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Super Fund sells forestry blocks to Chinese, local investors

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund, which today said the value of its portfolio topped $22 billion, has sold the bulk of 11 forestry blocks in the North Island to China National Forest Products Trading Corp for an undisclosed sum, with the remaining going to local investors.

The Chinese company, a subsidiary of state-owned China Forestry Group Corp, bought the majority of the portfolio, subject to Chinese regulatory approval, after getting the thumbs up from New Zealand's Overseas Investment Office, the super fund says in a statement.

The Cullen Fund, so-called for its architect former finance minister Michael Cullen, was looking for a buyer for the blocks last year, when it valued the estates at some $91.1 million as at June 30.

General manager investments Matt Whineray says the sale willlet the fund focus on other domestic and international investment opportunities.

"We see more attractive investment opportunities for our purposes elsewhere. We are always working to ensure we have the best possible mix of investments in the fund."

The Cullen Fund recently upped its stake in the Kaingaroa Forest, which is still the fund's single biggest asset, worth $945.1 million at March 31, and recently bought a $140 million stake in local IT company Datacom and 11 local dairy farms.

It is currently mulling whether to sell down its stake in service station chain Z Energy, which it co-owns with Infratil, with a potential listing in the third quarter. The fund valued its stake in Z at $523.9 million at December  31.

The Super Fund's timber assets, which accounted for 6 percent of the fund at March 31, will still exceed $1 billion after the sale.


Comments and questions

Chinese getting in slowly and surely - all part of the 50-year plan. Are we too dumb to see this? As a long-term National voter, next time I am voting Greens. We will have a Chinese PM within 30 years.

Sounds like Winston First is your best bet. Good luck.

We already have a de facto Chinese PM.

I think the Greens will welcome another conspiracy theorist to their ranks. I mean please, is that your truely inteligent response to this - China running NZ. In fact, why don't you move to Aust and vote for the Greens there, although you'll miss out on the Greens/Labour power bill lolly scramble if you do that.

But you have no problem with the Germans, Dutch, British and others whose purchases over the past decade dwarf the Chinese? Says a lot about some NZers.

How do you know that? I wasn't aware that he had expressed on opinion on German, Dutch, British and other foreign ownership. Your comment says a lot about you too.

We know that because there have been no outcries recorded in the past when the Germans etc bought.

Anyway, does not really matter - you are all going to be owned by us soon.

I personally have no problem with Europeans - thats where we come from'. Similar values, beliefs, religion, and they integrate, create businesses that employ people, pay taxes and contribute to the system here. Chinese largely use the system, get what they want and leave while the next wave are arriving. Trouble is, the new waves are getting bigger.

Talk to any Auckland businessman and they will tell you that the Auckland economy would be stuffed but for the immigrants, especially from Asia and in particular, China.

They bring in billions of dollars, are not afraid to spend on local goods, products, services and they invest heavily in real estate and businesses.

They also help to promote the multi-billion dollar industries of education and tourism.

Now please tell us what have the Europeans brought to NZ in recent times?

The internet, mobile phones, A380 aircraft, luxury motorcars, the NZ export wine industry, proper coffee, cafes. Better restaurants, new pharmaceuticals and medical procedures. All of the above either directly or indirectly benefit New Zealanders and or New Zealand and adds to them. A could go on but I won't bother. You are being extremely foolish if you think that Europe does not still make a major contribution to New Zealand, let alone China.

And there is a further point to be made here as well. The Europeans innovate, whereas China thus far, just copies. We've seen all this before out of Asia with the Japanese, 1945-1990, and yet look at the mess they are in now. Given China's long history of stuffing things up for itself, I wouldn't get too cocky about its future if I were you.

We need Chinese investment in this country that is additive, i.e., it adds to the net sum of the county by bringing in something new to or additional to that which is already here, and not investment that is simply displacive, i.e., just displaces or replaces ownership and or/ investment that is already here. One grows the sum of NZ Inc, (additive investments), which most New Zealanders would, no doubt, be very welcome of, while the other does not (displacive investments).

We are talking about European immigrants bring to NZ, not the contribution of various races to the globe.

But since you are at it, you forgot the global financial crisis, finance company collapses, spendthrift lifestyles, drugs, and of course unsustainable welfare policies.

If the investment rules were the same in both countries, it would be different, but since I cannot own 100 % of a company in China, and I can not buy land there, I don't think they should be allowed to buy any here. So I think the comment is unfair and educated.

Why don't we just sell all of NZ to the Chinese. Then we will be just tenants!

Get a life, they were saying that in the 1860s gold rush days.
It didn't happen, Chinese prefer to trade and that will be to our benefit.

Why are we selling off productive land. Surely this is short-sighted?
I would like to see some policy around this for the next election.

I think you will find the Chinese are only buying the cutting rights - and not the underlying land.

That would be consistent with the Conservative party's policies.

Dick the head government.

Why on earth would a super fund sell anything! It is hard enough to find good investments and here we have them in our own country and they sell them. Idiots, as usual.

The super fund are probably trying to sell all their NZ investments after what the Greens & Labour have done to the energy sector with their intentions to nationalise. Expect everyone to start dumping their NZ investments thanks to the looney left.

So our choices are:

a. Let the looney left nationalise our strategic assets, or,

b. Let the National government allow Chinese government owned companies to nationalise our strategic assets.

I'm voting looney left.

Use the money to invest in the development of others useful infrastructure ala the investment in Melbourne's airport to cbd freeway when Auckland is crying out for one

Perhaps they were offered a good price? Why would they just buy and hold? What would you have them do? Cut the trees themselves? Sell the resulting timber after processing? Use the paper themselves? Who exactly is the idiot?

Is it the land AND the forests that have been sold, or just the forests and the cutting rights without the land?

Ethnic Chinese have bought farms where I live and have planted them in toxic pine. It's goodbye birds, native fauna and regenerating native bush!

They have also gated and padlocked the public roads through these plantations.

They've sold the land!!!!!!

->"The fund sought offers for land, forest crop and carbon credits in April and received bids in May."<-

This is to China, a country that invaded and "Annexed" its neighbouring country, Tibet!

The actions of NZ Super Fund totally sicken me.

You are to be commended for being sickened about China annexing Tibet, which once belonged to China.

Now, how do you feel about the Europeans?

About the Europeans annexing whole countries across the globe and plundering them?

Have you forgotten how the English and the French brutally annex colonies right around the globe and systematically butchered any uprising?

And yes, enslaving whole population like in the Congo, even chopping off arms and legs, to work the plantations and mines for them?

The latest acquisition by the Chinese shows they have learned from the past missteps.

A softly, softly approach has worked to their advantage.

Asian countries don't sell them selves off like the western nations. Globalizes states like New Zealand reminds me of prostitute looking for her crack pipe. Asian is on the rise and the Western are on the fall. Do really think fat lazy USA will paid China 3 trillion in to be honesty. money is dying. buy bit-coins.

Western nations did not have to buy - they just took. Colonies were plundered and their people enslaved in one shape or form.

Now that Asian countries are buying with real hard cash, losers like NZ moan and complain!

Well, what goes around, comes around.

So whats so wrong with us having a Chinese PM?
Didnt Gisborne and Dunedin have Asian mayors?
Whats the problem?

Can't speak for Gisborne, but in Dunedin he was the problem.

It is dismaying and sobering to see the worrying apparent ignorance displayed by Lindsay Fergusson, among others, whose ideological training apparently has blinded them to the fact that we are now being well and truly colonised by China.

China is now becoming a real threat in the Pacific, and those ignorant of the fact that it undoubtedly has territorial ambitions in this area are arguably also ignorant of its history in demanding that its military be allowed to safeguard its economic assets.

There is not one ostensibly privately-owned Chinese company, even Hong Kong fronted, which is not backed and even financially underpinned by the communist Chinese government.

We are now in trouble in this part of the world, a fact that the US has woken up to rather late, but about which it is now rightly showing considerable concern. The Chinese Ambassador to this country even has had the nerve to suggest that New Zealand and communist China engage in joint military exercises in the Pacific!

This is virtually suggesting that this totalitarian, repressive and corrupt Chinese government which punishes, imprisons and even executes its own dissidents ( even removing vital organs from Falun Gong members while they are alive) should be excused its barbaric practices for economic reasons.

Interesting how the West never thought this excused Nazi Germany its own barbarism.

Why then are we now averting our eyes...while selling out New Zealand?

Passionately articulated, Cassandra. Bravo!

If the Chinese buying a few farms and forests here can invoke such passion and clearly, fear as well, may I suggest you turn your mind to the US Americans?

How they have bought up whole industries, land, properties and even whole countries (Iraq being a good case in point) using money and military might?

How they use military force indiscriminately and kill civilians?

As a Pakeha NZer, I would prefer to align myself with the USA over China.

For all the anti-US sentiment that goes on, if you had a choice, who would you go for?

You may want to ask the Iraqis and Afghans first?

Then, try the Vietnamese, Chileans, Iranians and Somalians.

They actually have real life experiences of dealing with the Americans versus the Chinese.

You can keep your trust for the Europeans and US any time. China has never done NZ any wrong.

It is NZ which always chose to side with the military powers like US and Britain, and fight with other countries.

As Muhammad Ali said " Man, I ain't got no quarrel with them Vietcong. No Vietcong ever called me Nigger."

Anzac Day should remind us all of how the Europeans, especially the British, cynically sent the youth of NZ to their deaths - cannon and bullet fodder - in two world wars.

That's how much we should trust the British, Europeans and Americans.

Remember the Rainbow Warrior?

Remember how the UK gave up NZ for the EU, after setting up NZ as a cheap and reliable source of produce for the UK?

“Beyond ‘Win-Win’ and the Menacing Dragon: How China is Transforming Latin America” Perhaps this essay might be relevant.

Makes a lot more sense getting some money for it than giving it away in via frivilous land claims.

Apparently the Greens and Labour are considering setting up a company called Timber Co that will force all tree growers to sell the timber to them - it will make timber more affordable and create 5000 jobs.

I have a major problem being owned by a cheap and nasty country. NZ was far better off before the Asian invasion, which was used to take jobs offshore and drive NZ into a semi-depressed country. China needs food and good land for food growth. We need to stop this country being over-populated to the extent of the Asian countries and cities. I like open space and fresh air, not seeing people in masks and packed like sardines. Asia is not part of the Pacific so stay out.