The sale of Lochinver Station, vetoed by the Government, would have created only a couple of contracting roles and potentially one part-time job, Associate Finance Minister Paula Bennett says.
Ministers rejected the $88 million bid from Pure 100 Farm Ltd – a subsidiary of Chinese owned Shanghai Pengxin – because the benefits to New Zealand were not “substantial and identifiable”.
That was despite Overseas Investment Office recommendation it be approved.
The Overseas Investment Office found that the purchase would have had the following benefits:
- job creation
- increased export receipts
- greater productivity
- additional investment for development purposes
- increased processing
- indigenous vegetation/fauna
- trout, salmon, wildlife and game
- historic heritage
- walking access
- offer to lakebed and riverbed to crown
Their overall assessment was that the benefits taken together are likely to be substantial and identifiable.
I hope I’m wrong but I suspect if the buyers were Canadian, not Chinese, the Government would have okayed the sale, as they know there would be less fuss about it.
And it is an easy decision for the Government to say no. It means the New Zealanders who currently own it will now have to sell it for a lot less to a NZ buyer. They will be the ones out of pocket, not the Government.