High Court ruling on Milk NZ Holding Ltd judicial review

Published by Vanessa Crosby on February 16, 2012

Following the High Courts decision in this matter on 15 February New Zealanders are watching with interest to see whether the Overseas Investment Office (“OIO”) amends its recommendation to the Ministers that they consent to Milk NZ Holding Ltd purchasing the Crafar farms. 

A new recommendation is expected in several days. 

Many New Zealanders are unaware of what the OIO is tasked to do.  Their job is to assess applications from overseas investors wanting to invest in sensitive NZ assets.  Land will be considered “sensitive” if, amongst other things, it is rural land over a minimum size, land on certain islands or land adjoining the foreshore or lake beds. 

Whilst the OIO can give consent in certain circumstances, in the case of the Crafar farms transaction the Minister of Finance and Minister for Land Information must jointly make the decision as to whether consent will be granted. 

We wait to see what the new recommendation and decision will be and to see what impact the Court ruling will have on future applications to the OIO. 

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