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Likes of Shania Twain courted to buy NZ farm as debate on overseas investment rules heats up

Likes of Shania Twain courted to buy NZ farm as debate on overseas investment rules heats up

The Crater Lake Farm property near Rotorua

The likes of pop star Shania Twain are being courted to buy a 265 hectare block of New Zealand real estate in the Central North Island, although new overseas investment rules could stifle demand from foreign buyers.

Bayleys is marketing the Crater Lake Farm, owned by Ngati Whakaue Tribal Lands, which purchased the deer farm property in 2000.

“It’s the sort of location that would suit the likes of a pop star Shania Twain – who has a high country station in Otago - where they can helicopter in and spend the weekend roving around the property or heading down to the lake for a fish without anyone knowing they were around,” Bayleys Rotorua manager Beth Millard said.

Debate on foreign ownership of New Zealand farm land has been heating up in political and public circles after the government moved last month to give ministers more flexibility to reject land sales to foreigners.

The move was trumped by the Labour Party's new foreign ownership policy, announced at its annual conference last weekend. 

Most applications from foreigners to buy rural land in New Zealand would be turned down if Labour got back into power, leader Phil Goff said.

Under Labour's policy, foreigners would not be able to buy land parcels bigger than five hectares, unless the buyer created economic benefits that would stay onshore.

"We will force would-be buyers of New Zealand rural land to invest in New Zealand and our people by bringing jobs, transferring technology, increasing exports or bringing other benefits for New Zealand," Goff said. 

Plenty of options at Crater Lake Farm

Bayleys said the Crater Lake Farm property could be bought for commercial farming operations, be turned into a single lifestyle block with expansive luxury retreat, or be converted into smaller blocks.

“Subdivision consents granted earlier this year allow for more a ‘farm park’ style residential development - similar to those which have been established in Northland and Taupo where owners have their own lifestyle block and a shared ownership of the commercial farming operations," Millard said.

“There’s an abundance of suitable building sites which would easily sustain a home of majestic proportions with unbelievable views. Conversely, to support the development of farming operations, existing buildings on the property include a manager’s residence suitable for conversion to guest or service staff quarters, a woolshed, cattle yards,deer handling facilities and a helicopter hanger.

“The property has an elevated central plateau well above the various exclusive residential/lakes settlements on its lower borders – giving total natural privacy."

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Well picture this under Mr Phil Goof's proposal: 

If I am a land owner, after spending lots of my money and resources in improving the land.  When it comes to sell, I will NOT be allowed to sell to the highest bidders (most likely to be overseas buyers) - i would have to sell my land to some tyre kickers who would offered me some jokingly low price (most likely to be a kiwi).  Yeah I would be really happy to be the land stay  in NZer hand!!!

..and the problem is ??

didn't quite get hold of that Mr Chairman........highest local bidders....yes and I would suggest any Australian interest would be looked upon with meritorious dispensation.

So  yeah local tyre kickers as opposed to foreign jack booters.

I'd kick you out for being a traitor to this country along with all those f**king traitors who sellout their own 'NZ born' grandkids. Your scum! Go to Aussie and stay there

The problem is... none because I am father xmas... 

Question for you though : In similar scenario; would you be happy if you are selling your house - someone came along willing to offer 500K (and not allow to buy it) or sell to someone who can only afford 200K ????  Be honest!

Allrighty ......Mr Chairman.........lets be clear about this no one was ...or is gonna be talking houses.

This is about large tracts of land in a potentially sensitive part of the world that may write it's future through short-sighted legislation to allow the sale of said land to parties that may require it for strategic purposes rather than food production or lifestyle.

To be honest back in the early eighties the Korean's did this in Epsom Auckland and an awful lot of people were unhappy about it ................after they had sold.! hypocricy .rules eh..?

So I'll  pass on the question as it's not relevant to the topic....... but I would like to see protections in place for N.Z. to remain largely in N.Z. hands.   

OK .. so if you can only sell to kiwi's, then the fair market value of your property is arguably equal to the highest (kiwi) bid.  If the market is limited to local access only, what an overseas buyer might or might not pay becomes irrelevant. Then so what's the big deal?  If a local-only market results in lower overall prices, and less speculation then that is a great thing. 

Less money spent on property = less productive time wasted repaying debt to banks = better for the country.

The problem is what's good for the individual isnt necessarily good for the Nation ie you are looking at a point solution...

Suppose someone bought out say all the dairy farms and instead of $3 a litre you were paying $5?  Sure you would be $300k better off so wouldnt care, but everyone else in NZ paying $2 more per week per litre would soon expend way more than the $300k...and that "profit" is all exported...If on the other hand it stays in NZ hands then so does the profit stay in NZ.

So at that point the voter says, no cant sell it abroad....this is a choice of a society...



"If I am a land owner, after spending lots of my money and resources in improving the land.  When it comes to sell, I will NOT be allowed to sell to the highest bidders"


If you have spent and marketed your property according to your reading of in inflated market being distorted by external drivers you have made an error. Just like a boy racer who spends $50k on an old holden that could only be sold for $30k - you need to know the market.....


Free markets are fine in a pure sense, but human greed/stupidity/dishonesty make it so that sometimes we need to guide or manage the "invisible hand". 

As stated by Gordon Gekko  "greed is good.."

sorry i didn't realise you weren't being serious. good joke.

No my point is about Labour trying to score points by being a bunch of hypocrites !! 

"Limit politicians to two terms only; the first in parliament, the second in jail."

and all bankers, politicians and economists etc - corrupted - earning over NZ$ 150' 000 p/a should be prosecuted for 200 hours p/a of their "working time" knitting socks for cooler days and in order to avoid more damage to the economy

over $150K ?  .. err, you'd be hard pressed to find one that is under $150k ! .. so shall we just agree on all ?

Okay Matt - I think all of them - who knows all of them are probably even not productive enough knitting the socks for the entire nation. Maybe we need some drug & arm dealers earning over NZ$ 150'000.-p/a  too. 

well that's an interesting side issue Mr Miaow: is it possible for a political party to change their view?

i know that they probably won't.....i get that....but don't we the people make it difficult for them to change their positions? I don't know the answer's a real minefield but surely if some pollies are doing something dumb they can change their stance to something less dumb and we can recognise that in a positive way?

Ask any farmer about whether he'd like to have overseas purchasers the answer will be 'depends if I'm buying or selling" Surely governments can go for a happy medium position/?.

'Bayleys is marketing the Crater Lake Farm, owned by Ngati Whakaue Tribal Lands, which purchased the deer farm property in 2000.'

So much for Maori saying their land is sacred!  The Hypocrites love white man's invention called money like the rest of us I guess

It is interesting that the subdivision approval has gone through.  I understand the previous owners tried to get approval but failed.

So it is ok for Chinese/Russians whatever, to own the processing plants but not the land?

Nothing wrong with Foreign investment in the productive sector of our economy.

The issue of foreign ownership of large productive tranches of New Zealand land is that you are effectively selling off the goose that lays the golden egg instead of just the egg.

Let's face it, greed/desparation is behind the luring of foreign dollars from waaaaay bigger economies than our own.

There is no genuine need for foreign investment in land - it certainly means that the productive value of land will require to be the benchmark in time as the foreign ownership debate will never go away.

ITYS: Playing devils advocate here - If all food  processing is in foreign hands isn't that also a problem?  Should it not be monitored to ensure that our food supplies (i.e. the actual product we need to eat to live) will always have some degree of certainty of supply for the NZ domestic consumer?


Fonterra spent $42m buying farms in China today.

Is that OK?

Uruguay doesn't seem to mind NZers investing (and losing) money on farms in their country.

Fonterra spent $42m buying farms in China today

They would have bought the farming operation not the land that the farms are on. You can't own land in China.

Uruguay doesn't seem to mind NZers investing (and losing) money on farms in their country.

Does NZ dictate Uruguayan domestic policies? No.

Should Uruguay dictate NZ domestic policy? Also no.

Where does this need to be "fair" come from? Any country at any time can choose to alter it's domestic investment policies as long as they don't contravene an existing bilateral agreement.

Do you think the NZ government can throw a tanty and claim it's not "fair" if NZ gets shut out of a foreign market. If it does not contravene an existing bilateral agreement, a country can do whatever it wants.

Anyone who talks about "fairness" ahead of national interest should not have a voice in the discussion.

The United States explores for oil around the world but does not export any of it's own production. It in fact stock piles oil. Is that fair? They don't care if it's fair, all they care about is that they have oil in the event of a supply interruption.

If the world was fair we wouldn't have borders and populations would migrate to countries with the most abundant resources. Borders do exist so that nations can protect these very same resources. 

NZ does not owe the world anything. As a nation it is not obliged to sacrifice anything for the benefit of others. When long term security is in question, it trumps short term economic gain.

I think you might find that Fonterra were allowed to buy the farming operation as it will enable the Chinese to learn the skills and techniques up close from the worlds finest, as they have been doing previously. Do not be fooled Simon P, the world is far from fair, and sadly for naive kiwis such as yourself, it never will be. Rest assured the Chinese Administration, just like all the other major players in the world, only do what suits them. My opinion is that it will be a matter of time until the Chinese feel they no longer require to be taught the skills, and will go it alone, having purchased land, and or plants in NZ and elsewhere, and have the ability to produce product which is sufficiently high quality for their market. This would be trouble for NZ. How can we guard against this, well selling our land sure won't will it! As long as we have control of our land, we can control our primary industry. Lose the land and most likely lose the industry with it. Sound like a fair plan Simon? Note: I apply this same logic to any country at all. Chinese is just as per this blog topic. I have also worked for Fonterra.

SimonP I think there is a difference between an investment and 'fee simple'

Oh and I see they get 3000 NZ cows which have taken years of breeding to get, lets dump the fee and just use the simple bit.

Hi Bernard.

Has this site been overtaken by the commies?.Just asking

How does protecting the national interest equate to communism? If the United States as a beacon of Capitalism can intervene in the private sales of key national assets why can't little NZ.

Look around, you could fill a book on protectionism in capitalist economies...