Ngai Tahu sells Canterbury forestry land

Last updated 14:55 30/09/2011

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Ngai Tahu Holdings Group has confirmed the sale of about 18,000 hectares of Canterbury forestry land to a private Swiss-based group of investors for $22.9 million.

A spokesman for the group said the iwi had decided in about September last year to seek offers for seven lowland forest blocks, on which offshore-owned Matariki Forests owns the trees and cutting rights and pays $1 million a year in land rent.

Ngai Tahu is generally following a strategy of diversifying its holdings to strengthen its financial footing.
It has property, seafood, tourism, and forestry assets and investments in other companies.

The blocks of land are all in the Canterbury foothills north of the Waimakariri River at Ashley, Ashley Downs, Hanmer, Mt Thomas, Okuku, Omihi and Oxford.

The sale to a private Swiss group-owned Corisol New Zealand was confirmed by the Overseas Investment Office.

The spokesman said he understood that Ngai Tahu would continue to manage the property on behalf of the Swiss-family group.

Based in Christchurch, Ngai Tahu Holdings is the commercial arm of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu which has more than 45,000 tribal members

In the North Island, the Waikato-Tainui iwi has previously denounced foreign land sales, partly for cultural and spiritual reasons.

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