Chinese company, Shanghai Pengxin, through a New Zealand subsidiary has been prevented from purchasing a the 34,000ac (13,800 hectare) Lochinver Station near Taupo valued at more than NZ$70m (€44m).

In a ruling this week the New Zealand Government said company’s application to purchase the ‘Lochinver Station’ has been declined because the benefits to New Zealand are not substantial and identifiable

The farm was put up for sale in December 2013 and the real estate company Bayleys handling the sale said it was expecting a record price for a farm sale in New Zealand.

The station has three airstrips, a lake, recreational hunting block, 22 houses, a school and 91km of roads.

Should the sale have gone through it would have been the second-biggest foreign acquisition of New Zealand land by value.

“Because Lochinver Station is classified by law as sensitive land, Ministers must consider whether the application meets the requirements set out in the Overseas Investment Act,” Associate Finance Minister Paula Bennett says.

The New Zealand government has been heavily criticised in the past for allowing giant land deals with foreign companies go through.

The Chinese company now owns 16 farms in the North Island and plans to secure ‘operational synergies’ over time in buying the property and some of its neighbouring farms.

Shanghai Pengxin also has a majority stake in 13 farms in the South Island.