Otago Daily Times

NZ's top 50 landowners

Richlister­s, establishe­d farming families and a former All Black are among New Zealand’s top 50 landowners, Kate Newton and Guyon Espiner ,of RNZ, report.


SOME wellknown and less familiar southern names feature among the top 50 New Zealand landowners.

Last week, RNZ reported the four largest private landowners in New Zealand were all foreignown­ed forestry companies, based on an analysis of Land Informatio­n New Zealand data.

Yesterday, RNZ revealed the top 50 private landowners in New Zealand own more than one million hectares of land between them.

New Zealand’s total land area is 26.8 m ha.

At least 28% of New Zealand’s land is in Crown or other public ownership, while iwi and other Maori landholdin­g entities own about 7%.

Top 50 private landowners

1. Taumata Plantation­s Ltd (101,854ha): Taumata Plantation­s bought the former Carter Holt Harvey forests and has kept a significan­t majority of the land, recently onselling some of it to New Zealand companies. The company is ultimately owned by several overseas investment funds and banks. The largest shareholde­r is Manulife, a major Canadian insurance company.

2. Tiong family (77,686ha): The Malaysian familyowne­d Tiong Group owns forestry, media and property assets around the world. Its landholdin­gs in New Zealand include the Ernslaw One forests, New Zealand King Salmon, and land owned by their property and land developmen­t company, The Neil Group.

3. New Forests Asset Management (77,465ha): New Forests is an Australian assets management company that operates several investment funds in New Zealand, owned by several subsidiari­es. It has amassed its forestry land portfolio in less than four years, starting with purchases in the Wairarapa in 2016. An Overseas Investment Office investigat­ion into one subsidiary’s purchases resulted in a formal warning, an $80,000 charity donation and $20,000 in costs.

4. Matariki Forests (73,509ha):

Another forestry company, threequart­erowned by the USbased Rayonier. The remaining quarter of the company’s shareholdi­ng is owned by an Australian­registered company, Waimarie Forests Pty Ltd.

5. Roberts and Apatu families (41,296ha combined): The intermarri­ed Roberts and Apatu families own two large stations and some additional land on the NapierTaup­o road, which they have collective­ly farmed for nearly a century.

6. Michael Spencer (35,942ha):

Part of the wider Spencer family, one of New Zealand’s wealthiest families. Mr Spencer’s properties include Lochinver Station, which he bought after a highly publicised bid from a Chinese company, Shanghai Pengxin, was rejected by the government.

7. Port Blakely Ltd (35,889ha):

Another USowned forestry company.

8. Global Forest Partners LLC (33,706ha): Global Forest Partners, registered in the Cayman Islands, is the ultimate owner of two private investment funds that own forestry land in New Zealand.

9. New Zealand Carbon Farming (28,365ha): Ultimate holding company with more than a dozen subsidiary companies. The joint shareholde­rs include managing director Matt Walsh and another director, Bruce Miller. The company describes its core business as a supplier of bulk carbon credits to large energy and oil companies. It has recently bought and planted radiata pine trees on several large former farms in the Tararua district.

10. Wairakei Pastoral Ltd (27,634ha): Owned by Auckland richlister­s Trevor Farmer, Ross Green and Mark Wyborn. The company’s major landholdin­g is a 26,000ha farm near Taupo. About half of the property is leased to Landcorp.

11. Hopefield Investment­s Ltd (25,911ha): Owned by the descendant­s of George Cross, who founded the Kai Point opencast coal mine near Balclutha. Hopefield Investment­s owns land throughout Otago and Southland, including farming and mining interests.

12. Hall Family (25,471ha): Total landholdin­gs of brothers Simon, Richard and Henry Hall, who inherited the food manufactur­ing empire created by their father John, who owned the companies Tasti and James Crisp.

13. Sumitomo Forestry Company (25,461ha): Japanese forestry giant, part of the Sumitomo group. Most of the company’s New Zealand land is in Nelson and Tasman.

14. Lone Star Farms Ltd (22,365ha): A farming corporate owned by Nelsonbase­d American businessma­n Tom Sturgess. Landholdin­gs include five South Island farms. Lone Star is also the shareholdi­ng company of Verity Farms NZ, which owns Godley Peaks Station in Canterbury.

15. Corisol New Zealand Ltd (18,231ha): Swissowned investment company, which bought forestry land from Ngai Tahu in 2011.

16. Nelson Forests Ltd (18,135ha): Owned by Australian forestry investment company OneFortyOn­e, which bought the company and its land from another foreignown­ed company last year.

17. Bayly family (17,800ha):

East Coast farming family. Their farms include Tangihau Station, near Gisborne, which breeds Angus bulls.

18. Whyte family (17,420ha):

Familyowne­d farming company based in Mid Canterbury. Donald and Leigh Whyte farm deer and sheep, and breed Angus cattle.

19. China Forestry Group New Zealand Company Ltd

(17,087ha): Ultimately owned by the Chinese Government’s State Forestry Administra­tion. Owns forests throughout the North Island.

20. New Zealand Pastures Ltd (16,480ha): Canterbury­based farming company, majority New Zealandown­ed. Investors include ACC and HRL Morrison. A Dutch company owns a 47% stake.

21. Williams family

(16,404ha): Owns two large farming stations on the Gentle Annie road between Napier and Taihape.

22. The Westervelt Company (15,341ha): USowned timber company that operates forestry, honey cultivatio­n, hunting and tourism businesses on Poronui Station near Lake Taupo. The land includes the exclusive Poronui Lodge.

23. Gary Rooney (15,137ha):

Waimate richlister and owner of Rooney Group, which operates various rural businesses covering irrigation schemes, dairy conversion­s, and earthmovin­g.

24. Christian church (14,694ha): Combined landholdin­gs of all Christian denominati­ons, including the Exclusive Brethren (which owns about 6400ha through its farming and horticultu­re business, Trinity Lands Ltd) and Gloriavale, which owns about 2400ha through its taxexempt charity, Christian Church Community Trust.

25. Henry and Melody Matthews (14,676ha): Own and farm land in south Taranaki, including Makowhai Station, which the Matthews family has farmed for more than a century.

26. Oceana Gold (New

Zealand) Ltd (13,682ha):

Australian­owned owner and operator of the Waihi and Macraes gold mines.

27. Murray family (13,662ha):

Richard and Susan Murray own Bluff Station near Kekerengu, inland from the Kaikoura coast. Their farm was among properties and land damaged in the 2016 earthquake.

28. Southland Plantation Forest Company of New Zealand Ltd (13,366ha): Ownership of this South Island forestry land is split between three major Japanese companies — Fuji Xerox, Itochu Corporatio­n, and Oji Holdings.

29. Lees Valley Station, LLC (13,114ha): The US company bought Mt Pember Station, one of New Zealand’s largest sheep and beef farms, for $30 million in 2013 and converted it to dairy. RNZ was unable to determine the ultimate owners of the US company.

30. Greenheart Mangakahia Forest Land Ltd (12,558ha): Hong Kongbased investment company that owns forests in Northland.

31. Doug and Mari Harpur (12,512ha): North American deer farmers and foresters, the Harpurs purchased neighbouri­ng Southland farms Fairlight Station and Cainard Run in the early 2000s.

32. Juken New Zealand Ltd (12,435ha): Owned by Japanese forestry company WoodOne. Juken’s forests are in the Wairarapa and near Gisborne, where it owns a mill.

33. Christian Welte (12,309ha): A Swiss bioenginee­r, Mr

Welte’s New Zealand company, Monte Capital Ltd, owns several East Coast farms in the North Island as well as forestry blocks.

34. Jenny and Johan Klisser (11,907ha): The founders of Vogel’s bread own Haldon Station in the Mackenzie Country.

35. Mount Linton Station Ltd (11,905ha): Ownership of this Southland farming station is split between Auckland richlister­s Rolf and Peter Masfen, and the McGregor family, who were the original owners of the land and still actively farm it.

36. Campbell family (11,618ha): Alistair and Judith and their children coown Earnscleug­h Station in Otago.

37. Paterson family (11,333ha): Bill, Phil and their four daughters own McDonald

Downs Station in Canterbury.

38. Urquhart family (10,801ha): Mark and Sherie own and farm Grays Hills Station in the Mackenzie Basin.

39. Annabelle and Richard Subtil (10,789ha): Own and farm Omarama Station, on the Canterbury side of the Lindis Pass. The station has been in Annabelle’s family for a century.

40. Andrew Hore (10,045ha): The former All Black owns and farms the family station, Stonehenge, in the Maniototo.

41. NZ Super Fund (9882ha): Among its many other investment­s, the Government’s superannua­tion fund owns multiple rural properties, concentrat­ed in Southland, Canterbury and Waikato.

42. Fonterra (9789ha): The dairy cooperativ­e owns nearly 700 parcels of land around New Zealand.

43. Purvis family (9734ha): Five generation­s of the Purvis family have owned and farmed Cluden Station, including former All Black Neil Purvis, who died in 2008. A fire in 2016 destroyed the farm’s historic homestead.

44. Patterson Family (9665ha): The Patterson family have farmed Longslip Station since 1947.

45. Anthony Czura (9580ha):

Swiss national Anthony Czura is a cofounder of Swiss investment firm Czura Thornton. He owns Ngatapa Station in Hawke’s Bay.

46. Laurence Williams (9546ha): Owns and farms Fox Peak Station in South Canterbury. Mr Williams bought the station from Rural Equities in 2009.

47. Roddy Brown (9307ha):

Owns Blue Mountain Station in South Canterbury.

48. Small family (9225ha): Own Goulburn Station near Middlemarc­h in Central Otago.

49. Lynette Therese Erceg (9214ha): Widow of Independen­t Liquor founder and richlister Michael Erceg. Properties include Lake Ohau Station in the Mackenzie Basin.

50. Douglas Robert McIntyre (8964ha): Owns farmland in the Mackenzie district, which he converted to dairy through the controvers­ial Benmore irrigation scheme.

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 ?? PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON ?? Bullockcar­t route . . . Part of Stonehenge Station, in the Maniototo, owned by Andrew Hore.
PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON Bullockcar­t route . . . Part of Stonehenge Station, in the Maniototo, owned by Andrew Hore.
 ?? PHOTO: ODT FILES ?? Family business . . . Alistair Campbell, who owns Earnscleug­h Station with wife Judith and their children, stands with the station’s 100yearold woolshed in the background.
PHOTO: ODT FILES Family business . . . Alistair Campbell, who owns Earnscleug­h Station with wife Judith and their children, stands with the station’s 100yearold woolshed in the background.
 ?? PHOTO: SALLY BROOKER ?? Rooney Group owner Gary Rooney.
PHOTO: SALLY BROOKER Rooney Group owner Gary Rooney.

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