The head of the world's biggest tobacco company has been given approval to buy a second property near Kerikeri just weeks after buying a 316ha Bay of Islands farm.

The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) revealed this week it had granted permission for Andre Calantzopoulos and his wife Malgorzata to buy an 18ha property on Opito Bay Rd, northeast of Kerikeri.

Aerial photos show the property is a mix of farmland, scrub and bush. It extends from the northern side of Opito Bay Rd to a headland and two small bays within Crowles Bay, Te Puna Inlet.

Calantzopoulos, who lives in Lausanne, Switzerland, is the chief executive of tobacco firm Philip Morris International.


OIO permission is required by foreign nationals buying land deemed "sensitive" due to size, rural character or waterfront location.

The OIO report stated that Mr and Mrs Calantzopoulos planned to build a house on the land and stay there when they visited their farm on Pungaere Rd, on the edge of Puketi Forest.

They had committed to protecting and enhancing native vegetation and wildlife with a QEII covenant for two areas of bush.

They would also sponsor a new kiwi protection programme on the peninsula, which has one of New Zealand's highest kiwi densities.

They have also committed to working with the Walking Access Commission to pay for new public access to two bays near their land. Their plans were likely to create a small number of short-term jobs.

Normally OIO reports list the sale price of the land but in this case, as in their last purchase, the price has been withheld under a section of the Official Information Act to avoid "unreasonably prejudicing a person's commercial position".

The property was bought from the estate of the late Eva MacCarthy.

Last month the Advocate revealed the couple had bought a 316ha farm on Pungaere Rd, west of Kerikeri.

The boss of the world's biggest tobacco company, Andre Calantzopoulos, has bought a second Northland property.
The boss of the world's biggest tobacco company, Andre Calantzopoulos, has bought a second Northland property.

They intend to convert it from a dairy support unit to an organic beef and sheep farm. They also undertook to create public walking access across the land and along Kerikeri River.

Greek-born Calantzopoulos, 60, has been the chief executive of Philip Morris International since 2013 but has been with the company since 1985.

His wealth is not known but in 2014 the financial magazine Barron's Asia reported he owned 695,370 shares in the company.

At today's price his stake is worth more than $100 million.

Philip Morris International is a US company based in Switzerland which owns six of the world's biggest tobacco brands.

According to a 2008 World Health Organisation report, smoking is the world's greatest cause of preventable death with an estimated 5.4 million deaths a year.