Sale of Westland Co-operative Dairy to foreign buyer given green light

The Overseas Investment Office has approved the sale of Westland Co-operative Dairy to a subsidiary of the Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Company.

Dairy farm (file picture). Source:

A statement from Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) today confirmed the sale, stating the investment needed the consent of the Overseas Investment Office due to the fact Yili is buying "sensitive land" that includes 4.8 hectares of residential land and "significant business assets" that are worth more than $100 million.

According to LINZ: "The residential land is currently used for factory worker accommodation at Westland’s two processing plants in Hokitika and near Christchurch, and as a noise buffer between the plants and their neighbours."

Land Information New Zealand's group manager for the overseas investment office, Vanessa Horne, outlined how Yili met all the requirements to make the purchase.

“It’s important to remember that the tests for this investment are quite narrow," she siad. "Yili is not buying rural land, which involves very different tests for investors.

"The benefit to New Zealand test doesn’t apply to this investment because it doesn’t involve rural land.”

Yili’s purchase still requires approval at a High Court hearing, set for July 18.