Australian property buyers got approval for commercial real estate deals involving $600 million worth of assets last month.

In the first deal, the Overseas Investment Commission approved listed landlord Macquarie Goodman's reshuffle of its New Zealand real estate holdings.

This saw three separate applications for the transfer of Auckland property worth more than $300 million.

The applications came from Australia's Macquarie Goodman Management, Australia's Macquarie Goodman Industrial Trust and New Zealand's Macquarie Goodman Property Trust.

The three deals all involved the transfer of 24ha of Auckland land to the New Zealand trust, which is 80 per cent New Zealand-owned via its listing on NZX. The Sydney-based Goodman family own 3.4 per cent, Macquarie Bank of Australia owns 6.9 per cent and 9.5 per cent is held in Australian-owned shares.

In another large property deal involving Australians, the commission approved builder Multiplex's purchase of 12 properties from American-owned AmTrust Pacific Properties for $261 million.

The commission heard how the deal would enable the Sydney-based Multiplex Group to diversify its geographic spread of properties and increase its commercial property holdings here.

A series of other transactions were also approved.

American-owned Waihi Gold got consent to buy a residential property in the town to provide a buffer zone for its Favona project.

The Favona project is Waihi's new underground gold mining operation, which will have some surface effects, including an air vent shaft, access portal and infrastructure to service the workings.

A United States family partnership got approval to buy more than 12,000ha of land at Glenorchy near Queenstown for $4 million. The vendor is Wyuna Station, 75 per cent owned by South Island property investor John Darby.

The balance of the business is owned by the American family partnership.

Another application from the Wyuna Station joint venture was approved. That involved the sale of 2695ha of land by the Crown for $1.4 million.

The commission said Wyuna Station was 12,000ha, comprising 29ha freehold, 11,900 in a Crown pastoral lease and a further 202ha.

Mohaka Olive Oils, partly owned by American interests, got consent to buy 93ha of agricultural land near Napier for $3.5 million. A 70ha olive grove has been planted and an adjoining block will be planted in 50ha of olive trees.

Great Lake Tomatoes, half-owned by Argentinian interests, got approval to buy 75ha of Reporoa land to grow truss tomatoes for the Australian market.

Agape-Holistic Retreat Corp, owned by biophysicist Peter Ferreira of Germany, got consent to buy 450ha of land in the Gisborne region for $2.4 million.

The commission said Ferreira was the author of Water and Salt - the Essence of Life and planned a new centre for the property.

"It is intended to develop a holistic and scientific centre to research the natural spring waters on the property for their therapeutic benefits and to establish a natural holistic accommodation retreat/conference centre," the commission said.

Americans got permission to buy a 49ha Northland property for an avocado orchard.

Another group of Americans were granted consent to buy 41ha of land at Butterfly Bay in Whangaroa, Northland, for a confidential amount.

Transtasman link


* Australians are buying more property here.

* Two recent deals were worth about $600 million.

* One involves a reshuffle of Macquarie Goodman's properties.

* The other is the sale of the AmTrust portfolio of properties to Multiplex.