Foreigners buy landmark Taranaki farm
The landmark Onetai Station at Awakino in North Taranaki has been sold to an overseas company.
The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has approved the sale of the station, 16 kilometres north of Awakino, to an Italian and Argentinian venture called Ceol & Muir Inc.
The well-fenced 1320-hectare coastal property features spectacular views of the west coast to White Cliffs, Mt Taranaki and beyond.
The OIO said the sale satisfied Overseas Investment Act 2005 criteria for substantial and identifiable benefit to New Zealand in terms of jobs, investment for development, indigenous vegetation and fauna, and walking access.
The purchaser intended to develop the farming operation at the station, which receives regular rainfall and has a good supply of water from dams and stony creeks.
Onetai Station used to be owned by Graham Bryant, who died in 2012 and who was largely responsible for the development of the perendale breed of sheep.
He was the first president of the Perendale Sheep Society when it was formed in 1960, was made a life member in 1987 and a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 1997 for services to agriculture and his contribution to the development of perendales.
The other recent Taranaki transaction approved by the OIO was the $5.69 million sale of four sheep and beef farms near Whangamomona to Austrian and British-registered company Kingheim Ltd in 2012.
At the time, Rob Webster, of NZ Forestry Ltd, who facilitated the deal with the Austrian buyer, said the land would be converted to exotic forestry in stages, with species like Californian redwoods and walnuts. Horse and mountainbike tracks were to be provided between the trees and conservation groups were to be engaged to protect and grow resident kiwi and kokako populations.