The pending sale of Whanganui District Council forestry to a foreign buyer has been delayed again and an outcome will not be known until next year.

The sale of the district's forests - McNabs, Te Ara To Waka, Sicilies and Tauwhare - is awaiting approval from the Overseas Investment Office (OIO).

A decision was expected this year but council's special projects manager Rowan McGregor said the proposed buyer has requested an extension of the conditional forestry sale until February 2 next year.

"The council agreed to this [and] the process is still continuing under the OIO."

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Earlier this year the OIO asked the potential buyer for more information for its application.

The identity of the buyer 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 buyer.