January 12, 2016
Oligarch leases Maori land block
The Overseas Investment Commission has approved the lease of Maori land at Helena Bay to Russian billionaire Alexander Abramov.
The 88 hectare block is near Mr Abramov’s luxury $50 million beachside resort, which is due to open later this year.
The OIA says he is paying Paremata Mokau A13 Ahu Whenua Trust $692,010 for a long term lease of the block, which he intends to farm.
On termination of the lease, the land and improvements will be returned to the trust.
It says the transaction will bring substantial and identifiable benefit to New Zealand through jobs, additional investment for development, protection of indigenous vegetations and fauna and protection of historic heritage.
Since buying his Northland hideaway Mr Abramov has reached out to the local hapu and iwi, with staff helping the clean up of Mokau Marae after a fire last summer.
He also granted Ngati Wai the easement for coastal access over his land, which includes seven pa sites and several sacred burial grounds.
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