5 Nov 2013

Foreign interest in NZ farmland gathers pace

9:12 am on 5 November 2013

The growing global demand for food has prompted big investment funds to consider buying New Zealand farmland.

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Chinese and Singaporean firms have been avid buyers in recent times, while British, European and North Americans remain keen purchasers.

The global head of agribusiness at KPMG, Ian Proudfoot, says farmland is now becoming a increasingly desirable investment for fund managers.

"The key driver of that I think is the recognition that ... the global protein deficit is here and it's something that is going to only get progressively worse and therefore increase the value of those assets."

Mr Proudfoot says the farms are expensive internationally, and may be too small for the likes of large investors.

The Government says foreigners own just 2% of farmland, but opponents of overseas ownership argue the number is higher and New Zealanders are in danger of becoming tenants in their own land.