New figures from Land Information show the changes in the sales of land to foreign investors for trees seem to be having an effect. The former Special Forestry Test legislation did not seem to have any teeth when it came to stopping productive farmland being sold for forestry. The Test brought in in 2018 no property applications by foreign buyers were denied permission. 179 properties were sold – 87 were farms – a total of 75,000 hectares and 75 were already forestry blocks. With the loss of productive land was The Special Forestry Test was then reviewed and replace by the Benefit to NZ test. Since that test came in 16 applications came in to buy and of the three considered two have been denied and Beef + Lamb NZ CEO Sam McIvor says he is relieved that the new legislation is working.
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