A large parcel of land zoned future urban/countryside living at 185 Sandspit Road is back on the market and if it sells for a profit, the Crown could be the beneficiary.
Hong Zhongliang, Ke Xueli, Gu Xinrong and IRL Investment Limited bought the 80-hectare property, known as the Chestnut Farm, in 2012.
None of the buyers live or intended to live in New Zealand, so they were required to apply for Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approval, which they did retrospectively last year.
However, the OIO declined the application on the grounds that the application had insufficient evidence to show that benefits would be realised and the benefits weren’t substantial enough to meet the criteria of the Overseas Investment Act.
As such, the owners were forced to sell and are required to keep the OIO informed at each step in the sale process.
An OIO spokesperson says any proceeds from the sale will be reviewed as part of the process.
“Section 48 of the Act allows us to apply to the High Court for an order that a person in breach, pay a ‘civil penalty’,” the spokesperson says. “The maximum amount of the penalty is the larger of $300,000 or the amount of any gain, such as the increase in the value of the property since acquisition.
“Any penalty would be set by the Court and it would need to take account of the extent of the gain and other relevant factors. Any civil penalty paid by a vendor/investor is paid to the Crown.”
Cici and Miro Wang, of Barfoot & Thompson Remuera, have the property listed on the internet as being for sale by negotiation.
Confusingly, when Mahurangi Matters approached Ms Wang for background information, she said the property was not for sale, due to legal issues with the OIO office.
“There is no point in ringing me unless you are a buyer,” she said.
The property is being advertised as, ‘Pulsing with potential and oozing opportunity for unprecedented development options, this sensational piece of paradise is the largest single block of land offered for sale in Warkworth. The property holds potential (subject to council consent) for sub-dividing down to two-hectare parcels making possible a mix of medium density housing and lifestyle blocks.”