An American company has gained approval from the Overseas Investment Office to gain access to Maori owned land near Rotorua, to build a geothermal power plant.
In June last year Ormat Technologies which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, entered into a build, operate and transfer agreement with Tikitere Geothermal Power Limited, the shares of which are owned by the Tikitere Trust.
Ormat then applied to the Overseas Investment Office for permission to have access to geothermally active land, between Lake Rotoiti and the State Highway which runs from Rotorua and Kawerau.
The OIO has now granted Tikitere Limited Partnership which Ormat ultimately owns, consent to acquire non freehold interests in parts of 900 hectares of land owned by Maori.
That means subject to acquiring resource consent and any court action, a geothermal plant is one step closer.