12 Jul 2012

Super Fund increases rural land portfolio

6:30 am on 12 July 2012

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund's rural land portfolio has topped $100 million.

The fund bought its first New Zealand farm in February last year after launching a strategy in 2010 to eventually have 3% of its investments in the rural sector.

Chief executive Adrian Orr says the fund has now invested in more than a dozen dairy farms, mainly in the south of the South Island and Waikato.

"We've kicked the tyres on many hundreds of farms, as well as some significant rural blocks ... we've been active but we can take our time".

Mr Orr says the Super Fund hasn't yet bought any land overseas.

He says it's proved incredibly difficult outside New Zealand, and super fund staff have spent a lot of time looking for access points.

"...The strategy is in place and when the opportunities arise we can just pick up the farms as needed. We're in no rush".

Mr Orr says at this stage there are no plans for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund to become a major investor in Fonterra's Shareholders Fund, which allows investors from outside the industry to buy future dividends on farmers' shares.