New Zealand approves farm sale to Chinese firm

farm in New Zealand Image copyright AFP
Image caption Farming and agriculture are key contributors to New Zealand's economy

Chinese firm Shanghai Pengxin has won the approval of the New Zealand government for the second time for its plans to buy 16 farms in the country.

The deal worth 210m New Zealand dollars ($170m; £106m) has been a hot political topic.

A court had asked the government to review its earlier decision to allow the deal after a local farming consortium offered to buy the land.

New Zealand is the world's largest dairy exporter.

Associate Finance Minister Jonathan Coleman said the government had decided to grant an approval after receiving a recommendation from the Overseas Investment Office (OIO).

"The combined effect of the benefits being delivered to New Zealand as a result of this transaction is substantial," Mr Coleman said.

The farms are spread across almost 8,000 hectares in the country's North Island.

Since the sale involves more than 5 hectares of land and is valued at more than NZ$100m it had to approved by the OIO.

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