Sunday June 24, 2018   Last updated 02:03AM
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Otakiri Springs sale approved
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A Chinese-owned company has won consent to buy Otakiri Springs near Whakatane.

Cresswell NZ Ltd intends to expand an existing water bottling plant on the site and add two new bottling lines.

Cresswell is owned by Nongfu Spring Ltd, one of China’s leading bottled water suppliers.

Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage, who signed off on the consent along with Associate Finance Minister David Clark, says the number of jobs at the plant will go from eight to 60 over the next four years.

If those jobs don’t eventuate, the Overseas Investment Office can take enforcement action including requiring the company to sell the investment.

The purchase of the land and bottling plant at Otakiri Springs is conditional on the company getting the water takes and other resource consents it needs from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and the Whakatane District Council.

Ms Sage says the company indicated it would be willing to pay any water royalties that may be imposed in future if the law is changed.

The project has split tangata whenua, with some opposing expansion and the neighbouring Kokohinau Papakainga Trust saying the increase in jobs offsets the potential environmental effects.

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