19 Aug 2015

Minister wants farms to go to New Zealanders

9:16 am on 19 August 2015

The minister in charge of Landcorp wants farms which are sold to curb debt to go to New Zealanders.

Todd McClay.

Todd McClay. Photo: National Party

The state-owned farm enterprise is struggling to make a profit, and minister Todd McClay said it had also entered a contract for significant dairy conversions.

Mr McClay told Morning Report Landcorp would look at how many of its 140 farms it might sell and while he would personally prefer they go to New Zealanders, the Overseas Investment Office would have the say over that.

"There are farmers in New Zealand that are making money at the moment and there are farmers in New Zealand that are buying other farms," he said.

"So ... we've got to be careful not to get ahead of ourselves here."

The Government would remain the full owner of Landcorp, Mr McClay said..