The Green Party says the government should block the sale of the Crafar dairy farms to overseas investors.
Chinese investors UBNZ Funds Management (UBNZ) are looking to create a major dairy export business and buy farms in New Zealand. They have put in an offer for 16 farms formerly controlled by the Crafar family, which are now in receivership.
The offer, the value of which is confidential, is subject to Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approval and can be overtaken by a better offer before tenders close next month.
But Green MP Russel Norman said the OIO approved nearly all sales to foreign investors and it seemed likely New Zealand was "about to lose a large chunk of our dairy industry to overseas interests."
He said New Zealand risked losing its economic sovereignty if it lost ownership of large chunks of primary production.
The receivers of the Crafar's 16 farms are happy with the conditional sale agreement with UBNZ.
A significant deposit, also confidential, was included in the offer terms, said Michael Stiassny and Brendon Gibson of receivers KordaMentha.
The farms for sale were formerly operated by companies involved with Allan, Beth and Frank Crafar, and were located in the Waikato, King Country, Bay of Plenty, Wanganui, Taranaki and Rangitikei.
The 16 North Island farms have been in receivership since October, when debts topped $200 million. The leases on two other properties had lapsed, and several other properties had been sold previously.
As soon as the contract was declared unconditional, the sale could be settled within a week.
Bayleys Real Estate was still marketing them both locally and overseas. Tenders closed on June 23.
There had been interest from other local and offshore parties, a number of them "well qualified", the receivers said.
The Crafars have fought the receivers over the properties and refused to leave the home farms at Reporoa, southeast of Rotorua.
"They continue to be on the properties, and we are continuing in a process of removal which it looks like will involve court action," Mr Gibson said.
However, that did not affect the conditional agreement of sale to UBNZ.