Chinese companies are stepping up New Zealand investment after two big approvals were granted.

China Mengniu Dairy Company, listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, can go ahead with a $212 million Waikato dairy investment.

The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) said China Mengniu controlled 68 per cent of Yashili New Zealand Dairy Co which is building a Pokeno milk processing plant to make paediatric milk powder products.

That deal meets the necessary criteria under the Overseas Investment Act, the OIO said.


Ling Hai Group, owned by China's Zongren Ling and family, has approval to buy 741ha of Marlborough land from Geoffrey and David Marfell and Castlebrae Vineyards for a secret sum for a wine and tourism deal.

"The applicant intends to acquire the land as part of its long-term investment in the New Zealand wine and tourism industry," the OIO said.

"The applicant intends to expand a vineyard located on the land, build a winery and construct new accommodation for visitors. More than half of the land will continue to be farmed for pastoral purposes."

SkyCity Entertainment Group had to get its $402 million convention centre deal approved because 25.26 per cent of its owners are Australian and it is spending $100 million-plus, above the threshold.

"The applicant has entered an agreement with the Crown to design, build, own and operate the New Zealand International Conference Centre.

"The construction of an international-sized convention centre is intended to boost the New Zealand economy through attracting high-value international business visitors to New Zealand and enhancing New Zealand as a business events destination," the OIO said.

"In addition, the NZICC is expected to generate additional employment opportunities, with 1000 people expected to be employed during construction and a further 800 employed directly at the convention centre once the NZICC becomes fully operational."