They aren’t Chinese so it’s no big deal

Don’t we have a number of political parties running on a strong “no farm sales to foreigners” platform?

How did this slide under the radar then?

A last-ditch bid to prevent an American company gaining full control of a prominent Canterbury high country station has been rejected by the Overseas Investment Office (OIO).

Coast Range NZ was granted OIO approval in 2010 to take a 100 per cent stake in the 14,500-hectare Flock Hill Station near Arthur’s Pass.

Coast Range originally had a 25 per cent share of the grazing rights to the farm under the terms of a perpetual lease held by University of Canterbury and needed OIO sign-off to buy all of the farm lease.

Canterbury-based High Country Explorer Tours appealed the station’s management and access rights going to Coast Range, saying the new managers had cancelled its access, but yesterday the OIO turned the appeal down.

The tourism operator had been running visits to Flock Hill and other nearby high country stations since 1991, which helped it win a share of Canterbury’s cruise ship trade.

High Country managing director Rodney Bennett said the company had negotiated with Coast Range for 12 months to keep operating at Flock Hill but in June was given three months’ notice to exit.

Coast Range never told the OIO about High Country’s history at the station, including 23 kilometres of track it upgraded for tourism and the 16 people it employed, Bennett said.

“I would imagine the whole thing is surprising to a lot of New Zealanders because the Overseas Investment Office’s role is to monitor overseas investment and make sure that investment is to the benefit of New Zealand,” Rodney Bennett told Radio New Zealand.

“Certainly, in this case, it doesn’t appear to be beneficial to New Zealand.”

Total silence from the usual political Xenophobes.

No Chinese involved?


– Tim Fulton, Cate Broughton, Aimee Gulliver, The Press

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.