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Post Info TOPIC: Shania linked to New Zealand land deal


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Shania linked to New Zealand land deal


Shania Twain linked to deal

By BEN HEATHER - The Southland Times

A company linked to country singer Shania Twain has bought a prime 8579 hectare Crown lease near Queenstown, adding to its already considerable high-country holdings in the area.

An Overseas Investment Office report released this week, shows Soho Property Ltd bought the Glencoe Station Crown lease last month from Queenstown property developer John Darby.

In 2004, Twain and her then husband, record producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange, bought 33-year leases for Motatapu and Mt Soho stations, acquiring 25,000ha of scenic high-country land.

The couple split in 2008 and it is unknown how the ownership of their New Zealand property was divided.

Soho Property has now acquired Glencoe Station, expanding on the massive high-country holdings between Arrowtown and Wanaka.

The report says the acquisition would make Soho Property's existing farming operations more economically viable, and replace cattle with less environmentally destructive merino sheep.

In 2004, the couple gifted a 29 kilometre easement of track across Motatapu, and huts, to New Zealand's 2100km Te Araroa walking trail.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/business/3287053/Shania-Twain-linked-to-deal



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I thought another similar article came thru saying Mutt was the one linked to the new deal??

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PurplePeopleEater wrote:

I thought another similar article came thru saying Mutt was the one linked to the new deal??



Yeah i read that to,i can't remember the acres but it was a lot.I also thought the people in New Zealand had a problem with foreigner's buying up all the land.

 



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Here's the article from 12/19/09 I pulled from the Shania-Mutt Split thread. Maybe Mutt is the owner of the company, Soho Property, in the article above.

Twain's ex buys more South Island land

Canadian singer Shania Twain's estranged husband is reported to have spent millions buying more prime South Island high country land.

Twain and husband, music producer Mutt Lange, paid $21.4 million to buy Motatapu and Mt Soho Stations near Wanaka five years ago but the marriage has since collapsed

The Herald on Sunday reported Lange has bought 8500ha of adjoining Glencoe Station – it has a capital value of $5.4 million.

The seller, Queenstown developer John Darby, told Mountain Scene newspaper the sale had gone unconditional after Overseas Investment Commission approval.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3179602/Twains-ex-buys-more-South-Island-land



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These are 99 year leases - far different from buying the land in perpetuity,

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Allowing Shania Twain To Buy High Country Station

Just What Are The Benefits To NZ Of Allowing Shania Twain To Buy High Country Stations?

Helen Clark is currently back in the country to bask in the glow of the warm fuzzies. So it’s very timely to look critically at the continued purchase of South Island high country stations by companies linked to Canadian singer, Shania Twain, who was the poster girl of the Clark government’s policy on major land sales to foreigners. The 2005 purchase of the 25,000 ha Mototapu and Mt Soho stations by companies linked to Ms Twain and her then husband were hailed by politicians and the media as signalling a new “smart, win win” approach to the controversial subject of foreigners buying up great chunks of prime NZ land. Clark made sure that she got extensive media coverage when she attended the opening of the walking track through those stations.

This month a company linked to Shania Twain has been given Overseas Investment Office approval to buy the 8,579 ha Glencoe Station, which is near the other two stations, in Otago.

But an examination of the accounts of the Mototapu and Mt Solo Stations (“Lean earnings from Twain’s high country playground”, NBR NZ Property Investor, 16/2/10) reveals that they have been consistently running at a loss since their purchase. In the case of Soho: “It has built up $8.4 million in tax losses that may be applied against future earnings” plus “liabilities are $61 million, resulting in negative equity of $8.8 million”.

Tax losses don’t feature anywhere in the “substantial and identifiable benefit to New Zealand” that the Overseas Investment Office (and politicians and media) trumpeted in relation to these purchases. Tax losses on investment properties are a subject of major public discussion at present and the target of some of the most high profile recommendations of the Tax Working Group’s recent report on tax reform.

But we weren’t told, in 2005 or this year, that there was any suggestion that these high country station purchases were investment properties for tax loss purposes. Because where is the “substantial and identifiable benefit to New Zealand” in that? Let’s see if these properties continue to remain in their current ownership when, and if, the Government does actually toughen the law relating to tax losses on investment properties, even 25,000 ha ones.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1002/S00242.htm



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Feds defend high-country big investors

By SONIA GERKEN - The Southland Times

Last updated 05:00 23/02/2010

Federated Farmers New Zealand president Don Nicholson has defended the sale of high-country land to overseas investors despite stations owned by Canadian singer Shania Twain raking up millions in tax losses.

With a company linked to Twain receiving approval from the Overseas Investment Office late last year to buy Glencoe Station, the performance of her existing two properties has come under scrutiny.

Both Motatapu and Mt Soho stations have reportedly run at a loss since Twain and her then husband bought them in 2005.

Mt Soho has built up $8.4 million in tax losses that may be applied against future earnings, plus liabilities of $61m, resulting in negative equity of $8.8m.

Mr Nicholson said he was shocked by this. However, he did not believe the tax losses were a cause for concern, suspecting they were the result of massive reinvestment in the properties.

Neither station would be making huge amounts from the sale of produce, Mr Nicholson said.

He had yet to hear anyone put up a good enough argument to stop foreign investment in New Zealand properties.

They could not take the land away, they employed New Zealanders and paid taxes and GST, Mr Nicholson said.

Lincoln University senior lecturer Dr Ann Brower, a high-country lease expert, said for Twain to be able to write off tax losses against what was effectively a second home – "I suspect she didn't buy it for revenue from merino wool" – seemed a bit funny.

The vast majority of New Zealanders were unable to use the tax benefits Shania Twain was getting, she said.

"The recent tax review did nothing to plus up those issues therefore did nothing to increase the public benefit of selling Crown land to a country music star."

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3361616/Feds-defend-high-country-big-investors



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If she has a stake in it, she should dump it. She seems to always be in NYC, Canada or the Caribbean.

Me ...jealous?

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Chris Farley wrote:

If she has a stake in it, she should dump it. She seems to always be in NYC, Canada or the Caribbean.

Me ...jealous?




.....or Switzerland...smile



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Debate Continues Over Foreign Ownership in New Zealand
Published: April 8, 2010

WELLINGTON — The benefits of foreign property ownership are being debated again after a left-wing lobby group said Shania Twain’s purchases on the South Island had done little, if anything, for the country.

In the last five years, the Canadian superstar singer and her husband have bought several large parcels of high-country farmland. Now, figures have emerged showing that the operations are running at a loss and, therefore, will not pay taxes until they start earning profits.

“We weren’t told in 2005 or this year that there was any suggestion that these high-country station purchases were investment properties for tax-loss purposes,” said Murray Horton, secretary and organizer of the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa. Aotearoa is the Maori name for New Zealand.

When the couple paid 21.4 million New Zealand dollars, or $15.6 million at the time, for the first parcel of 17,000 hectares, or more than 42,000 acres, the government’s Overseas Investment Office said the purchase would result in a substantial and identifiable benefit to New Zealand, he added.

Mr. Horton said records showed 8.4 million dollars are owed in taxes and the couple’s land-holding company had 61 million dollars in liabilities, creating a negative equity of 8.8 million dollars.

Foreigners are allowed to buy land, but they must obtain government permission for purchases worth more than 100 million dollars or for special properties like waterfront land. Permission hinges on being able to promise economic benefits, like job growth or an intention to improve the investment.

The purchase by Ms. Twain and her now-estranged husband, the music producer Mutt Lange, was controversial from the start because of the land’s location and farmland status. Also, buyers must live in New Zealand but, at the time, the couple was living in Switzerland.

Then Ms. Twain proposed building a large home, an idea that the local authority rejected as not being in harmony with the surroundings. Eventually, the couple received permission for the purchase in exchange for building a 29-kilometer, or 18-mile, trail, the Motatapu Track.

In December, Mr. Lange bought an additional 8,500 hectares from an adjoining farm, estimated to be worth about 5.4 million dollars.

Rules controlling land purchases by interests based overseas have been debated here several times. While the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa has not been successful in changing laws, its criticisms have drawn national attention in the media.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/09/greathomesanddestinations/09iht-reshania.html



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A pretty good bad day
By Neil Waugh
December 4, 2010

WANAKA, New Zealand — The Crown Range Road winds forever upward through the old gold diggings along the little Cardrona River, then plunges down the other side toward Arrowtown and Queenstown beyond.

Where it reaches a bench and flattens out for a spell, you’re at Shania Twain’s ranch. Except in New Zealand they call a spread like this a “station.”

It’s quite a place.

When little Ellie Twain from Timmins sang “that don’t impress me much” she sure wasn’t thinking about the Motatapu and Mount Solo stations which, along with the Glencoe lease, amounts to 65,000 acres and stretches all the way back to Lake Wanaka.

There’s a $12 million house with outlying guest cottages on a ridge plus a hiking (the Kiwi’s call it “tramping”) trail that runs from Arrowtown to Wanaka, which was part of the deal that allowed Shania and her former man Mutt Lange to bend New Zealand’s foreign ownership laws and acquire the pastoral lease.

A government guy called it a “win-win decision” when the Langes got the thumbs up.

When the former New Zealand prime minister showed up to open the trail Shania admitted she still hadn’t walked all the way across her property. But she was working on it.

Of course that was all before Shania had her song question “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” answered and Mutt lived up to his name. The complex divorce settlement was finalized in June.

They say Shania’s private jet hasn’t been spotted at the Queenstown airport much lately and the future of the station appears to be up in the air.

She’s not the only one with problems.

I’m riding in the converted Ford F-150 of my Kiwi cousin Lynette’s husband Rob — which sticks out like a sore thumb among all the Toyota SUVs — and heading to his buddy Phil’s place to shoot skeet, for no other reason than to take my mind off the Makarora.

The book on the Motatapu River, which drains Shania’s ranch, is that there aren’t a lot of fish around and those few that are present are “tricky” to catch, owing to the crystal clear water and willow-lined banks.

The Makarora, which enters Lake Wanaka from the north, is a better prospect.

Or so my guide Paul Mcandrew was telling me, as we drove through a pasture and parked his rig by the big blue river that rushes down the Haast Pass, then spreads out in a broad, fertile valley.

You quickly learn that New Zealand trout fishing is unlike most other forms of fly fishing because you spend a lot more time not fishing than you do with a line on the water.

It’s probably closer to spotting big horn rams in the Rockies than to what passes for Alberta trout angling. The exercise factor is also about the same, too. You spend a lot of time hiking along the river bank staring intently at a dancing riffle, hoping that a shadow or a rock or a log will suddenly transmute itself into a rainbow or brown trout as long as your arm.

This business takes a lot of imagination and perseverance.

The previous evening Rob and I fished the Lake Wanaka outlet, where the mighty Clutha River begins its big push to the Pacific. For once on my Southern Hemisphere sojourn, I felt right at home.

A good hatch of caddis were peppering the Clutha’s surface exactly the same way they do on many Alberta trout streams on any given night in August.

But just as sometimes happens on the Eastern Slopes, the Kiwi rainbows couldn’t give a darn. Occasionally a fish would rise. Then just as quickly it would either stop or dutifully ignore the clipped Deer Hair Sedge that Rob dug from his box.

When it was too dark to tie on a fly we went back to Lynette and Rob’s place to barbecue lamb chops and drink the local pinot noir. So it wasn’t a total bust.

I triedto keep up with Paul Mcandrew as he tramped along the Makarora River bank.

The day previous Paul had a client on a high-altitude river called the Nevis, where they spotted six fish and landed two. He showed me some cell phone pictures of the hook-jawed hogs, then casually added: “we probably walked 10 km for those two fish.”

There were other factors on the Makarora that weren’t in our favor. The wind that was gusting down the valley made up-stream casting an exercise in character building. And the clouds, which in Alberta are a good thing, are a definite detriment to trout fishing in New Zealand.

So the original plan got altered and Paul drove higher up the valley where a bluff offered some shelter, then led me down three prime pools, where previously several fish had taken up residence but which now appeared to be empty.

Just to be on the optimistic side Paul had me blind cast up a rocky run with a depth-charged Hare’s Ear nymph under a strike indicator. Nothing.Then we crossed and fished the other side while the guide kept watch from a high cutbank. Same result.

We tried a couple more places before heading up a little trib that has a couple of nice pools where it spills out of a wedge in the rocks. Paul has always seen two or three big fish holding in the past.

But not now.

Or as Shania would say:

Honey I’m home and I’ve had a bad day/ Pour me a cold one and by the way.

http://www.edmontonsun.com/life/columnists/2010/12/03/16419146.html



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Man that about wore me out!

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Looks like old Mutt is buying MORE land.

$5m land bid from Shania Twain's ex-husband

By Joanne Carroll
7:30 AM Sunday Feb 6, 2011

Shania Twain's estranged husband is set to spend millions on more prime South Island high country land.

Twain and music producer Mutt Lange paid $21.4 million for Motatapu and Mt Soho Stations near Wanaka seven years ago. Their marriage collapsed in 2008 after 14 years.

Now Lange is eyeing up the adjacent 22,395ha Coronet Peak Station, which has a capital value of $5.2 million. Russell Hamilton, who supervises Lange's existing 33,000ha property portfolio, said Lange's company Soho Properties had applied to the Overseas Investment Office to buy more land.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10704399



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Mutt is probably going to go hide there when her book comes out

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twainee wrote:

Mutt is probably going to go hide there when her book comes out




Good one!  biggrin



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hahahahahahaha!
Where is mutt??
Yes, he should hide, Shania sure will talk about! ...
Let's see who has to tell!


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Shania’s ex-husband is on song with local wilding pine crusaders



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***Note the last two sentences.

Pop producer's eco efforts endorsed

Millionaire record producer Mutt Lange - former husband of pop star Shania Twain - is being hailed an eco-hero as his Soho Property Ltd looks to buy Coronet Peak Station.

The reclusive Switzerland-based producer is a shareholder in the group, which has applied to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) to buy the 22,000ha station owned by Irish billionaire Eamon Cleary.

Peter Willsman, of the Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group (WCG), said the station was "heavily infested in parts" with both wilding pines and goats.

Lange's "impeccable record" at conserving Soho's other holdings, Motatapu, Mt Soho and Glencoe stations near Wanaka, would make the purchase beneficial to the community and the country.

If the OIO approved, he said, the sale would go out for public consultation and the WCG would then add a clause into the sale agreement for invasive conifer control - which was estimated to cost Soho between $800,000 and $900,000.

"It's Mutt's desire to see tussock, beech and the natural flora and fauna of our back country preserved."

Twain and Lange bought Motatapu Station (16,830ha) and Mt Soho (7901ha), for $21.4 million in 2004.

It is not known how assets were split after the couple divorced in 2008.

http://www.odt.co.nz/your-town/queenstown/148038/pop-producers-eco-efforts-endorsed



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Was Earthquake in New Zealand near Shania's property? How awful they are saying 300 now missing

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twainee wrote:

Was Earthquake in New Zealand near Shania's property? How awful they are saying 300 now missing



It looks like Wanaka is 200 or so miles SW of Christchurch.


 



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Thanks Tommy

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Coronet station a done deal?

By James Beech on Sat, 2 Jul 2011

A company believed to be connected with millionaire record producer Mutt Lange, the former husband of singer Shania Twain, has been cleared to buy Coronet Peak Station, near Queenstown.

Soho Property Ltd hoped to conclude the deal "in the not too distant future", after entering into the agreement last year, lawyer Willy Sussman, of Bell Gully, in Auckland, said yesterday.

The agreement involved the leasehold interest in the 22,200ha station. The company also owned leasehold interests in Motatapu Station (24,731ha), Mt Soho Station (7900ha) and Glencoe Station (8579ha) near Wanaka).

Twain and Lange bought Motatapu and Mt Soho for a reported $21.5 million in 2004.

Consent had been granted to Soho Property to acquire Coronet Peak Station pastoral lease, Land Information New Zealand spokeswoman Victoria Dew, of Wellington, said yesterday.

"The consent was granted on June 29 as ministers were satisfied the criteria in section 16 of the Overseas Investment Act 2005 was met," she said.

Mr Sussman said Soho Property intended to replicate the high level of environmental improvement and management it applied to its other land interests.

Asked why the company was going to the time, trouble and expense, Mr Sussman said it was due to "a strong sense of the importance of the land to New Zealand, a strong culture of sustainable farming and a requirement imposed by the Overseas Investment Office".

Stacey Smith, of the United States, and Thomas Stienmann, of Switzerland, are listed as directors of Soho Property.

http://www.odt.co.nz/news/queenstown-lakes/167426/coronet-station-done-deal



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Lange set to expand Lakes holdings

JOHN EDENS
07/19/2011

International music producer Robert "Mutt" Lange is thought to be close to completing a deal to expand an eco-empire near Queenstown by 20,000 hectares.

Lange and top-selling singer Shania Twain, who separated in 2008, bought Motatapu Station and Mt Soho Station in 2005.

In 2009, Lange bought Glencoe Station.

Last month, the Overseas Investment Office granted approval for Soho Property to invest in Coronet Peak Station.

Auckland-based lawyer Willy Sussman said the sale of Coronet Peak Station pastoral lease to Soho Property was imminent.

The company was committed to sustainable farming and the environmental obligations imposed by the Overseas Investment Office, he said.

"There's a serious amount of work that has to go into bettering the property, which has been seriously degraded by animals and plants. I doubt very much whether there are any other farms that are going to the effort Soho Property is," Mr Sussman said.

He said it was inappropriate to comment when asked whether Mr Lange, a Soho Property shareholder, was behind the deal.

The investment decision said the station was mountainous with moderate pastoral value.

"It is seriously degraded ... has a serious feral goat problem, and has significant problems in relation to wilding trees and other unwanted plant species."

Soho plans to farm 4000 merino sheep and extend a pest and noxious plant programme.

The risk of reinfestation was minimal because of the natural boundary formed by the Shotover River, the decision said.

Soho holds pastoral leases on neighbouring Glencoe, Mt Soho and Motatapu Stations, where Lange was responsible for extensive wilding pine eradication.

Coronet Peak Station is west of these tracts with the Shotover River as its western-most boundary.

Soho directors are listed as Stacey Smith, of the US, and Thomas Steinmann, of Switzerland. Coronet Peak Station is owned by Malta-based billionaire Eamon Cleary.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/5304278/Lange-set-to-expand-Lakes-holdings



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Twain ex hubby's loss making company buys Coronet

The Overseas Investment Office has confirmed a recent NBR report about the sale of Coronet Peak Station to a company owned by Mutt Lange, the former husband of Shania Twain.

Soho Property has been given the go ahead to buy the Crown pastoral lease over the 22,200ha station at 1127 Skippers Rd, Queenstown. The company also owns leasehold interests in neighboring Motatapu Station (24,731ha), Mt Soho Station (7900ha) and Glencoe Station (8579ha) near Wanaka). Ms Twain and Mr Lange bought Motatapu and Mt Soho for a reported $21.5 million in 2004.

The latest deal delivers control over several kilometres of the boundary of the Shotover River, a prime fishing river.

The Overseas Investment Office states that Coronet Peak Station has moderate pastoral value with a serious feral goat problem, and has significant problems in relation to wilding trees and other unwanted plant species.

“The applicant intends to continue to use Coronet Peak Station primarily for general farming. Merino sheep will be farmed on areas identified as having sustainable farming value and those areas will be developed in line with the applicant's practices on its existing farming operations. The Applicant expects to be able to carry 4000 sheep.

“The applicant also wishes to capitalise on eco and adventure tourism opportunities which go hand in hand with the extensive conservation work already undertaken by the applicant on its existing farming operations at Glencoe, Mt Soho and Motatapu Stations."

However the Gibralter-incorporated Soho Property appears to be run as a loss making entity which now has $12.3 million in tax losses. In the year to June 2010 Soho Property lost $3.3 million and in recent years has posted losses of around $2 million. Earnings from wool and other agricultural activities gleaned $570,309 but were outweighed by expenses including depreciation ($1.4 million).

The rateable value of the property in mid-2008 was $5.5 million.

http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/twain-ex-hubbys-loss-making-company-buys-coronet-ch-98085



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Superstar's ex-husband boosts his southern holdings

By Anne Gibson 

5:30 AM Saturday Jul 30, 2011

Country superstar Shania Twain's ex- husband has bought Queenstown's Coronet Peak Station, adding a fourth property to give him a vast 55,406ha South Island high country holding.

Music producer Robert "Mutt" Lange's Soho Property already controls 33,195ha of Crown pastoral leases at Glencoe Station, Mt Soho Station and Motatapu Station.

But now the Overseas Investment Office has given approval for him to take the Crown pastoral lease purchase on the 22,211ha Coronet Peak Station.

Lange is a Zambian-born British record producer and songwriter. He and Twain split in 2008 and she later wrote a book telling how she put her "heart, soul and dreams" into her New Zealand home - while her husband of 14 years was having an affair with his secretary Marie-Anne Thiebaud. Twain ended up marrying Thiebaud's former husband Frederic.

Twain and Lange made international headlines when they bought Motatapu and Mt Soho high country stations, between Arrowtown and Wanaka, six years ago for $21.4 million.

Two years ago, Lange bought Glencoe Station for a secret amount.

The Coronet Peak Station lease was sold by Malta-based Irishman Eamon Cleary, who also owns several Queenstown and Arrowtown commercial buildings, but the amount paid to him is being kept a secret.

Cleary appeared on this week's NBR RichList as New Zealand's fourth richest man, with $2 billion.

Murray Horton of the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa criticised Lange's purchase.

"You know CAFCA's views about rich foreigners buying New Zealand rural land. There don't seem to be any poor ones doing it. How about a soundbite saying that NZ has got enough mutts of its own without importing any more from overseas?" Horton said.

The Overseas Investment Office said the station's sale to Lange would benefit New Zealand.

"Coronet Peak Station is steep and mountainous and, despite its large size, has little low country with even moderate pastoral value," it said in its approval.

"It is also seriously degraded, has a serious feral goat problem, and has significant problems in relation to wilding trees and other unwanted plant species.

"The applicant intends to continue to use Coronet Peak Station primarily for general farming. Merino sheep will be farmed on areas identified as having sustainable farming value and those areas will be developed in line with the applicant's practices on its existing farming operations. The applicant expects to be able to carry 4000 sheep.

"The applicant proposes to extend its pest and noxious plant eradication programme to Coronet Peak Station.

"Acquiring Coronet Peak Station presents a unique opportunity to minimise the risk of reinfestation by plant and animal pests through the acquisition of the significant natural boundary offered by the Shotover River.

"The applicant also wishes to capitalise on eco- and adventure tourism opportunities which go hand in hand with the extensive conservation work already undertaken by the applicant on its existing farming operations at Glencoe, Mt Soho and Motatapu Stations."

Approvals have been granted for foreigners to buy New Zealand assets valued at $3 billion in the first seven months of this year, up on the $962 million approved at this time last year.

Eleven applications were approved last month, bringing the total for the year to 71, up on 42 approvals by this time last year.

The largest net investment made this year is Canadian Helicopters' purchase of Helicopters (NZ) from South Canterbury Finance, a $160 million deal approved last month.

Consent involving foreigners has been granted for 87,137ha of land to change hands this year, up on 82,503ha at this time last year.

Soho Property
* Owned by Robert J "Mutt" Lange.
* Assets: $65.4m (before Coronet Peak Station purchase).
* Company domiciled in NZ, incorporated in Gibraltar.
* Business is sheep farming, bloodstock and accommodation.
* Has big high country South Island holdings.

Source: Soho Property annual report

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/property/news/article.cfm?c_id=8&objectid=10741726



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High country station lease sold

By James Beech on Mon, 1 Aug 2011

A company linked with millionaire record producer Robert "Mutt" Lange, former husband of country music superstar Shania Twain, has bought the Crown pastoral lease of Coronet Peak Station, near Queenstown.

Efforts to rid the station of pests and encourage native bush regeneration began almost immediately after the "confidential" settlement, on July 20, Soho Property Ltd lawyer Willy Sussman, of Bell Gully, in Auckland, said on Friday.

"We're going to get rid of the noxious pests and that involves everything from feral goats to possums and wild cats. We're going to get rid of wilding trees and do it in a big way. Those are the commitments that had to be given under the consent."

Soho Property was granted consent to buy the lease on the 22,211ha high country station, off Skippers Rd, by the Overseas Investment Office (OIO), on June 27.

The vendor was Coronet Peak Station Queenstown Ltd, co-directed by Irishman Eamon Cleary. The Malta-based businessman owns commercial interests in Wakatipu and Otago and appeared as New Zealand's fourth richest man, with $2 billion, on the National Business Review rich list, published last week.

In its decision, the OIO described Coronet Peak Station as "steep and mountainous and, despite its large size, has little low country with even moderate pastoral value".

"It is also seriously degraded, has a serious feral goat problem, and has significant problems in relation to wilding trees and other unwanted plant species."

Soho Property is the lessee under three Crown pastoral leases - Glencoe Station, Mt Soho Station and Motatapu Station - which have a combined area of 33,196ha.

Coronet Peak Station is the western neighbour of Glencoe, Mt Soho and Motatapu stations and has the Shotover River as its western boundary. The station adjoins the Coronet Peak ski area.

Twain and Lange bought Motatapu and Mt Soho stations, between Arrowtown and Wanaka, for $21.4 million, in 2004.

Soho was not acquiring the parts of Coronet Peak Station which were freehold.

The OIO reported Soho intended to continue to use Coronet Peak Station mainly for general farming. About 4000 merino sheep will be farmed on areas with sustainable farming values.

Soho proposed to extend its pest and noxious plant eradication programme to Coronet Peak Station.

"Acquiring Coronet Peak Station presents a unique opportunity to minimise the risk of reinfestation by plant and animal pests through the acquisition of the significant natural boundary offered by the Shotover River," the OIO report said.

"The applicant also wishes to capitalise on eco- and adventure tourism opportunities, which go hand-in-hand with the extensive conservation work already undertaken by the applicant on its existing farming operations at Glencoe, Mt Soho and Motatapu stations."

Stacey Smith, of the US, and Thomas Stienmann, of Switzerland, are listed as Soho Property directors.

http://www.odt.co.nz/news/queenstown-lakes/171414/high-country-station-lease-sold



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Crafar one of many NZ sales to foreign interest

By Dan Parker
Fri. Jan. 27, 2012

The Crafar sale is not the first to foreign interests and it won't be the last.

One of the country's highest profile land sales to a foreigner was to country singer Shania Twain. She and her husband opened up Motatapu Station to hikers as a thank you.

The couple have now split but Twain's former partner Mutt Lange is still the owner and has invested millions developing it.

Federated Farmers Chief Executive Conor English says this is a good example of how foreign ownership can benefit the country.

“We have had some fantastic contributions made by people who come here and live here and invest here, so it is pretty critical that we have investment.”

This is one of a number of large areas of land sold to foreign investors, but just how much is anyone’s guess. Not even the Overseas Investment Office (OIO), the Government department that rubber stamps decisions has an idea.

“We only statistic on the application for consent that come before us,” says OIO Manager Annelies McClure.

“In addition we have only been operating for the last 23 years.”

The problem is only sensitive cases and blocks of farm land bigger than five hectares come before it. In some cases the final decision is made by the Government anyway.

The best estimation is from Federated Farmers. It says of the 11 million hectares classed as agricultural land in 2007, around two per cent, or 220,000 hectares, may be in foreign hands.

But some say that's two per cent too much.

“New Zealanders should retain the ownership of all horticultural, agricultural and sensitive land,” says lawyer Tony Bouchier.

”It is important for our future. We have a history of problematic land ownership in New Zealand and we don’t want to have that for our future generations.”

The OIO says a sale of land to a foreign investor is treated as a privilege, but there's no cap on how much land can be bought.

Of the 311 applications it's seen in the past seven years, only three have been declined.

http://www.3news.co.nz/Crafar-one-of-many-NZ-sales-to-foreign-interests/tabid/421/articleID/240968/Default.aspx



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Applying to upgrade Greengates SaddleTrack

By James Beech on Mon, 30 Jan 2012

Mutt Lange
Mutt Lange

Shania Twain
Shania Twain

A property company linked to reclusive millionaire record producer Mutt Lange, former husband of country music star Shania Twain, has applied to upgrade and extend a track near Queenstown.   

Soho Property Ltd applied for land use consent to upgrade a track and construct new portions of track from Long Gully over the Greengates Saddle to the Greengates Hut on Skippers Rd. The application was formally received by Lakes Environmental on January 13.

Affected party approval was attached.

Named applicant and high country farmer Russell Hamilton, who supervises operations on Motatapu, Mt Soho and Glencoe stations, advised Lakes Environmental the intention was to improve the track to allow four-wheel-drive access.   

"Particular care will be taken with the batters and to protect the track from scouring," Mr Hamilton said in the email.

"Culverts will be put in where required and all disturbed areas will be oversown on completion, including the track itself."

Soho Property was granted consent to buy the Crown pastoral lease of Coronet Peak Station, near Queenstown, on the 22,211ha high country station, which adjoins the ski area, off Skippers Rd, by the Overseas Investment Office, on June 27 last year.

http://www.odt.co.nz/news/queenstown-lakes/196067/applying-upgrade-greengates-saddletrack



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4WD tracks built near historic sites

GRANT BRYANT IN QUEENSTOWN
Last updated 05:00 04/03/2012

Hackles have been raised over tracks cut near goldrush era pack-horse trails and a historic hut on multi-millionaire music producer Robert "Mutt" Lange's newly acquired Coronet Peak Station.

Neighbours of the station in Skippers Canyon, which is accessible only by four-wheel-drive vehicle, have said the work should never have been carried out without appropriate clearance or public notification – and is a "desecration". Station management is now seeking to have retroactive resource consent approved.

Lange produced hit albums for AC/DC and Def Leppard before swerving to mainstream attention by marrying, co-writing songs for and producing albums by Canadian pop songstress Shania Twain. The couple bought Motatapu and Mt Soho stations for $21.4 million in 2005. Despite separating in 2008, Lange has kept his interests in the properties up and been lauded for his conservation work on them. In 2009 he bought Glencoe Station and last year Coronet Peak Station.

Lakes Environmental resource management services manager Brian Fitzpatrick yesterday confirmed a stop-work order had been given to station man-agement, but managers were seeking retroactive resource consent for the track building, which had already been carried out.

A further extension of the track to be cut across the Greenstone Saddle had also been negotiated to be changed by Lakes Environmental staff to avoid a historic dam used for storing water for gold sluicing, Mr Fitzpatrick said.

Jane Scheib, who lives in Skippers Canyon, yesterday said valley landowners had used the same stance of cutting tracks, then applying for retroactive resource consent in the past.

"It's one of the oldest tricks in the book now," she said.

"People have plundered anything of historic significance in the canyon for a long time now, and it's got to the stage where the packhorse trails and a few sites where hotels and old musterers' huts stood are all that is left in an area that is very historically significant."

The last flying fox, of which there were many left over from goldmining days, had been destroyed without permission or consultation after it was damaged in the 1999 floods, Mrs Scheib said.

"There's so much that isn't known about what these tracks are for.

"They say they are for wilding pine control, but wildings have been strayed and cut down all over the area without having to cut new tracks. The only hope we have of preserving what is left here is by a few locals in the valley standing up and fighting it. When tracks are cut then landowners or managers apply for retroactive resource consent the public loses any say on whether it should happen – and in historic areas like this they should definitely have a say."

Mr Fitzpatrick said the landscape architect charged with assessing the effects of the part of the track yet to be built was satisfied it would have no adverse impact on historic sites – so public notification was unlikely to be pursued by Lakes Environmental.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/6682456/4WD-tracks-built-near-historic-sites



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Update on Mutt's New Zealand properties. Shania no longer owns any property in New Zealand.

Lange's conservation record has already drawn praise

Otago Daily Times | Wed, 6 Aug 2014

Central Otago property owner and record producer Robert John ''Mutt'' Lange primarily rose to fame for two reasons: working with the who's who of music and being married to Canadian country singing star Shania Twain.

His profile grew as he worked from the mid-1970s with music artists AC/DC, Def Leppard, the Boomtown Rats, Bryan Adams, Foreigner and The Cars but his reputation among New Zealanders was enhanced in 2005 when he and his former wife bought Motatapu and Mt Soho high country stations near Wanaka.

In 2009 they added Glencoe Station and in 2011 Coronet Peak Station and they spent several months each year living in their new multi-million-dollar home on Motatapu Station.

Mutt Lange was born in Mufulira, in what was then Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia, on November 11, 1948.

He was raised in Durban, the son of a South African father who worked in the mining industry and German mother.

A country music fan, he studied at Belfast High School in South Africa and began a band in which he played rhythm guitar and sang harmony.

The band broke up when he moved to London and married Stevie van Kerken.

The marriage failed several years later.

He met Shania Twain while working with her and they married on December 28, 1993.

In August 2001, their son Eja was born but on May 15, 2008 a spokesman for Mercury Nashville announced the couple were separating because Mr Lange had been having an affair with Ms Twain's best friend, Marie-Anne Thiebaud.

The couple divorced in June 2010, and Ms Twain is now married to Ms Thiebaud's ex-husband, Frederic.

Ms Twain, who no longer owns the New Zealand properties, later wrote a tell-all book From This Moment On in which she told how she had put heart, soul and dreams into her New Zealand home.

In February 2011 Mr Lange was hailed an eco-hero by Peter Willsman, of the Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group (WCG), who supported his application to the Overseas Investment Office to buy Coronet Peak Station.

Mr Willsman was reported in the Otago Daily Times as saying the station was ''heavily infested in parts'' with both wilding pines and goats.

Lange's ''impeccable record'' at conserving Soho's other holdings, Motatapu, Mt Soho and Glencoe stations near Wanaka, would make the purchase beneficial to the community and the country.

''It's Mutt's desire to see tussock, beech and the natural flora and fauna of our back country preserved,'' Mr Willsman said.

Twain and Lange had caused some ructions when trying to gain planning approval for a house estimated at $3.6 million on Motatapu Station.

The plan was initially rejected by the Queenstown Lakes District Council, which decided it had more than minor environmental effects and was not in harmony with the landscape, but it was later approved by an independent commissioner.

http://www.odt.co.nz/regions/central-otago/311759/langes-conservation-record-has-already-drawn-praise



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Good to hear that Mutt is very eco friendly.

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Death of Wanaka tramper a 'real tragedy'

6:56 AM Tuesday Dec 2, 2014

A 69-year-old Wanaka woman died yesterday after slipping and falling about 40m from a Department of Conservation walking track near Glendhu Bay, Wanaka.

The woman, whose name has not yet been released, was on a day walk with the Wanaka Walkers group.

Wanaka police sub-area commander Senior Sergeant Allan Grindell said yesterday afternoon the woman was on the Fern Burn Track.

It links on to the better-known Motatapu Track.

Wanaka police search and rescue co-ordinator Sergeant Aaron Nicholson said the woman's death was a "real tragedy".

"The deceased has slipped on the edge of the track and lost her balance falling down the bank," he said.

"Unfortunately the slope was steep enough that she could not arrest her fall and she slid backwards approximately 40m before dropping over a 3m bluff onto a rocky creek bed below.

"There were two doctors in the tramping party that did as much as they could for her but the injuries sustained in the fall were significant and unfortunately she died at the scene."

The woman was among a group of 22 in native bush when she slipped and fell about noon.

Police were notified at 12.09pm and a helicopter carrying two Wanaka search and rescue personnel and a paramedic left Wanaka about 1pm.

They returned a short time later to unload equipment, including an empty stretcher, before returning to the track.

The woman's body was then brought to Wanaka by helicopter.

The death would be referred to the coroner, Mr Grindell said.

The walkers group regularly undertakes trips in the Wanaka area on Mondays.

According to its blog site, the group yesterday planned to climb through the beech forest to the bush line for lunch.

Some of the group had intended continuing on to the Fern Burn Hut.

Walking group member Rod Macleod, of Albert Town, described the accident as a tragedy.

Mr Macleod said the track was built by the Department of Consveraction (DoC) six or seven years ago.

He declined to describe the area of track where the woman fell.

In 2005, when DoC was securing access to the area for the public, then Otago conservator Jeff Connell described a short section of the proposed Fern Burn track as "incredibly difficult".

Negotiations over public access stemmed from the purchase of Motatapu Station by Canadian singer Shania Twain and then husband Robert Lange.

The Otago Daily Times reported in February 2005 Twain's preference was for the track to follow the Fern Burn, which was on Alpha Burn station land, rather than an alternative route nearer their proposed house.

Twain's neighbours, the McRae family, did not want the track to go up the Fern Burn because it would pass their deer paddocks and would affect their farming operations.

They also believed the route would be treacherous, the ODT reported.

It was unclear last night whether the accident occurred on this section of track.

A DoC spokeswoman said it was likely the department would produce a report for the coroner.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11367354



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Shania Twain's ex donates land to NZ

March 11, 2015, 8:34 pm

Shania Twain's ex-husband Robert John "Mutt" Lange has donated a vast parcel of land he owns in New Zealand to the country's National Trust.

The reclusive producer and songwriter converted more than 52 hectares of his private real estate to protected national land late last year after local conservation groups criticised him for buying so much land.

His latest donation allows for public access to 21 tracks and trails across his properties.

New Zealand Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says, "we are very grateful for Mutt Lange's extraordinary generosity and vision in securing permanent protection for this unique and special landscape."

http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/26601497/shania-twains-ex-donate-land-to-nz/



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See The Dreamy Mountain Lodge Shania Twain Gave Up To Her Ex

countrymusicfamily.com/see-the-dreamy-mountain-lodge-shania-twain-gave-up-to-her-ex/



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