Monday, April 22, 2024

Handshake deal reached on Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre

Neal Wallace
Education on the farm campus a condition of liquidated property being sold.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Education could return to the former Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre in Wairarapa, with the imminent sale of the farm to buyers who want to use the part of the campus facilities for training.

Taratahi was placed in liquidation in 2018 owing $24 million, but the 10th report from liquidators Grant Thornton reveals it is in discussions with a party that wants to buy the dairy farm and use part of the campus facilities for educational purposes.

The High Court last year ruled the campus and home dairy farm are subject to the Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre (Wairarapa) Act 1969, but could be sold with the approval of the agriculture minister to pay creditors and the liquidators’ costs.

Approval would be subject to education continuing.

The period to appeal the ruling has passed with none being lodged.

A sale and agreement contract for the dairy farm has been presented to an unnamed party and a verbal agreement reached.

“While discussions have been positive and we have been informed they have approval to sign the agreement, we continue to wait to receive the signed agreement,” the report says.

“Once the signed sale and purchase agreement has been received, we will present this to the Minister of Agriculture for his approval of the sale.”

Taratahi also operates the farming operations at the Telford agricultural training centre in South Otago.

When Taratahi was placed in liquidation, delivery of that education was provided by Invercargill-based Southern Institute of Technology, now part of the NZ Institute of Skills and Technology (Te Pukenga).

Liquidators have been in discussion with the Tertiary Education Commission and Ministry for Primary Industries about its role at Telford.

“It is our intention that, following the settlement of any sale at the home campus, we would look to transition our operation of the Telford farms to an agreed party,” they said.

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