November 1995 decisions

Kenmare of U.S.A. takes over APV Moffat

In a decision initially almost completely suppressed, Moffat Ltd, controlled by the Sullivan family of the U.S.A., gains approval to acquire APV Moffat Ltd of Wellington, which was owned by APV Plc of the U.K. for "$10 to $15 million". "The acquisition is part of a worldwide acquisition by Kenmare of APV Plc’s retail bakery and catering equipment business." Moffat Ltd is a subsidiary of Kenmare which is controlled by the Sullivan family. APV’s activities are the "design, manufacture and sale of specialised process plant and equipment, principally for the food and beverage industries", according to UK Equities Direct (World Wide Web Its trade names include Anderson, Crepaco, and Douglas packaging machinery ("Kompass New Zealand", 1995). It is represented in Aotearoa by APV Baker NZ Limited (Auckland) and APV Moffat Ltd (Christchurch). The decision was released on appeal to the OIC in May 1996.

EnviroWaste Services buys, leases Dunedin Landfill Site from itself

EnviroWaste Services Ltd which last month was formed by the Auckland Regional Services Trust and Fulton Hogan Ltd to become a major force in rubbish services in Auckland and the South Island, has reshuffled its control of the Dunedin Landfill Site. Former Fulton Hogan subsidiary Tartan Industries Ltd was given to EnviroWaste last month as part of the setup of the company.It has been sold the 79 hectare Landfill for $5,000 by EnviroWaste, which then leased it back for 20 years for $20.

EnviroWaste is 50% owned by Northern Disposal Systems Ltd (an Auckland Regional Services Trust company) and 50% by Fulton Hogan. Fulton Hogan itself is 36.94% owned by Shell New Zealand Holdings Ltd of the U.K.

Sale of Auckland Regent Hotel to Indonesians approved

Approval has been given for the Regent Hotel in Auckland to be sold to Cogent Investments Ltd, a subsidiary of Perfect Match Investments Ltd of Hong Kong, which in turn is owned by two (unnamed) Indonesian residents. The same interests "have substantial interests in the hotel industry including the Centra Hotel in Auckland". The Regent was owned by the "Togen group" which is ultimately owned by Eastern Prime Line Ltd (the Liu family) of Hong Kong. They say they have been actively seeking to sell the hotel, which "urgently" requires further development and maintenance, for some time. Perfect Match "is committed to providing expertise and future funds to enable the Regent Hotel to reach its potential". The price was suppressed.

However, press reports gave the buyer as the Hai Sun Hup Group of Singapore, and the price $80 million. The hotel was built in 1985 for about $60 million. It has 332 rooms and is rated five-star. (Press, “Singaporean group buys Regent Hotel”, 24/1/96, p.45.) In January 1996, this was confirmed when the OIC gave approval for the hotel to be sold to the Hai Sun Hup Group Ltd, a Singaporean public company, for $80 million. They say they have been actively seeking to sell the hotel for some time.

In February 1990, Perfect Match Investments Ltd was given consent to acquire the remaining 5% it didn’t own in Winstone Pulp International Ltd which operates the Karioi Pulp Mill (in partnership with Samsung of South Korea) and owns the Waimarino Forest. It paid $12 million for cutting rights to Crown forests in 1990. In January 1991 Winstone Pulp received consent to acquire the Karioi Crown Forest cutting rights and assets (after having pulped it for some time). In August 1993, CHH sold the Tangiwai sawmill to Winstone Pulp.

In October 1991, the Queen City Centre complex on Albert and Elliott Streets in central Auckland was sold by Chase Securities Investments Ltd (under statutory management) to Colwall Enterprises Ltd, a subsidiary of Perfect Match Investments Ltd for a suppressed amount.

Togen are 45% shareholders of Wenita Holdings (NZ) Ltd, a major buyer of Crown forest licences and land for forestry particularly in Otago and Southland. Another 45% of Wenita is owned by a Chinese Government Corporation, China National Foreign Trade Transportation Corporation. 10% is held by Chen Wen Dong of Hong Kong.

Mainzeal trying to get full control of Mair Astley

Mainzeal Group Ltd, which is 50.95% owned by Richina Enterprise Holdings Ltd of China is trying to wrest full control of its partly owned subsidiary Mair Astley Holdings Ltd (50.27% owned by Mainzeal subsidiary Ipoh Holdings Ltd). The OIC has given its consent for Mainzeal to buy 100% of Mair, for a price of $36,957,904. The ownership would be through Eddystone Investments Ltd, a wholly owned Mainzeal subsidiary.

The deal was not welcomed by minority shareholders and at time of writing (January 1996) had not been accepted. An Auckland lawyer, Peter Cockle, who owns 66,000 shares in Mair which he bought at $1.80 each, considered the offer of 72 cents a share undervalued the company. He suggested to the independent directors that Mainzeal and Richina were privy to in-depth reports, including forecast benefits from a proposed Shanghai tannery. However an independent director said that their advisors, C S First Boston, had access to all information available to Mainzeal and valued the shares between 80 and 95 cents.

Mainzeal has organised a joint venture tannery in Shanghai with Shanghai Leather Corporation. This has been held up by the dispute.

Mainzeal, primarily a construction and property development company, is rapidly developing as a minor conglomerate including trying for project management contracts for power generation and water supply in Indonesia, and the development of a $90 million 330-room hotel in central Auckland. Richina says its objective in investing Mainzeal was to build it and Mair Astley domestically so that they were "financially strong, world-class companies able to operate successfully in the international arena". (Press, "Confident Mainzeal hope to pay div", 15/11/95, p.33; "Mair rejects advice appeal", 5/1/96/ p.16.) The company has a 50% interest in 39 hectares of leased land in Canterbury.

We reported in April 1995 that Richina had taken control of Mainzeal. Reportedly Beijing-based, it is a Chinese/U.S. consortium which bought its controlling interest at 28 cents a share accompanied by concern from some observers who feared unethical tactics. Though bought in March, it did not receive OIC approval until after the event. The consortium at the time comprised "from time to time", Richina Enterprise Holdings Ltd, which is ultimately owned by Richina Equity Trust I of China, Anaconda Partners, L.P., which is ultimately owned by Junction Advisors Incorporated of the U.S.A., Chemical Asian Equity Associates L.P., which is a limited partnership of which Chemical Banking Corporation of the U.S.A. is a partner, a number of U.S. individuals and investment partnerships, and three locals. See our analyses of April 1995 and December 1994 decisions for details.

Utilicorp gets approval to own 49% of WEL Energy

Utilicorp United Inc, from the U.S.A., which already owns 33.3% of Waikato’s electric power supply company WEL Energy Group Ltd, has consent to acquire a further 15.7% "by standing in the market or private purchases from time to time". According to the OIC, it granted consent to WEL issuing shares to Utilicorp equating to 49% of its issued share capital, in August 1992. That decision was never been released to us: the only relevant August 1992 releases were approvals given to WEL Energy Ltd, a subsidiary of the Waikato Electricity Authority firstly to issue 960 $1 ordinary shares at a premium of $77,749 to Utilicorp United Inc or its subsidiaries and then a revision, to issue shares up to 33.33% of WEL to Utilicorp. We queried this discrepancy with the OIC who replied:

"… the Commission originally gave consent for Utilicorp to acquire a 49% interest in WEL. However, subsequently the parties sought an amendment to that consent. As it was an amendment it was appropriate for the Commission to amend the existing decision sheet rather than prepare a new one as this would have resulted in the investment proposal being included twice in the Commission’s statistics."

Which doesn’t make a great deal more sense, and puts in doubt the accuracy of the information the Commission releases.

PHII of the U.S.A. buys land at Karikari, Northland for residential subdivision

In two decisions initially almost completely suppressed, the Woodhead Family, all of whom except one are resident in Australia, are selling two blocks of land at Karikari, Northland to companies owned by PHII Inc of the U.S.A. In one, "approximately" 50 hectares is being sold for $617,400 for residential subdivision to a PHII subsidiary, Montanari Holdings Ltd. In the other, "approximately" 1,061 hectares of arable land used for beef farming is being sold to Wintree Properties Ltd which is owned by Nasella Holdings Ltd (not a well chosen name!) as trustee for "members of" PHII. In both cases it is stated that the Woodhead family "have been endeavouring to sell the property since the mid 1970’s … [the] land is clearly rundown and for the last ten years it has not been maintained or used in a productive manner." PHII "has considerable expertise and experience in the property development field and this will be used to determine and subsequently develop the [50 hectare] subdivision." PHII also proposes to "undertake a comprehensive programme to return the [1,061 hectare block of] land to optimum condition." This includes improving 200 hectares of existing pasture, converting a further 200 hectares from scrub to pasture, and establishing forestry on the steeper land. "It is also in the longer term proposed to investigate developing part of the property into a tourist related venture." The decisions were released on appeal to the OIC in May 1996.

Further land sales to Taiwanese investors

Sales organised by Deborah Miller of Brookfields, Auckland this month include two more for forestry development at Paparangi, Wanganui, two more near Palmerston, Otago, and one in Waiuku for "lifestyle" purposes, all to Taiwanese:

  • Two people have consent to acquire 59 hectares of land for $224,250 at Paparangi through the holding company, Chun Mei Company Ltd;
  • Two others have consent to acquire 24 hectares of land for $93,600 at Paparangi through K.H. Hu’s Company Ltd;
  • Four others, through Crumber Properties Ltd, have consent to acquire eight hectares of land at Palmerston for $31,175;
  • Four others, via Hibrook Properties Ltd, have consent to acquire 11 hectares of land at Palmerston for $42,528;
  • And a Taiwan resident "who has applied for New Zealand permanent residency" has consent to acquire four hectares of land in Glenbrook Road, Waiuku, South Auckland for $330,000 through the holding company Morden Properties Ltd, and plans to reside on the property, establish a homestay and "further develop the avocado crop and walnut trees currently on the property utilising New Zealand expertise".

Wharekauhau Lodge sold to U.S. interests

Wharekauhau Lodge and Farm in the Wairarapa is being sold to four residents of the U.S.A. in order to "create one of the best and most exclusive lodges in the world". The lodge includes 931 hectares of land. The current owners, W. and A. Shaw, are retaining a 10% interest in the property and will "have an ongoing involvement in the development and management of the property".

The new owner is Wharekauhau Holdings Ltd (WHL). Initially this was owned 24.9% by J. Davidson, 24.9% by A. Miller, 24.9% by M. Baybak, 15.3% by J. Sevo (all of the U.S.A.) and 10% by the Shaws. However in March 1996 this approval was amended to change the shareholding to include in addition Sir R. Douglas (Aotearoa), Lord R. Mogg (U.K.) and J. Blanchard III (U.S.A.). With that change, the shareholding is 24.6% by J. Davidson, 12.3% by A. Miller, 20.2% by M. Baybak, 12.3% by J. Sevo (all of the U.S.A.), 12% by the Shaws, 13.2% by J. Blanchard III, 4.4% by Lord R. Mogg, and 1% by Sir R. Douglas.

They are paying $4,800,000 for the property through the company Wharekauhau Station Ltd.

"The Commission is advised that the Wharekauhau lodge is one New Zealand’s leading lodges but currently has limited accommodation facilities.

The Commission is advised that WHL propose to implement a development plan that will create one of the best and most exclusive lodges in the world, while also enhancing the current scenic splendour of Wharekauhau. The Commission also is advised that the development plan envisages building new villas and estate homes and extending or replacing the existing lodge house.

It is also intended that the farm business will be maintained as a Romney sheep stud. This will be developed into a model farm with some hill facings being planted in trees and fencing and fertility being improved."

Sir Roger needs no introduction. Lord William Rees-Mogg is the former chief leader writer and editor of The Financial Times, city editor and deputy editor of The Sunday Times, and editor of The Times (1967-81), "by which time he had become an accepted establishment figure, on the boards of several companies", according to the Cambridge Biographical Encyclopedia (1994, Cambridge University Press, A former Vice-Chairman of the BBC, in 1988 he became head of the new, controversial, Broadcasting Standards Council. He is an author, business commentator and "advisor to some of the world's wealthiest investors". His business interests include being Chairman of International Business Communications Group PLC (business publishers, conference organisers etc), and Pickering & Chatto (Publishers) Limited, and a Director of The General Electric Company Plc, and St. James Place Capital Plc ( As the Encyclopaedia states, he is very much a central establishment figure in the British hierarchy. He is a favourite subject of conspiracy theorists. His government and business connections are likely to have brought him into contact with Douglas.

He has co-authored with one James D. Davidson two books on investment: "Blood in the Streets" by James Dale Davidson and Sir William Rees-Mogg, (New York: Warner Books, 1987), and "The Great Reckoning", revised and updated edition, by James Dale Davidson and Sir William Rees-Mogg, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993). The first takes its name from the advice given by Baron Nathan Rothschild in 1815: "the time to buy is when blood is running in the streets". The second predicts a major depression before the end of the century and advises investors how to prepare for it.

The two also edit and publish Strategic Investment, an investment newsletter described by Chapman Tripp Sheffield Young (CTSY, the shareholders’ solicitors) to the OIC as "the largest circulation (135,000 per month Wall Street newsletter". Significantly, it "has been heavily promoting investment in New Zealand", so they are no novices where Aotearoa is concerned. Davidson has written for the Wall Street Journal and numerous other U.S. publications, and is a principal of Strategic Advisors Corporation in Baltimore, Maryland.

The New Zealand Companies Office identifies the OIC’s J. Davidson as James D. Davidson of Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.A.. The OIC files confirm this as Rees-Mogg’s associate, James Dale Davidson. Davidson is not simply an investment advisor: he is also a political activist after Roger Douglas’s heart, and as we have seen, with a standing interest in investment in Aotearoa. He is the chairman of the National Taxpayers Union (compare ACT), which he founded in 1969. It claims 250,000 members, with a budget of $3.5 million, and 20 staff at its headquarters in Washington DC ("Encyclopedia of Associations", 31st Edition, 1996, Part 2, p.2304.) "The National Taxpayers Union [is] a public interest advocacy organization dedicated to eliminating wasteful government spending and working to reduce taxes and balance the federal budget" (

One of the more fascinating sites on the Internet is "", which has a section,, devoted to Bermuda. There (presumably to attract others to the country), it lists some of the prominent businessmen who use Bermuda to avoid their taxes. It lists such names as Silvio Berlusconi, former far-right Italian Prime Minister, currently engaged in a drawn-out corruption trial ("an Italian media magnate, he was named in the Forbes Magazine billionaires list as being worth more than $2 billion. He owns the large, white home known as ‘Blue Horizons’ in Tucker’s Town, St. George’s Parish, near the home of former US presidential candidate Ross Perot. Signor Berlusconi regularly flies into Bermuda via a private jet aircraft, with his son Piersilvio and daughter Marina. He was the Italian Prime Minister a few years ago and in 1996 made an unsuccessful political bid to become so again. Like his immediate neighbours, the Perots, he has a passion for privacy."); Jack Carter, son of former US President Jimmy Carter ("his parents visited him in Bermuda for a week in mid October, 1995"); Ross Perot; George Soros; a raft of U.S. and British billionaires and millionaires (and one Australian); and James Dale Davidson:

"James Dale Davidson

"An investment author and consultant to a clutch of leading multinational companies with active Bermuda connections, he is a graduate of Oxford University…

"In his business dealings around the globe, he has observed financial service opportunities in many countries. Over the last few years in particular, he has increasingly used Bermuda as a primary conduit for the range of his financial dealings – from banking and brokerage accounts to incorporating internationally active, prominent companies."

Evidence for his (and Rees-Mogg’s) Bermuda activities comes in the shareholding of Wharekauhau Holdings Ltd: one of its shareholders is New Paradigm Capital Ltd of Hamilton, Bermuda. According to CTSY, this is a "Bermuda merchant bank" owned jointly by Davidson and Rees-Mogg "and a Jersey Island based trust" (Jersey is another tax haven). Presumably such tax avoidance is Davidson’s way of putting his anti-tax political views into action.

However Davidson’s activities move from just right-wing straight into conspiracy theory in an escapade in 1995. It’s a long story, but the apparent suicide of Vince Foster, a bit player in the Clintons’ Whitewater scandal, led to marginally credible theories that he was actually an NSA operative and a spy for Israel with million-dollar Swiss bank accounts, and was murdered after the CIA got on to him. Davidson dived in to the controversy by financing an examination of Foster’s suicide note by three forensic handwriting experts, which, they said, was a forgery ( "An Independent Forensic Examination Of a Torn Note Allegedly Written by Vincent W. Foster, Jr.", Prepared for Strategic Investment, James Dale Davidson, Editor, 25 October 1995). One suspicion was that Davidson was fanning the flames to help undermine Clinton.

A connection with our next character, James Ulysses Blanchard III, is that a writer for Strategic Investment is Jack Wheeler, of whom more below.

J. Blanchard III is, according to the New Zealand Companies Office record, James Ulysses Blanchard III. James Ulysses Blanchard III (where else but in the U.S.A. would parents call their children such names – and where else would the children use them!) is publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Gold Newsletter, Los Angeles, U.S.A. He writes business commentaries and advice on gold and silver investments – possibly a connection with Mogg (example: "Own a Masterpiece of the Old West in Pure Silver! … An Exclusive Offer … ingenious bonus strategy we’ve developed that will have the U.S. Treasury refund you the entire purchase price of this historic acquisition ...": ref However that is not his most interesting side.

The following comes from Africa News On-Line, 29/1/96 ( and was originally published in Mail and Guardian (Johannesburg), 19/1/96, as "Mozambique: US Millionaire Plans Indian Ocean Dreampark", by Eddie Koch. It is more than a little astounding.

"Johannesburg - "Yo! You and you! Yo!" The big Texan is standing beneath the thudding turbine of a chopper in the middle of the Mozambican bush. He is whooping and yelling and pointing at a group of bewildered peasants who huddle behind a tree to protect themselves from a sandstorm whipped up by the helicopter as it swooped into their settlement.

"Gradually, above the cacophony, the villagers realise the American is telling some of them to "stop fiddle fucking" (a phrase repeated so often it could be called his company's motto), get into the air and take a look at the natural beauty that surrounds them. This is John Perrott, general manager for flamboyant millionaire James Ulysses Blanchard III, and he is bringing his employer's version of rural development to one of the poorest countries in the world.

"The vision of Blanchard Mozambique Enterprises is to create a massive wildlife and tourism mecca stretching from Inhaca Island off Maputo through the staggeringly beautiful Machangulo Peninsula, across the Maputo Elephant Park, where one of Africa's last free-ranging elephant herds lives, and then down to the South African border in the south.

"The Machangulo Peninsula has the world's highest forested dunes which jut, south of the island, into a subtropical sea abounding with coral reefs, dolphins, rays, sharks, marine turtles and endangered dugongs (strange sea mammal which gave rise to the mermaid legend because it has breasts to suckle its young).

"The $800-million masterplan, outlined in a book called the Black Bible by Blanchard's men, includes hovercrafts to ferry jetsetting tourists from Maputo to Inhaca; a Mississippi Steamer which will become a floating hotel and casino off the island; a chain of upmarket lodges on the beaches and inland lakes that dot the pensinsula; a national park that will be supplied with the big five and other animals in the biggest game restocking exercise ever undertaken in human history; scuba diving schools; game fishing expeditions; an aquarium; and a steam train to ferry tourists through this wonderland of wild game and marine life.

"South African consultants have advised Perrott that his dream to import a group of Bushmen from the Kalahari into the Mozambican theme park is likely to discredit the project. So has he given up the idea? ‘Hell no! If I get my way, I'll bring some of them little guys out here. Can you imagine tourists on the steam train looking out of one window and seeing elephants and rhino? Then they'll look out of the other and see the little bastards running around with their loin clothes and poison-tipped arrows ... The way I see it we'll bring them rhino here and save them from going extinct so why not bring the little guys who are also going extinct?’

"It is unlikely that either the Botswana or Mozambique governments will grant permission for Bushmen to be part of the scheme. But the masterplan is being taken seriously by the government in Maputo.

"The biggest obstacle in Perrott's way is that in 1987, at the height of Renamo's civil war, the Frelimo-led government granted South African timber giant Sappi a concession to plant more than 30,000 hectares of land with a plantation of bluegum trees -- in partnership with two Mozambican firms.

"The Maputo government's aim was to bring a big South African business into the area as a bulwark against bands of Renamo rebels, who waged a destructive civil war in the area, with clandestine support from elements in the South African military.

"Little thought was given, at that stage, to the fact that the concession zone is part of an incredibly rich area of plant diversity, known as the Maputaland Centre of Endemism, and that the commercial plantation will destroy botanical species which occur no where else on Earth and also one of the last tropical grasslands left in southern Africa.

"An environmental impact study commissioned by Sappi has recognised that the plantation could have serious negative impacts on the biodiversity and water resources of southern Maputo province and has recommended the planted area be reduced from 32,000 to 21,000 hectares so the bluegums can be kept away from rivers and inland lakes in the area. The study points out that the plantation, which could earn Mozambique some R80-million (about $23-million) a year and create 12,000 new jobs (not all of them full-time), does not prevent other companies from implementing ecotourism programmes in the Elephant Park and on the Machangulo Peninsula.

"But Perrott will have none of this. The Blanchard proposal, he explains, could bring in an investment of $800-million and will create 20,000 jobs in the long run. However, it depends on "critical mass", a realisation of the grand plan, and it cannot have a patch of bluegums in the middle of it.

"So James Ulysses Blanchard III has presented an ultimatum to the Mozambicans. He will not go ahead unless Sappi is out. Perrott's job is to persuade the local population and the media that his boss is right, which is why he is now in the middle of the bush with a chopper and a convoy of four-by-fours conducting an exercise in what the newspaper contingent on the trip dubbed the Texas School of Community Communication.

"While the local chief, his wife and two other volunteers from the village are taking a flip in the helicopter, the Texan begins dishing out colourful T-shirts with a huge map of southern Mozambique on the front proclaiming that the area is now a national park. The logo on the back says – in English even though the villagers speak only Shangaan or Portuguese – ‘Nix to water guzzling bluegums’.

"Women, men and children scramble for the T-shirts while a group of men gather around Perrott and his Mozambican translator. ‘Tell them they gonna have shares in this project,’ says Perrott. ‘The elephants we bring here are gonna belong to them too. Now you tell them that in your best Shingaan (sic).’

"Perrott insists that a democratic approach is vital for conservation to work and that his company will treat the local communities as equal partners. ‘We're gonna put a fence up and make this place a national park and they will be able to choose. We gonna come here and say: "Okay, now you're in a national park. Your village can either get fenced in or you can have them wild animals walking right through your main street".’

"Early in February the Cabinet will meet in Maputo to decide on the bluegum-plantation-versus-ecotheme-park row. The debate has become Mozambique's equivalent of the St Lucia controversy in South Africa and is likely to be the biggest and most complex economic decision the Mozambican government has ever had to make.

"Cabinet members appear divided on the issue. The agriculture ministry favours the plantation because it is ready to proceed and will bring immediate jobs to the depressed area. The environment ministry wants the ecotourism plan because the plantation will cause irreversible damage to Mozambican wildlife while it provides raw materials for the South African paper industry.

"Another source of concern in the Cabinet is that Blanchard – a cold-war warrior from the 1980s with close links to far-right groups in the US – has good friends in Renamo and also the Inkatha Freedom Party in KwaZulu-Natal.

"For the time being though, it appears that opinion in Maputo's government and intellectual circles is swinging Blanchard’s way. The government will insist on a proper land-use plan and assurances that the ecotourism project will not be used to benefit Renamo during the next elections, or link up with seccessionist movements in KwaZulu-Natal. It also plans to set up a group of monitors to ensure that the rhetorical commitment to a partnership with the local landowners is put into practise.

"But it now seems that the man who once bankrolled a rebel army to wage a war of incredible destruction and brutality (the US State Department once described Renamo atrocities as worse than those of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia) is likely to be rewarded with control over a huge chunk of Mozambique's richest province.

"It is just one of the many paradoxes that pervade this poor country. ‘To understand it,’ says one of the officials who works with Perrott on the project, ‘you must realise that Mozambique in the past hasn’t had bulldozers that work. Now we have one that does.’"

The New York Times (22/5/88, "Right-Wing U.S. Coalition Aiding Mozambican Rebels", p.14) reported that

"James U. Blanchard 3d, a Louisiana businessman, said he started providing assistance to Renamo in 1986 by purchasing medical supplies and radios for the rebel group. He said he contributes $3,000 a month to advance the guerilla group’s interests. For example, he said, he helps pay for the Washington operations of the Mozambique Research Center and provides cash payments to prominent Mozambican refugees sympathetic to Renamo.

"Mr Blanchard estimated that he had given a total of $50,000 to $75,000 to aid Renamo in the last two years."

The same article reported that the State Department had issued a report the previous month

"asserting that ‘100,000 civilians may have been murdered’ as a result of widespread violence and brutality by the rebel group [Renamo]. Victims were beaten, mutilated, starved, shot, stabbed or burned to death, the report said."

Renamo was heavily supported by the South African apartheid government. It was a terrorist group in the truest sense of the word.

Also mentioned in the same New York Times article is Jack Wheeler, director of the "Freedom Research Foundation" in La Jolla, California, and a writer for Davidson’s Strategic Investment. He is said to consider himself one of the fathers of the "Reagan Doctrine" which amounted to supporting anyone who opposed any friend of the Soviet Union. He

"visited the guerillas in Mozambique for two weeks in June 1985. When he got back, he urged Lieutenant Colonel Oliver L. North to use his influence to help Renamo. Colonel North, who was then on the staff of the National Security Council, turned aside the request. ‘Ollie was very sympathetic, but felt he had to concentrate his efforts on Central America,’ said Mr Wheeler, whose foundation studies anti-Soviet insurgents around the world."

Blanchard is a supporter of the extreme right Libertarians in the U.S.A. He was on the campaign committee of the Libertarian Party’s U.S. Presidential candidate in 1996, Harry Browne (listed on the now disbanded but archived web site He is also an "advisor" to the Washington-based "Free Africa Foundation" (

"Africa is a continent in crises: famine, civil wars, AIDS, environmental degradation, economic disintegration, political tyranny, social destitution, and state-sponsored terrorism… The situation remains bleak despite noble efforts by multilateral lending institutions (World Bank, IMF, and UNDP) and Western donor governments to reverse Africa's economic atrophy… [The] solutions entail returning to Africa's roots and building upon its own indigenous institutions of participatory democracy based upon consensus, open borders (free movement of goods and people), freedom of expression, free trade and free markets."

The New Zealand Companies Office identifies M. Baybak as Michael Baybak of La Canada, California, U.S.A. He appears to own his shares through Star Financial Ltd of Hamilton, Bermuda. There are only two Baybaks in the entire on-line telephone directories of the U.S.A.: Michael Baybak of Clearwater, Florida; and Michael Baybak of La Canada, California. Standard and Poor’s Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives 1995 (Volume 1, p.205) lists a Michael Baybak as Chairman of Athena Gold Corporation of Reno, Nevada (famed for casinos and quick divorces, just across the border from California). This is where things get interesting.

In its 6/5/91 issue, Time published a story (p.46 of the Pacific edition) entitled "Mining Money in Vancouver", by Richard Behar, highly critical of a California businessman, Michael Baybak and his business practices ( Unsurprisingly, this item led to Baybak suing Time. The out-of-court settlement was scarcely a victory for him. It was resolved by Time agreeing to publish a brief statement which appeared in the 11/11/96 edition of Time (p.8 of the South Pacific edition). Its crucial sentence said "Time’s report on Mr. Baybak, a member of the Church, was not intended to suggest that Mr. Baybak was a ‘front’ for the Church of Scientology or that his actions were in violation of any law or regulation". Time would not comment as to whether any money changed hands, but said it was "very happy with the settlement". (Ref:

George Cross News Letter, Vancouver, no.193 (1996), 30/10/95, in reference to Minefinders Corporation Ltd, reports: "Minefinders has engaged National Media Associates (NMA), of Los Angeles, California, to provide investor relations services for an initial term of one year, effective immediately. Under this agreement, NMA, a company controlled by Michael Baybak, will be paid a fee of US$5,000 per month plus approved disbursements." (

In its Insider Trading Report for the period ending 24/5/96, the British Columbia Securities Commission included trading by a Michael Baybak with regard to International Avino Mines Ltd on 23/5/96 (

A Michael Baybak also appears on the Finance Committee of the Committee for the Nomination of Harry Browne as the Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. President in 1996 (the now disbanded but archived web site

Both this and the gold interests (if all these Michael Baybaks are the same person) make a connection with Blanchard plausible.

Intriguingly, in the files the OIC released to CAFCA almost all details relating to Wharekauhau shareholder Michael Baybak have been blacked out. He may of course be an entirely different person from the above, but his penchant for secrecy is interesting.

Again, according to the New Zealand Companies Office, A. Miller is Andrew Scott Miller of Denver, Colorado, U.S.A., whose shareholding is via Wharekauhau Ltd of the same Colorado address. Miller is an active participant in this deal. For example, he acted as trustee for the purchasing companies before they were formally formed. The OIC file names Sevo as John Sevo. Judging by the shareholdings, Sevo and Miller jointly own the Colorado company Wharekauhau Ltd. According to the OIC file, the two "own and operate the largest real estate firm in Denver Colorado, Sevo Miller Inc. The business owns and operates 15,000 apartments and 38 shopping centres across America."

This may be only the beginning for the above investors. The OIC file notes that

"the investors or their associates … are expected to make other investments in New Zealand. [several words deleted] Investment projects in property development, hotel/resort development, forestry, dairy and vineyards are being researched."

These contacts will be useful for the lodge’s business. In June 1996 when the lodge expanded by a further 563 hectares (see the OIC decisions for that month), the reason for the new developments was said to be to provide "an exclusive retreat for diplomats and visiting heads of Government; … a corporate retreat/conference centre for the Southern North Island; … a high class tourist facility."

Christchurch Coutts Island golf course development changes ownership

A controversial golf course development proposed by Japanese interests for the Groynes, Coutts Island, outside Christchurch has run into "some financing difficulties" and its financiers are taking over the company, New Zealand Plan International Ltd. The company was owned 50% by the Hirai family of Japan, and 50% by M. Ishizuk of Aotearoa. However "initial purchase and subsequent development costs were financed by" T. and Y. Souma of Japan. The Soumas are willing to put more capital into the venture as long as their "existing interests as lender have been converted to equity." They have lent "in excess of $3 million". The proposal included a "destination golf course resort and associated facilities including tourist accommodation" on 113 hectares of freehold land and 40 hectares of leasehold land which was a "fine wool farm" purchased in September 1992 for $895,000.

At that stage, a New Zealander, Roger B. Sandford, also had a 0.1% holding and acted as spokesman for the company. The company told the OIC in 1992 that "the total estimated expenditure on the project will be approximately $96 million over a ten year period." Sandford told the Press (10/11/92), that

"the development would be for the use of the local community, visitors and tourists... Its main attraction would be an 18-hole golf course of international standard, suitable for professional tournaments... The course would be developed as New Zealand's only lagoons-style course, thanks to the good water supply in the area... The proximity of the site to Christchurch Airport was ideal for helping to attract tourists... To expand the resort theme, a riding school, stables and equestrian facilities, a working farm, jet-boating trips, tennis and squash courts, swimming pools, horse trekking, cycling and walking paths, a spa and gymnasium could be included."

In the meantime it has run into local opposition for environmental reasons. It required a zoning change by the Christchurch City Council, and Canterbury Regional Council concerns that it lay in the Waimakariri River flood plain and required its consent led to appeals to the High Court. The Regional Council consents were granted in March 1995, but City Council rezoning proposals were still opposed by locals and the Airport company. Support for the project came from the golf course designer, Bob Charles, real estate developers ("research had shown that one of the main reasons Japanese enjoyed New Zealand was because it was relatively easy and cheap to play golf" (!)) and the Christchurch Casino. Two hundred submissions were made to City Council hearings in 1993, a third of which opposed the plan, many neighbours worried at the precedent set for "nibbling away" at the green belt. The proposal then was for a four storey 200 bedroom hotel and 30 fairway villas. This was a revision to the original plan which included 40 resort villas, 200 fairway villas and an 80 room three-storey hotel. The 30 fairway villas were each capable of being subdivided and sold with freehold title as permanent residential accommodation, thus raising the possibility of permanent residential accommodation within the green belt. (Ref: Press, 28/9/93, "Charles backs planned golf resort for Chch"; 1/12/93 ,"Groynes resort submissions pour in"; 2/12/93, "Approval for golf resort ‘necessary for tourism’"; 8/3/94, "Belfast residents upset by Groynes ‘precedent’"; 27/3/95, "Granting of consents brings Groynes golf resort closer", p.4.)

However the public story regarding the financing of the developments was quite different from what the OIC has approved. According to Justin Prain, a spokesman for a consortium of local investors, Canterbury Golf International Ltd, they were going to take over the now "$120 million" development. They had "offered to form a joint venture with the Japanese developers but the Japanese decided last month to sell their interests in the project." The details of the project would be unchanged. "While Japanese tourists would be the target market, the company planned to attract local people as well." The arguments for local body consents were still continuing. (Press, "Chch takes over resort plan", 23/12/95, p.2.)

Other rural land sales

  • A resident of the United Arab Emirates has consent to acquire 98 hectares of land at Rawene, Northland for $292,500 from Radiata Holdings Ltd which will "manage the planting programme and ongoing forestry management programme".
  • Three Australians have approval to buy four hectares of land at Maungatapere, Northland to farm ostriches. The ownership is via a company, Ocean View Ostrich Farms (NZ) Ltd and $285,000 is being paid for the land. "The Commission is advised that the applicants who all have extensive experience in ostrich farming propose to establish an ostrich rearing operation on the property … J. E. Hearn intends to move to New Zealand to oversee the operation." The other two individuals are M. M. Hearn and P. J. Rogerson.
  • Maltese Cat Ltd, which is owned by I. and L. McLean from Singapore (25%), C. MacLean from Singapore (25%) and C. McLean and C. McLeod from Aotearoa (50%), is buying 4.42 hectares of land at Clevedon, Auckland for $109,000 to add to 15.6585 hectares they bought in 1993 to raise polo ponies for export. The four hectares adjoin the original land and they entered into an option to buy the extra land at the time of purchase. The OIC asserts that Maltese Cat received consent to acquire the land in May 1993. However, that is not quite accurate: the consent was for Mr I.A. and Mrs L.M. McLean, described as U.K. citizens resident in Singapore, to buy a 40 per cent share of two companies owning two pieces of rural land in Clevedon. The first, Colmere Investments Ltd, owned 15.6585 hectares of land in Tourist Road, Clevedon; 40 per cent was being sold for $430,000. The second, Bardsleigh Properties Ltd, owned 4.049 hectares of land on McNicol Road, Clevedon; the 40 per cent there was sold for $325,000.
  • Carter Holt Harvey Ltd, 51% owned by International Paper Products of the U.S.A., is buying further land at Owhango in the King Country (Wellington). This time it is 370 hectares for $620,000. It is also buying 427 hectares at an unnamed locality in the King Country for $770,000.
  • Wattie Frozen Foods Ltd, subsidiary of H.J. Heinz of the U.S.A., is buying 23 hectares of land at Feilding from the Manawatu District Council to enable it to expand its food processing plant. The price as initially released was "to be advised", but in May 1996 was advised as $314,000.
  • A German couple, M. and A. Brueck, have consent to acquire "approximately" 27 hectares of land on the Coromandel Peninsula for $200,000, of which seven hectares is covered in regenerating bush and protected by a QEII covenant (a legal protection entered into with the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust). "The Brueck’s propose to undertake an eco-sensitive development of the property which will complement" the QEII covenant-protected land. "In this regard it is proposed to plant the area surrounding the covenanted area with native trees. The Commission is also advised that in the longer term a eco-tourism operation may be established on the property."
  • CDL has retrospective consent to acquire 16 hectares of land belonging to Oteki Farms Ltd at Welcome Bay, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty for $775,000 for "immediate subdivision into residential lots". The subdivision will occur over four years and "will provide residential sections in areas where currently sections are at a premium". "The need for retrospective consent is required [sic] as the Commission’s consent was overlooked at the time of acquisition. The consent of both the Ministers of Land and Finance under the LSP Act was previously obtained prior to the purchase." It is not stated when the unapproved purchase took place. The company carrying out the purchase is CDL Land New Zealand Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of CDL Investments Ltd, which is 57.36% owned by CDL Hotels New Zealand Ltd. In turn, CDL Hotels New Zealand is owned 69% by CDL Hotels International Ltd which is 51% controlled by the Hong Leong Group of Singapore.
  • The Snoxell Family Trust is selling their 162 hectare Kerikeri, Bay of Plenty, farm to the McLeod Family Trust for $2,100,000. The beneficiaries of the McLeod Family Trust are residents of Aotearoa but the trustee of the trust is currently resident in Australia "but will take up New Zealand residency on the property and manage it".
  • Carter Holt Harvey, 51% owned by International Paper Products of the U.S.A., is also buying further land for forestry in Hawkes Bay, this time 67 hectares at Waipatiki for $112,320.
  • Two Australians who are taking up permanent residency have consent to acquire five hectares of land at Napier, Hawkes Bay for "lifestyle" purposes.
  • Two Hong Kong residents who "will be taking up New Zealand residency in the near future" have consent to acquire Big Impact Ltd which owns four hectares of land at Motueka, Nelson. The price is $330,000 for the land. They propose residing on the property and to establish a marketing and consultancy business from it.
  • A Hong Kong resident, Mr H. Barkell-Schmitz, has consent to acquire 30 hectares of land in North Canterbury for $65,000 via the holding company Lichfield Nominees No. 49 Ltd. He is seeking permanent residency and

"wishes to acquire the property to erect a residence for his own use and to develop a tourist lodge on the property. It is also proposed to plant forestry on about half the land. The Commission is further advised that the lodge would cater for approximately 30 guests and that Mr Barkell-Schmitz intends to target South East Asia tourists utilising his existing business contacts in the region. The Commission is also advised that the land is part of a larger former farming property which has been progressively subdivided for development into rural residential blocks."

  • Ernslaw One Ltd, the forestry company owned by the Tiong family of Malaysia, has consent to acquire 15 hectares of land at Roxburgh, Otago for $240,000 which they intend to develop into a nursery for Douglas fir seedlings. They had commissioned the Forest Research Institute to find a suitable area for the nursery.
  • The J.T. Wasserburger Family Trust, the sole trustee of which is J. Wasserburger of the U.S.A., is taking a 50% share in Jagar Investments New Zealand Ltd which owns ten hectares of land at Wanaka, Otago. The other 50% is owned by J. T. and T. J. Fraser, friends of J. Wasserburger but of unknown origin, and the share is being sold for $275,000. The trust lent money to Jagar to purchase the property.
  • In a partially suppressed decision, an unrevealed person from the U.S.A. has consent to acquire 11.1 hectares of land in Otago for "lifestyle" purposes. The holding company for the land is Kordel Holdings Ltd.

Internal restructurings

  • The ownership of Canterbury Meat Packers Ltd, which is the company set up to take over the Seafield assets of the bankrupt Fortex meat processing and export company, is being reorganised. It will be directly owned 80% by Asian New Zealand Meat Company Ltd (ANZCO) of Japan. Formerly it was 30% owned by ANZCO and 50% by a subsidiary, Five Star Beef Holdings Ltd. The latter 50% is being transferred to ANZCO for $9,000,000. The other 20% is owned by Phoenix Meat Company Ltd. Canterbury Meat Packers owns 594 hectares of land in Canterbury.

Interestingly, this ownership is different from what the OIC last approved, which was 50/50 Phoenix/Five Star (see January 1995 and September 1994). We queried this with the OIC which replied that ANZCO acquired the further 30% from Phoenix in "early 1995".

"Consent for this acquisition under the Overseas Investment Regulations 1985 was not required as ANZCO was exempted from the provisions of the regulations by the Overseas Investment Exemption Notice 1992 No. 1. This exemption related to Brierley Investments Ltd and all companies that were overseas persons but would not be if Brierley Investments Ltd was not an overseas person. One of these persons was ANZCO."

ANZCO is owned 13% by Itoham Food Inc of Japan, 20.45% by Huttons Kiwi Ltd, 10.09% by various employees of ANZCO, and 56.46% by Janz Investments Ltd. Janz is owned 53.25% by Itoham Foods, 17.75% by Nippon Suisan Kaisha of Japan, 17.75% by Romney No 19 of Aotearoa, and 11.25% by various employees of ANZCO. For further details of these companies, see our analyses of the OIC’s September 1994, January and October 1995 decisions.

  • Bell Canada is reallocating its shareholding in Clear Communications Ltd. Formerly BCE Inc (Bell Canada) held its 25% shareholding through subsidiary Bell Canada International (NZ) Ltd. That is now going to be held through BCE subsidiary 3018105 Canada Inc. The price is suppressed.
  • In a decision initially almost completely suppressed, Countrywide Banking Corporation Ltd of the U.K. is moving the ownership of Victoria Park Market, Auckland from one subsidiary, Victoria Park Market Ltd to another, Newco at a $0 valuation. "The restructuring is being undertaken to enable the on-sale of the property to a third party being REIT Management Ltd." The decision was released on appeal in May 1996.
  • Members of the Mallinckrodt group (U.S.A.) are being reorganised. Mallinckrodt Veterinary Ltd is issuing shares to Mallinckrodt Veterinary Holdings Ltd and Mallinckrodt Veterinary International Inc for $76,390.
  • SEABIL (NZ) Ltd, which is "approximately" 60% owned by SEA Holdings Ltd of Hong Kong (and is in the process of merging with Tasman Properties Ltd), is moving the ownership of a number of Auckland subsidiaries from SEABIL (NZ) to another subsidiary, Trinidad Holdings Ltd for $21,359,376. They are:

Kenwigs Investments Ltd
Dargai Properties Ltd
Glaive Properties Ltd
Gorget Properties Ltd
Sallet Properties Ltd
Thersites Properties Ltd

UDC Finance Ltd, a subsidiary of ANZ Banking Group (New Zealand) Ltd, is acquiring all the redeemable preference shares in UDC Leasing Ltd, another ANZ subsidiary, for $18,280,966.