A forestry company linked to global retailer IKEA has continued to invest heavily in New Zealand land, with the government in December granting permission for the purchase of more than 1100ha.
The Overseas Investment Office has granted Ingka Investments Forest Assets NZ and Ingka Investments Management NZ, trading as Ingka Group, permission to buy two existing forests and a farm it will convert to commercial forestry.
The investor is a strategic partner in the IKEA franchise system, which operates 389 IKEA stores in 32 countries.
Under the government’s special one-off forestry purchase criteria, Ingka Group is buying a 406ha sheep, beef and deer farm at Tūātapere in Western Southland and two existing forestry blocks, 450ha at Maxwell in Whanganui and 259ha at Beaumont in Otago.
Two other approvals to foreign-owned companies will allow the conversion to forestry of an 827ha sheep and beef farm at Ōhura in the Ruapehu district by Austrian company Johannes Trauttmansdorff-Weinsberg and a 247ha livestock farm at Happy Valley in Tuatapere, converted by Malaysian company Pine Plantations Private Ltd.
In all cases the new owners intend subdividing and selling parts of the farms not suited to forestry.
Craigmore Permanent Crop, a company controlled by Craigmore Sustainable Management Group, has been granted permission to buy 184ha at Cat Creek Rd near Blenheim for conversion into a vineyard.
It intends supplying sauvignon blanc grapes to Marlborough wineries and follows approval in March last year for the company to buy land adjacent to this purchase.
A subsidiary of the same company has also been granted approval to purchase 14ha at Te Karaka in Gisborne, on which it plans to establish an apple orchard.