Forever Farming NZ has withdrawn from its bid to buy Mangaohane Station, the 4800ha central North Island property for sale by international tender.
Forever Farming NZ spokesperson Mike Barham said the decision followed the revelation late last week that the Information Memorandum prepared for the sale of the station did not include details of two important issues.
A claim on Mangaohane Station was lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal in late 2019 by a local Māori Trust. It also wants to register an easement to formalise passage through Mangaohane Station to land it owns at the rear of the property that is not accessible directly by road.
“To say I’m incredibly disappointed is an understatement, but we can’t proceed any further with our bid. These two developments, particularly the Waitangi Tribunal claim, add too much risk and uncertainty for a syndicate investment like we had planned and, sadly, we’ll have to back away,” Barham said.
He is confident Forever Farming NZ would have raised sufficient cash to buy Mangaohane Station.
“I’ve been stunned by the level of support from people from cities and towns right across the country and from within the farming community.
“We’ve got commitments for tens of millions of dollars from lots of people who believed in what we were doing. They will be gutted because they wanted to join with us in making a stand at Mangaohane to stop the slide of so much of our hill country into permanent forest for carbon.”
Barham met with members of the trust last weekend and says they want Mangaohane Station to remain a livestock farming business.
“I wish them well and hope they achieve the same outcome we wanted for Mangaohane,” he said.