Rival Crafar group lodges new appeal

The Sir Michael Fay-backed consortium is not giving up on trying to halt the sale of the Crafar farms to Chinese buyers. 

A Sir Michael Fay-backed consortium has lodged a fresh appeal to try and stop the sale of the Crafar farms to Shanghai Pengxin. 

Sale to the rival Chinese bidder was approved by the government last week after a recommendation from the Overseas Investment Office. 

The latest appeal by the Crafar Farms Purchase Group argues Shanghai Pengxin lacks experience necessary to owning dairy farms. 

The Fay-backed group had filed an earlier appeal to the Court of Appeal on similar grounds, but that was based on an older High Court decision relating to the sale. 

Spokesman Alan McDonald says they had to appeal on the new decision as well, and they are trying to work out how to combine the two appeals. 

"Hopefully, we'll get in front of the court at some point and get a date and get it heard," he told NBR ONLINE.

He says Shanghai Pengxin doesn't meet the test in the Overseas Investment Act that requires foreign buyers to have business acumen and experience relevant to the investment. 

"Clearly, they are not dairy farmers.

"They say they have got a farming background but I don't think a sheep farm in central America qualifies you to dairy farm on the Central North Island plateau.

"And that's obviously why they have hired Landcorp."

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