13 Sep 2013

Council farms may have interested buyers

11:30 am on 13 September 2013

An investment by New Plymouth District Council in a group of dairy farms in Australia may have some interested buyers.

The council's investment fund owns nearly all of Van Diemen's Land Company, the owner of 25 Tasmanian dairy farms.

The company, Taranaki Investment Management Ltd, is looking for investors to expand the farms.

The company and Fonterra would not confirm reports that Chinese interests and Fonterra are looking to buy into Van Diemens.

The investment fund, set up after it sold its stake in Powerco nine years ago, is under pre-election scrutiny for losing money.

Mayoral challenger Andrew Judd says the council shouldn't be in the business of owning foreign farms.