30 May 2024

Overseas Investment Office approves Wānaka land sale to McDonald's

6:00 pm on 30 May 2024
McDonald's Restaurant 2021.

The fast food outlet was expected to be operational by 2026. File photo Photo: Jonathan Weiss/ 123rf

The Overseas Investment Office has given the green light for a residential block in Wānaka to be sold to McDonald's.

The corporation has applied for consent to build a 24-hour fast food outlet in the Otago lakeside town, with seating for 75 people, a drive-thru, and parking for 24 cars.

The proposal was controversial and had been met opposition, with resident Sarah Morrison organising a petition against the proposal, saying the fast food giant offered unhealthy food and produced large amounts of food waste and pollution.

The Overseas Investment Office approved the sale of the land to McDonald's last month.

The decision said the fast food outlet was expected to be operational by 2026.

"Under the Overseas Investment Act 2005, McDonald's Restaurants (New Zealand) Limited has been granted consent to purchase land in Wānaka for the development of a McDonald's restaurant," Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) Head of Regulatory Practice and Delivery Rebecca McAtamney said.

"The application was processed under the Sensitive land - Non-residential use pathway and was decided by a delegated LINZ decision maker.

"Consent was required as the land proposed for purchase is classed as residential, and therefore sensitive under the Overseas Investment Act.

"The development is also subject to resource management consent processes being overseen by the Queenstown Lakes District Council."

The council said the resource consent application was on hold at McDonald's request.

McDonald's spokesperson Simon Kenny said the corporation was continuing to work through the council consent process as it looked to open the outlet in Wānaka.

"This process includes providing council with additional information as requested.

"At the same time, we're working through a separate process relating to the purchase of the land where we hope to build the restaurant. One condition of that purchase is approval from the Overseas Investment Office, which has just been granted. The approval is required because McDonald's New Zealand is a wholly owned subsidiary of McDonald's Corp."