The sale of Whanganui District Council forestry to a foreign buyer has been delayed as it waits for Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approval.

A buyer has been lined for four of the district's forests - McNabs, Te Ara To Waka, Sicilies and Tauwhare - for the past few months and a decision had been expected by now.

Council property general manager Leighton Toy said the OIO's decision would be now be known later this year.

"The OIO has issued the forestry company a further request for information for its application," he said.

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"This is likely to delay the sales process, and we will know more by October."

The identity of the purchaser remains confidential until the sale is finalised - as does the purchase price - but is believed to be part of a Japanese-based forestry investor.

In March the council's joint forestry committee is to ask council for a top-up of $250,000 to its budget to help cover costs associated with the sale - some of which will be recovered from the purchaser.

The council is also selling 30,000 carbon credits which are not part of the forestry sale. Council is waiting for the price of the credits - currently about $18 - to rise before it sells.