17 Feb 2012

New submission on Crafar farms sent to OIO

12:39 pm on 17 February 2012

A New Zealand farming group challenging the sale of the Crafar farms to Chinese interests, has sent a new submission to the Overseas Investment Office outlining details of its counter-bids and the benefits it's offering.

The OIO is reassessing the Shanghai Pengxin application to buy the farms, under direction from the High Court which ruled that it overstated the benefits of the Chinese offer in its recommendation to approve the sale.

The Crafar Farms Purchase Group says it sent fresh submissions to the OIO to make it clear that the Shanghai Pengxin bid is not the only option available.

The group has offered more than $171 million for the 16 farms, compared with the Chinese offer, which is reported to be more than $200 million.

The New Zealand group says it would also spend at least $18 million to bring the bring the farms up to top condition and production.

It also outlines plans to protect waterways and historic sites.

Spokesman Alan McDonald says it believes a combination of local farm knowledge and investment, combined with iwi stewardship of important historical sites, trumps any benefits an overseas buyer can offer.