The Overseas Investment Office has approved the sale of a
section of land in Queenstown to the principal of Wellard
Group Holdings Pty Ltd, an export company based in Australia.
The consideration of the 4.5ha of land at Olivers Ridge,
Elysium Way, Speargrass Flat, was $975,000, and was being
sold by Alexander and Tara Blyth, of the United Kingdom, to
Mauro Balzarini, of Italy.
The OIO decision said Mr Balzarini had business dealings in
New Zealand through Wellard Group Holdings Pty Ltd's
subsidiary, Wellard NZ Ltd, which required him to spend about
two months a year in New Zealand.
Mr Balzarini had recently established a residence in New
Zealand to further his business interests and the application
related to a piece of land next to one he had previously
In April last year, the OIO approved the purchase of 7.4ha at
the same site from the R. L. and S. S. Farrell Trust -
Campbell Farrell, Angela Cochran-Farrell, Robert Farrell,
Susan Spencer Farrell and John Woolley - for $5.5 million.
"Wellard Group Holdings Pty Ltd's intention is to develop its
New Zealand exporting business, with a focus on the export of
breeding cattle, meat cattle and sheep," the decision said.
"It views New Zealand as strategically important as New
Zealand produces agricultural products that are in high
demand throughout the world.
"Wellard Group Holdings has built a very successful business
in Australia and intends to replicate this in New Zealand."
The OIO found the investment would benefit New Zealand by
"enhancing and protecting areas of indigenous vegetation".
"The applicant has also offered to contribute to the Wakatipu
Trails Trust, and is a key person in the shipping and
The decision said the transaction had satisfied the criteria
of the Overseas Investment Act 2005, in particular, the
"substantial and identifiable benefit to New Zealanders"
relating to the indigenous vegetation and fauna,
consequential benefits and given Mr Balzarini was key person
in a "key industry".
Mr Balzarini is also the chairman of Siba Ships, the
commercial shipping arm of the Balzarini family business.