21 Dec 2011

OIO awaits information on Crafar farms bid

5:29 am on 21 December 2011

The Overseas Investment Office says it cannot yet make a recommendation on the current Chinese bid to buy Crafar family farms because it is still waiting for some key information.

The OIO received an application eight months ago from the Shanghai Pengxin Group subisdiary, Milk New Zealand Holdings, to buy the 16 North Island farms in receivership.

The Green Party says the OIO needs to tell the public when it expects to make its decision.

Co-leader Russel Norman says it would be concerned if the decision came out just before Christmas as that could stifle public debate about an issue that has significant implications for other land sales.

However, the chances of a decision being made this year look unlikely. OIO manager Annelies McClure says it needs further information from Milk New Zealand Holdings before it can make a recommendation to the Government.

She says the office is still waiting for that data and she does not know when a decision will be made.