Foreign ownership of farms stirred birthright rhetoric from Labour leader David Cunliffe but gave Prime Minister John Key some of his most assured moments in last night's TVNZ debate.
The Swedish pension fund is considering increasing its exposure to Southern Pastures, a New Zealand dairy farm fund, alongside six other investors including the New Mexico Education Retirement Board.
Earlier this week, the Overseas Investment Office said it did not know how much farmland was owned by foreigners. Yesterday it told Prime Minister Key it believed the amount is 1 to 2 per cent.
Political parties line up to attack Government over proposed buy-up of Lochinver Station farmland by Shanghai Pengxin, the same Chinese interests that created a furore over the purchase of Crafar Farms
New Zealand should consider adopting policies similar to China's where strategic assets like farmland cannot be sold to foreign investors, only leased, a senior academic said Tuesday.
The head of New Zealand's main farming organization on Tuesday said it welcomed Chinese investment, but urged prospective buyers of farmland to understand the pressures facing New Zealand farmers.
The tiny Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and principality of Monaco have received approval to "invest" in more New Zealand land during the past five years than much-maligned China.
James Cameron, Canadian-born director of Titanic and Avatar, has bought up two more properties, bringing his total purchases of farms in the area to at least 12.
"There is a big Swiss company buying up 5 per cent of our pastoral land. Japan and Australia both have invested plenty in New Zealand land and the northern Europeans are buying farms in the South Island. But do we hear anything about that?"
UBS Global Asset Management has established an Australia and New Zealand farmland investment advisory service to meet the growing institutional demand for assets, particularly from Asia.
The "incredibly high" prices of New Zealand dairy farms have prompted Aquila Capital to switch its investment drive to Australia.
There is growing interest from international investors in the New Zealand agricultural sector, particularly from wealthy Europeans, boutique funds manager Mint Asset Management says.