October 18, 2012
Ngati Rereahu to table offer to Chinese owners
Ngati Rereahu land trusts are putting a new offer on the table to buy two dairy farms near Bennydale from the new owners of the Crafar farms.
The Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal by Tiroa E and Te Hape B, clearing away the final impediment to the receivers selling the 16 farms to Shanghai Pengxin.
Hardie Peni, the chair of the trusts, says the court's interpretation of the rules around overseas investment is disappointing because it opens the door for any passive investor to buy up New Zealand.
But he says the fight was worth having, and the trust is now looking to the future.
"We've given it our best shot on behalf of our group and naturally we wanted to secure our farms or our whenua that belonged to our people many years ago. We lost it through acts of parliament way back in the 1800's but we're optimistic that we can get some way forward hopefully within the next two or three days."
Hardie Peni says a draft memorandum of understanding has been sent to the company in China, and the trusts hope the land can be bought for a more realistic price than was offered in the first set of negotiations.