foreign-owned forestry


PHOTO: KATE NEWTON/RNZ The former Te Rimu Station in the Tararua district has been purchased by New Zealand Carbon Farming – the ninth largest private landowner in the country – and converted to forestry.

The four largest private landowners in New Zealand are all foreign-owned forestry companies, an RNZ investigation has found.

Despite a clampdown on some overseas investment, including a ban on residential sales to offshore buyers, the Labour-led government has actively encouraged further foreign purchases of land for forestry through a streamlined “special forestry test”.

Since the government was formed, the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has approved more than $2.3 billion of forestry-related land sales – about 31,000 hectares of it previously in New Zealand hands.

Of that, about half has been sold via a special forestry test introduced by the government last October.


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