An American who controversially bought the station on Young Nicks Head near Gisborne has bought another coastal farm nearby.

An Overseas Investment Commission decision last week allowed Nicks Head Station owner John Griffin to buy Mapiri Station, a 552ha farm adjoining the coastline south of Young Nicks Head, for $6 million.

The decision, made by Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen and Lands Minister Pete Hodgson, will give Mr Griffin ownership of a total of 1236ha in the Muriwai coastal area.

The farm is being leased back to the existing owners, Sally, Hugh and Selwyn Trafford, for two years.

Access to the coastline for local iwi will be guaranteed as part of the consent conditions, a spokeswoman for Dr Cullen said yesterday.

Local iwi Ngai Tamanuhiri said they still believed New Zealand land should not be sold to overseas buyers. Their position on the situation would be clarified after a hui at the end of the month.

Mapiri Station runs mainly sheep and cattle, with a 28ha block of forestry and a 5ha citrus orchard.

Mr Griffin plans to develop the farm to increase production, and implement a conservation plan which will reduce farming operations by 36ha.

Mapiri Station is separated from Nicks Head Station by a 50ha block in separate ownership now going through a sales process.

The commission's report says Mr Griffin, the sole shareholder of Nicks Head Station, has already carried out significant conservation work on that property.

The commission says Mr Griffin views the acquisition of the Trafford property as an opportunity to use the experience gained on Nicks Head Station to create another series of unique environments for native wildlife and plant species.

- NZPA