An international company which recently bought Wisp Hill Station in Southland claims its objective is, first and foremost, to create a production forest, not to mine carbon. This is despite the fact the company is in the process of registering with the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
The 5500ha sheep and beef farm is the first land bought in New Zealand for Ingka Investments, the investment arm of the group and its retail business IKEA. The purchase agreement became unconditional with the approval of land acquisition by the Overseas Investment Office on Friday, August 27, last year, bought from the Ward family. A lease-back requirement will allow the family to properly phase out their operations over a minimum three-year period.
Country-Wide was refused a verbal interview with Ingka Investments, and received written statements instead. Ingka’s forestland investments portfolio manager of Andriy Hrytsyuk said the plan is to grow a productive forest within an afforestation project which expands its global forestry portfolio and demonstrates its commitment to responsible forest management, with a focus on timber sales to generate a return on investment.