Byline: Bob Edlin
A statistical gap was revealed by Finance Minister Bill English, as public passions ran high over sales of New Zealand land to foreigners in general and dairy farms to Chinese interests in particular.
No one knows how much New Zealand land is foreign-owned. Officials keep count when foreign purchases are approved, but they donCOt know how much land has been sold by foreigners.
News media have been reporting that an average 82 hectares of agricultural land a day has been approved for sale to offshore investors in recent years. They quoted Overseas Investment Office figures showing 235 consents for foreign investment in agricultural land …