Netherlands-based Ingka Investments has increased its New Zealand forestry investment, with the government approving its purchase of a Southland livestock farm and existing Wairarapa forestry.
The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) is allowing Ingka, under the special forestry provision, to purchase a 597ha sheep and beef farm at Happy Valley near Tūātapere in Western Southland, and a 379ha Wairarapa forestry block from Tunakino Forestry Ltd.
The Southland purchase was one of two farm sales to foreign buyers approved by officials in March that will be converted to forestry.
Ingka’s intention for the Southland farm is to establish and maintain forests on about 535ha and to subdivide and sell two homes.
Ingka Investments Forest Assets NZ Ltd and Ingka Investments Management NZ Ltd are two NZ incorporated companies owned by Ingka Investments, the investment arm of Ingka Group, which is the largest franchisee of IKEA stores internationally.
The European company already owns or manages about 16,000ha spread over eight properties in NZ.
It paid $2.8 million for the Wairarapa forestry block, a second rotation forest established between 2012 and 2015. The intention is to continue operating it as a commercial plantation forest.
The OIO has also approved the sale for forestry of a 1133ha sheep and beef farm at Taumarunui.
Austrian buyer Johannes Trauttmansdorff-Weinsberg, who has extensive NZ forestry interests, paid $9.2m for the property.
The buyers plan to establish and maintain approximately 500ha of commercial plantation forest consisting of Pinus radiata and Redwoods, with planting to begin this year.
Approximately 38.6ha will be subdivided and sold. The residual land includes 594.77ha of native bush and scrub, ridges, gullies and infrastructure.
All sales were approved under the special forestry one-off purchase provisions, which have been replaced by a new, higher-standard NZ benefit test.