to realise the assets of the ill-fated Rural Super Bonds scheme which owned most of the farms. It was preceded by Dairy Brands (projected profits to September 30, $2.91 million) paying a $27.05 million dividend to Apple Fields, leaving the company with a non-interest bearing debt to Apple Fields of $20 million, the bulk of which would be made up by the share issue. Loans of $2.55 million to Apple Fields by a company controlled by two executive directors of Apple Fields, brothers Tom and Charles Kain, would also be repaid and used partly for them to buy Dairy Brands shares. (Press, "Dairy Brands to add value - chairman", 6/9/95, p.26.)

The float of those shares to existing Apple Fields shareholders ran into considerable trouble. Questions were asked as to why the Kain brothers were not taking up their entitlements to shares, although they did underwrite the issue by about $2 million. They, along with other underwriters, were paid fees of $94,395. Another major Apple Fields shareholder, Societé Generale, also declined to take up its shares. Apple Fields’ confrontational stance against the Apple and Pear Marketing Board then returned to haunt it when a minor (320 share) shareholder from Nelson, accountant Barry Thompson, hired a public relations firm and an Auckland accountant to query the float. He alleged that the float would leave Apple Fields with the risk of minimal earnings, that forecasts in the Dairy Brands prospectus were optimistic, and questioned why shareholders should pay for dairy assets that they already own, particularly when Apple Fields was paying only 32.8 cents for shares where other shareholders were paying 90 cents. Tom Kain said "it would be unreasonable for Apple Fields to pay for something that it already owned." (Press, "Dairy Brands share float stirs controversy", 19/9/95, p.32; "Further details sought on Dairy Brands float", 22/9/95, p.16; "Controversy surrounds Dairy Brands float", 23/9/95, p.22.)

While this was going on, supermarket owner Progressive Enterprises claimed that letters of support in the Dairy Brands prospectus from four of its supermarket chains were printed without approval. Trevor Herd, Progressive’s Chief Executive, said he "nearly died" when he saw the letters in the prospectus. Trading managers in the Countdown, 3 Guys, Foodtown and SuperValue supermarkets had been approached in March with a request to comment on marketing strategies for Killinchy Gold’s products, but no approach had been made to Progressive’s management for permission to print the letters, and no approval had been given. The letters were not to be taken as endorsing the prospectus offer of Dairy Brands shares, and he disassociated the supermarkets from the document. However it appears that Apple Fields did have the various supermarket managers’ approval to print the letters, but those managers hadn’t checked company policy with the Progressive hierarchy. (Press, "Progressive lashes A Fields prospectus", 20/9/95, p.25.)

According to the OIC, Apple Fields is now 28% owned by T/A Pacific Select Investments, and 13.21% by "various other overseas persons".

Blocks of land at Paparangi, Wanganui, sold to Taiwan, Hong Kong residents

For some years, a company at Broadwood, Far North District, has been selling off small blocks of land to overseas residents as a way of raising funds for forestry development. Such transactions continue (see below). A similar scheme is now underway in the Wanganui district. It is related to the Broadwood scheme because the contact for both is Ms Deborah Miller, Brookfields, Auckland. "The New Zealand Forestry Group Ltd, a New Zealand company, has acquired a substantial area of poor quality farm land in the Wanganui area which it is converting into a commercial forestry operation… To date there has been little interest from New Zealand investors." So it is selling 19 blocks of land totalling 497 hectares at Paparangi, Wanganui, to residents of Taiwan (different in each case), and in one case (Spruce Forest Company Ltd), Hong Kong. New Zealand Forestry will manage the whole development and in each case a holding company is being set up as follows:

Holding Company Hectares $ Value
Big Land Forestry Company Ltd 28 109,200
Braybrook Enterprises Ltd 25 110,000
Champion Products Company Ltd 20 88,000
Chen New Farm Company Ltd 51 224,000
Edwinton Ltd 25 110,000
Grand Innovation Company Ltd 24 92,400
Kaiben Properties Ltd 21 92,400
Kingo Forestry Company Ltd 20 89,760
Lin’s Forestry Company Ltd 23 89,700
Loughborough Properties Ltd 25 110,000
Mou Fang Company Ltd 20 88,000
New Art Company Ltd 23 89,700
New Life Ltd 26 114,000
Pei-Li Management Company Ltd 20 88,000
Spruce Forest Company Ltd 30 117,000
Wen Chu Forestry Company Ltd 20 88,000
Winnie Trading Company Ltd 40 176,000
Wu Lin Company Ltd 20 88,000
Yungmaw Forestry Company Ltd 36 124,800
Total 497 2,088,960

Hong Kong residents buy 103 ha. at Kerikeri for lifestyle and orchards

Another unusual scheme surfaces in Northland this month. Seven Hong Kong residents are acquiring "approximately" 45% of Bridgethorne Holdings Ltd for $1,500,000. The rest of the company is apparently held by local shareholders. It owns 103 hectares of land in Kerikeri, Far North District. "The land will be subdivided into 12 orchards, 12 lifestyle blocks, a main farmhouse and a small strip for a new golf course." The blocks will be allocated by ballot to the shareholders, but the orchard blocks, which will be adjacent to each other, will be planted and managed as if they were one entity by New Zealand appointed managers.

Evergreen Forests of U.S.A. buy 4,000 ha. near Gisborne for forestry

Evergreen Forest Ltd, which is approximately 62% owned by Xylem Funds 1 L.P. of the U.S.A. is buying 3,996 hectares of land from the 11,000 hectare Waipaoa Station near Gisborne for $7,700,000. "Evergreen proposes to convert the land, much of which is mudstone based soil and susceptible to erosion, into a commercial forestry operation. Such utilisation of the land in the area has been actively encouraged by the Gisborne District Council. It is intended that 1,300 hectares will be planted by the end of July 1995 with the balance being planted by the end of June 1996." Pretty good going to plant 1,300 hectares in less than a month!

On 6/2/95, in a report headlined "Waipaoa Station for international tender", Straight Furrow reported (p.21):

"One of New Zealand’s largest privately owned farms, the 7,966 hectare Waipaoa Station in Poverty Bay, is for sale. Bayleys Real Estate has been appointed to market the property, which has been owned by the Clark family since 1907. It is currently carrying more than 43,000 stock units and also contains 891 hectares of established pine plantations. The station has its own primary school, swimming pool, community hall and contains nine houses as well as single men’s quarters.

The property is being offered for sale by international tender. Bayley’s John Dobrowolski says because of its size, tenders will be able to be made either for the entire property or for one of two blocks of 4,273 hectares or 3,693 hectares. Mr Dobrowolski says each of these blocks has its own dwellings and farm facilities and could be operated as a stand-alone station.

Radiata pine has been planted on parts of both blocks progressively since 1985. The station currently winters approximately 24,050 sheep, 17,500 of which are Romney ewes. It also carries just over 4,000 cattle, half of which are angus hereford cross cows. Over the last two years lambing has averaged 107 percent and calving 90 percent. The property contains two wool sheds, six sets of yards, a range of general purpose sheds, stables and killing facilities.

The station takes its name from the river which forms its boundary. It is adjacent to Mangatu Forest, formerly a state-owned forest established in the 1960’s and now owned by Rayonier New Zealand. The farm was purchased by present owner David Clark’s great grandfather John Clark in 1907. David Clark says he is selling the station to pursue other business interests.

Mr Dobrowolski says the property has the potential to be developed further as a livestock farm or for large scale forestry plantings. Extensive areas of the property contain land eligible for grants under the East Coast Forestry Project, an initiative introduced in the 1992 Budget to encourage forestry plantation in the region.

Tenders for the property close on March 15, 1995."

We are not sure how to reconcile the contradictions between this report and what the OIC tells us. First there is the discrepancy in size (11,000 versus 7,966 hectares), and secondly the OIC reports: "Mr Clark claims that the sale of the land will provide him with the funds which are required to fully develop the potential of the remainder of Waipaoa Station." Presumably the tender fell through.

For details of who Evergreen and Xylem are, see the commentary on the December 1994 OIC decisions.

Rayonier and RII of U.S.A. combine Wanganui forest holdings

A joint venture between two major U.S. entrants to the forestry industry in Aotearoa is being formed. Rayonier New Zealand Ltd (a subsidiary of Rayonier Inc of the U.S.A.) and RII, which has various subsidiaries in Aotearoa, but is "ultimately predominantly owned by pension funds, non-profitable, charitable and educational institutions from the U.S.A." are forming a joint venture to run their combined forestry holdings in the Wanganui area. It is identified by the OIC as the RII Madaket Ltd/Rayonier CNI Ltd joint venture, in which RII has 75% and Rayonier (which will apparently do the management of the forests) 25%. From RII Marlborough the joint venture receives approximately 1,957 hectares of land near Hunterville for NZ$2,254,125. From Rayonier New Zealand Ltd it receives approximately 12,785 hectares for US$46,428,000 (approximately $71 million). These consist of the Crown Forestry Licences and assets of the Pirongia Forest, the Tawarau Forest, the Pureora North Forest, the Pureora South (Tihoi) Forest, the Mangaokewa Forest, the Waituhi Forest, the TeWera Forest, the Erua Forest, and the Taurewa Forest.

Other rural land

  • Three Hong Kong residents are buying 20 hectares of land at Peria, Far North District, Northland for $95,000 via the company Codima (NZ) Ltd. They wish to develop a commercial forestry operation using "New Zealand appointed managers".
  • Two Hong Kong residents who "state their long term plan is to immigrate to New Zealand" have approval to buy seven hectares of land at Kerikeri, Northland for $142,000 from Emerald Properties Ltd, owned by two other Hong Kong residents. The vendors must have been neglecting their land because the new owners "intend to turn the present unproductive orchard into a profitable business." The vehicle for the sale is Darleigh Properties Ltd.
  • Three more sales of blocks of land for forestry at Broadwood, Far North District, Northland have been approved, this time all involving residents of Taiwan. In all cases, the development will managed by "New Zealand appointed managers". In the first, four people, through the disturbingly named company Great Asia Enterprises Ltd, have bought 20 hectares for $95,000. In the second, three people, through Pacific Glory Enterprises Ltd have also bought 20 hectares for $95,000. In the third, one person is acquiring 25% of the share capital of Green Nation Development Ltd for $190,000. Green Nation owns 40 hectares of land, but it is not clear who owns the other 75% of the company.
  • Carter Holt Harvey Forests Ltd, 51% owned by International Paper Products of the U.S.A., is buying two blocks of land for new forest development "south of Tokaroa". One is 310 hectares for $792,630, the other 165 hectares for $412,500 from PG Farms Ltd. There is no "Tokaroa" in the atlas: only Tokoroa, South Auckland, and Tokaora, Taranaki. The OIC seems as mystified as us as to where it is because it fails to give the usual provincial location. We assume it is Tokoroa.
  • U.S.A. residents, Messrs Dittmar, Druckenmiller and Bacon, are restructuring their ownership of three farms on the Coromandel Peninsula. Carolina Farms Ltd will own 1,189 hectares of land previously owned by Ned Farm Ltd, Whangamata Farm Ltd, and Ohinemuri Farm Ltd. The farms were bought in 1993, when they were reported by the OIC to total 1,120 hectares. It appears more land has been acquired without notification. The same people own 212 hectares of sheep farming land at Lake Hayes near Queenstown which they purchased the same year (then reported to be 210 hectares). The ownership of this is also be restructured, moving from Threepwood Farm Ltd to Protocol Holdings Ltd. Carolina Farms and Threepwood Farm are to be owned by the Coromandel Settlement Trust, the Stanley F. Druckenmiller Jersey Trust and the PCI Trust, the respective settlors of which are the three men and their associated family interests.
  • The Mohaka Bridge Forestry Partnership, owned by "a group of individuals from the United Kingdom", is buying 121 hectares of land at Mohaka, near Gisborne for $357,000 through a company, Southern Forestry No. 28 Ltd. The land "which has deteriorated due to erosion problems and the infestation of gorse fern and blackberry" will be developed for forestry by Southern Forestry Ltd, "a New Zealand company which has extensive experience in forestry activities."
  • Ernslaw One Ltd, owned by the Tiong family of Malaysia, is leasing five hectares of land near Rotorua, Bay of Plenty from the Ministry of Maori Development for up to four years for $8,507.96 per year. The land will be used for a seedling and stool bed nursery for Ernslaw One’s Titoki Forest in the southern Hawkes Bay.
  • Ernslaw One is also acquiring 4,223 square metres of land near Dannevirke, Hawkes Bay for $1. "In November 1994 consent was granted to Ernslaw acquiring 512.1439 hectares of land near Dannevirke from R.W. Holloway." This piece of land was overlooked at the time and "has now been transferred to Ernslaw as was originally intended".
  • Telecom Mobile Communications Ltd, a subsidiary of Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Ltd of the U.S.A., is buying another cellphone site, this time 400 square metres at Waipukurau, Hawkes Bay. The price was originally suppressed but was partially released in August 1997: $8,000 plus a suppressed "premium".
  • Nelson Pine Industries Ltd, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Forestry Company Ltd of Japan, is buying out a neighbour who has complained about the noise and dust pollution from Nelson Pine’s factory. Nelson Pine is buying seven hectares of land at Nelson for $375,000 and leasing it back to the vendor, A E Field and Sons Ltd. "While Nelson Pine complies with its planning and statutory requirements in these matters nevertheless it wishes to remove the source of complaint."
  • Two citizens of the U.S.A. who will employ New Zealanders to run the farm, are buying 45 hectares of land at Golden Bay, Nelson from PS and PE Abrahamson Ltd for $861,418 to carry out organic farming. "Their international contacts will assist in establishing export markets for their organic produce."
  • Two residents of Germany who "are applying for and intend to take up New Zealand permanent residency" are buying nine hectares of land at Pokororo, Motueka, Nelson for $260,000 through the company Motueka Farms Ltd. They intend to develop the property for homestay/tourist activities.
  • Southland Plantation Forest Company of New Zealand Ltd, which is 51% owned by New Oji Paper Company Ltd of Japan and 49% owned by Itochu Ltd of Japan, is buying a further 774 hectares of land in the Lilburn District, Southland for $900,000. The property is currently a "marginal economic sheep and cattle operation". The actual conversion of the land to forestry and subsequent operation will be contracted to South Wood Export Ltd, which is 331/3% owned by C Itoh and 662/3% by M.K. Hunt Foundation Ltd of Aotearoa. Similar sales and developments were reported last month.

Milburn of Switzerland restructures McDonalds lime and coal subsidiaries

Milburn New Zealand Ltd is restructuring some of its associated companies. McDonalds Lime Ltd, 52% owned by Milburn, is acquiring "all the property rights, powers, privileges, liabilities and obligations" belonging to its wholly owned subsidiary, McDonalds Coal Ltd, in Taranaki. Milburn is approximately 72.5% owned by Holderbank Financiers Glaris Ltd of Switzerland.