23 Apr 2012

Maori land trusts would consider Crafar farm buy-back

6:46 am on 23 April 2012

Two King Country Maori land trusts say if Chinese consortium Shanghai Pengxin is prepared to sell back any of the Crafar farm properties to iwi, then the group would consider that option.

Government ministers have again approved the sale of the 16 Crafar farms to the Chinese, after considering a fresh Overseas Investment Office recommendation.

The sale was initially approved last year but in January, after a judicial review sought by the New Zealand consortium Crafar Farms Purchase Group, the High Court ordered the Government to reconsider Shanghai Pengxin's bid.

Tiroa E and Te Hape B Trusts are part of that group which has also been trying to buy the properties.

Trust chairman Hardie Peni says the Chinese have been in talks with iwi about the idea to sell them at least two of the 16 farms, but he says Shanghai Pengxin won't go any further until they have simple fee and title to the properties.

He says his group has limited options, but if it means they have to buy from the Chinese then so be it.

Mr Peni says they will have to go cap in hand and see whether or not they can afford a deal on behalf of the iwi.