New Zealand Says ‘No Trespassing’ to Investor | CHINA US Focus

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New Zealand Says ‘No Trespassing’ to Investor

By Chen Qin
April 20, 2012
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(Beijing) - The death of a company's dream for a piece of New Zealand has shed light on the ambitions and challenges that face Chinese investors trying to buy large tracts of land around the world.

Shanghai Pengxin (Group) Co.'s bid for New Zealand's largest dairy farm – a 7,800-hectare sprawl once held by the bankrupt Crafar Farms – was blocked by the country's High Court in February. Justices decided the deal's New Zealand government supporters had exaggerated potential benefits to the local economy.

The ruling followed months of heated debate in New Zealand over whether a foreign developer should be allowed to buy such a sizeable tract of valuable farmland.

It also followed last year's frustrating failure in Iceland for Chinese businessman Huang Nubo, whose attempt to buy land for a resort on that Atlantic Ocean island was rejected by the government.

In an interview with Caixin, New Zealand Minister of Trade Tim Groser called the Crafar-Pengxin case the first politically controversial land deal of its kind in his country in five years.

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