Govt gave Shanghai Pengxin conservation land

  • 03/08/2014

3 News has discovered that Shanghai Pengxin, the controversial Chinese buyer of the massive Lochinver Station, was recently given conservation land by the Government, including parts of the Rakaia riverbed.

New Zealand First Party leader Winston Peters is now vowing to buy back strategically important farms sold to foreigners.

Lochinver Station is marketed as one of the most prestigious farms in New Zealand. Billion-dollar Chinese conglomerate Shanghai Pengxin wants to buy it.

Its boss, Jiang Zhaobai, has met with Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce.

Labour leader David Cunliffe is the latest to say his party does not want foreigners farm shopping here.

"Unless they could prove an overwhelming reason why it should go through, but my suspicion is that would be very difficult," says Mr Cunliffe.

Shanghai Pengxin bought the Crafar Farms back in 2012 – almost 8000 hectares there. Earlier this year, it took a 75 percent stake in Canterbury's Synlait Farms, with almost 4500 hectares. And the latest potential sale of Lochinver Station is more than 13,000 hectares – a total of 26,000.

Mr Peters now saying in government he'd buy them back.

"We'd use the Cullen Fund," says Mr Peters. "We'd use the Kiwi Fund, which we're starting to ensure we got control of our assets back."

3 News has discovered in the Synlait sale the Government signed off conservation land to the Chinese company, including five hectares of the conservation estate known as "stewardship land" and seven hectares of the Rakaia riverbed.

"It's like the National Party is cashing in on the Conservation estate," says Green Party co-leader Russel Norman.

Opposition to the Lochinver sale is heating up, with now even talk of buying farms back.

And National will come under real pressure in the coming weeks, because for the deal to go ahead, it must be signed off by two of its ministers.

3 News

source: newshub archive