Large farms

PHOTO: Forestry (file photo). (Source:

The Overseas Investment Office has approved the sale of another six farms for conversion to forestry under the special forestry test.

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Introduced in 2018 to encourage more tree planting – farming groups have raised alarm at the rate of farms being sold through the special forestry test.

The Government is currently reviewing the test but sales are continuing.

Sales information just released by The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) includes Gisborne’s Maunga-O-Rangi Station which went on the market last year after being owned by the same family for 30 years.

Kauri Forestry LP, a German and Swiss company, has bought the 1275-hectare sheep and beef breeding farm for an undisclosed amount.

The OIO decision said the buyer intended to convert about 920 hectares of the land to commercial forestry.

Another recent sale was Earlyhurst, a 944-hectare sheep and beef farm near Masterton, which sold to Austrian company Cerberus Vermögensverwaltung for more $15 million.

About 812 hectares of the farm will be planted into commercial forestry.

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An advert for the farm posted by Bayleys last year said the farm was being offered for sale for only the second time in its history. “It has been faithfully farmed for well over 100 years, boasting a long and consistent fertiliser history,” it said.

Nearly 550 hectares of farmland near Tuatapere in Southland known as Barclay Trust Farm has also recently sold under the special forestry test.

Ponga Silva Limited bought the beef and dairy grazing unit and plans to plant approximately 300 hectares of the farm into commercial forestry.

“Planting expected to occur in 2022 and 2023. The applicant plans to hold the land long term and continue sustainable forest management according to best forestry practices,” the Overseas Investment Office decision said.