PHOTO: EMMA ALLEN/STUFF Wolfgang Leitner said he would plant 640 hectares more as a commercial forest. (file photo)
Austrian billionaire Wolfgang Leitner has been given permission by the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) for an $8 million purchase of land near Wairoa under a rule that fast-tracks forestry deals.
Leitner applied for consent under the special forestry test to buy Ponui Station, which includes 14 hectares of commercial forestry and just over 700 hectares grazed by sheep and beef stock.
According to Forbes, Leitner’s fortune is worth US$1.5 billion (NZ$2.4 billion). He is the CEO of one of Austria’s largest companies, plant and equipment manufacturer Andritz.
In his application, approved on January 28, Leitner said he would plant 640 hectares more as a commercial forest, as well as harvesting and replanting the existing trees.
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