4 Apr 2013

South Canterbury farmer welcomes Chinese investment

12:05 pm on 4 April 2013

A dairy farmer who sold part of his land for a new Chinese owned milk powder factory to be built in South Canterbury says it will be a huge economic boost for the region.

Aad van Leeuwen had a 12.5% shareholding in the Oceania Dairy company - which has just been bought out by the Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group, after it got Overseas Investment Office approval.

He says Yili's planned plant at Glenavy will have up to 30 tonnes of drying capacity in the future and will need a lot of milk.

Mr van Leeuwen says hundreds of millions of dollars will be getting spent in the South Canterbury region.

He says the plant will be making a base powder which will be processed into infant milk formula in China.

The Overseas Investment Office has also approved an application by another Chinese company, the Yashili New Zealand Dairy Company, to build a milk powder plant at Pokeno, south of Auckland, producing infant formula for the Chinese market.