4 Sep 2013

Stumbling block for Moa's expansion plans

6:59 am on 4 September 2013

Moa Brewing Company's plans to expand its brewery near Blenheim have been set back by three parties who are appealing its resource consent.

The appeals come just weeks after the brewer said it would have to cut its sales targets by a third due to a distribution problem in New Zealand.

But chief executive Geoff Ross says the latest issue is a nuisance more than a setback.

Moa will use friends' breweries to enable it to fulfill its increased production targets in the short and medium terms, so growth won't be restrained.

"But it's certainly a nuisance, and I think it's a nuisance that many New Zealand businesses have to work their way through, a potential problem with the Resource Management Act," Mr Ross says.

The company is confident its plans will eventually be approved, although the process could last up to a year.

Mr Ross says he is disappointed French company LVMH, which owns Cloudy Bay winery, is one of the appellants.

"Whilst I don't have a problem with foreign ownership, I do have a problem with foreign control over New Zealand businesses and what businesses should grow here, and them trying to set an agenda for others."