Chinese company Yashili NZ Dairy Co Ltd has won land use consent to construct & run a $220 million infant formula plant at Pokeno, just south of the Bombay Hills in the northern Waikato.
Independent commissioner Michael Savage heard Yashili’s application in the Waikato District Council’s chambers in Ngaruawahia a month ago and released his decision this week.
The plant, on a site zoned light industrial at 71 Hitchen Rd, in the new Gateway business park in Pokeno, will produce 52,000 tonnes of milk formula powder/year. Construction & commissioning is expected to take 16 months.
The parent company, Yashili International Holdings Ltd, has plants in 3 Chinese provinces and is listed in Hong Kong. The controlling Zhang family accepted a takeover offer by China Mengniu International Co Ltd in June for their 51.8% of Yashili and CA Dairy Holdings Ltd, ultimately owned by the Carlyle Group equity investment company, also accepted the offer for its 24.2%, leaving 26% to be mopped up.
The Pokeno industrial zone was created through plan change 24 when the village was part of the Franklin district, but became operative in 2011, after Pokeno was transferred to the Waikato district amid boundary changes for the Auckland super-city.
The comprehensive preparation for growth included new residential zones and provision for medium-density housing & neighbourhood centres. The growth plan change replaced one in 2008 which would have allowed only moderate growth, and was led by Dines Property Development Ltd (Kerry Dines) & Fulton Hogan Ltd. Their joint venture company, Pokeno Village Holdings Ltd, sold Yashili the site.
Pokeno Village Holdings & the other members of the Pokeno landholders consortium, Hynds Pipe Ssystems Ltd & Winstone Aggregates, own 250ha of the 400ha in the structure plan area.
Link: Yashili Pokeno decision
Attribution: Council release, Yashili & China Mengniu exchange disclosures.