Proposed law changes to further improve the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) scheme were unveiled last week by Minister for Biosecurity Damien O’Connor.
The likelihood of the sale of New Zealand’s second-biggest dairy cooperative, Westland Milk Products, is “personally of concern for me coming from the West Coast,” he says.
“But it is an indication of the level of interest in our agribusiness sector from offshore investors.
“They come from all over the world. There is a large amount of money coming out of Europe that can be and is looking to buy dairy farms. And so from a Government perspective we are taking a cautious approach to ensure we have, hopefully, some control over investment in our primary sectors and the wider economy into the future.
“We have made a call on farmland, and it will be very difficult for foreigners to buy that; we have made a call on houses but we have not made a call on businesses and that is one of the areas we need to look at.”