Government farmer Landcorp puts 11,650 hectares of NZ land on the market
Government farmer Landcorp is offloading 10 farms totalling about 11,650 hectares.
Two of the properties are being offered for sale this month with another eight farms from across the country to go before iwi for the first right of refusal.
The farms were mainly sheep and beef units and should attract an enthusiastic response, said PGG Wrightson Real Estate general manager, Peter Newbold.
"In the regions where these properties are situated, there is a shortage of farms for sale of the quality and scale that these exhibit. As the country's largest farmer, Landcorp has an excellent reputation, and these farms present favourably."
He said the farms were expected to attract solid offers.
Among the farm portfolio being sold is a 1483 hectare Copper Road Farm, an extensive sheep and beef breeding property 88 kilometres south-west of Dunedin; and 120 hectare Caroline Terrace, a cattle grazing block with development potential on Cape Foulwind Farm near Westport.
For sale signs will go up for these farms this month.
However, first rights of refusal for various iwi are in place on the other properties. Depending on iwi decisions, any farms still available were expected to be offered for sale in late January to early February. Their identities were not released in a statement.
Landcorp announced in September it was going to sell the properties of its 140 farms as part of "reconfiguring its portfolio", but the sales were not a sign the state-owned enterprise was under financial stress.
Six of those sheep, beef and deer farms were in the South Island and three in the North - totalling just over 14,000ha - with Ngai Tahu expected to be the biggest beneficiary of the southern farms.
The Green Party said the decision to sell 10 farms by Government-owned Landcorp was short-sighted and could result in valuable farmland going into offshore hands.
"We need local farms to remain in local hands," said Green Party land information spokeswoman Eugenie Sage. "Fertile land is one of the building blocks of our economy and the basis of a productive primary sector. New Zealanders will miss out on the benefits of owning our production base if these farms go into offshore ownership.
She said the sales were a response to uncontrolled and unsustainable dairy expansion under Landcorp's former management regime and it had become over-exposed from the drop in dairy prices and needed to flog off farms to remain viable.