Property editor of the NZ Herald

'It's shabbychic with modernist undertones' and just $20 million

Around $20 million-plus is expected for Geoff and Justine Ross' "shabby chic" stately 1910 Herne Bay villa, making it the most expensive Auckland house listed this year.

Real estate agent Graham Wall said that price was anticipated for the luxury waterfront Auckland property, with a current market valuation around $14.7m.

Geoff and Justine Ross, right. Photo / Supplied
Geoff and Justine Ross, right. Photo / Supplied


The Sultan of Brunei once owned 8 Wairangi St, which has five bedrooms and six bathrooms. The 1922sq m property has beach access and has been extensively renovated inside and out.

Justine Ross said she and her husband had spent $4m: $3m on interior renovations and extensions and just under $1m on the exterior.

Photo / Dom White
Photo / Dom White


"It's shabby chic with modernist undertones."

Two sets of stairs were put in by crane for easy beach access along with the viewing deck amongst the pohutakawa.

"We have a small boat tethered on the beach. The pool and pool house were renovated and the pool was last year updated with new heating and filtration technology.

Photo / Dom White
Photo / Dom White


"Geoff is from a farm. Buying a South Island farm is on the agenda for our sons and for Geoff to return to his roots but we're staying in Auckland for the foreseeable future," Justine Ross said.

The 2016 NBR RichList estimates Ross' wealth at $70m, after he founded vodka business 42 Below, then sold it for $138m in 2006.

The former ad-man was managing partner of DDB Advertising and is now chairman of NZX-listed home fragrances and body care business Trilogy International and chief executive of Moa Brewing Co.

Photo / Dom White
Photo / Dom White

They also have an investment in Turners car auction business.

Property records show the couple own one Matapouri property in Matapouri Rd, another in Clements Rd. He is a fisherman, diver, hunter, and hiker and has many mounted trophies.

Photo / Dom White
Photo / Dom White


The house has distinctive interior decor including vivid wall colours, purple carpet, bespoke joinery and a stuffed peacock perched in the games room.

Justine Ross said: "Overall just under $1m was spent on the grounds and beach access and $3m was invested in ground floor extensions and renovations - extended dining room, decks and Italian stone paving, at quantities that had everyone nervous, the addition of the outdoor room above the pool, family room and all new bedrooms and study areas added.

Photo / Dom White
Photo / Dom White

"The kitchen was moved from the back of the house to the front to make the most of the views and allow a seamless flow out on to the lawn from the main entertainment area. While the upstairs footprint remained similar, every room was transformed," she said.

Wall said the Ross family is staying in Auckland, having bought a 340sq m waterfront apartment.

Photo / Dom White
Photo / Dom White


8 Wairangi St
• Last sold for $8.4m in June 2008
• Owned by Geoff and Justine Ross
• 1910 return verandah waterfront villa
• 1922sq m or an eighth of a hectare site
• Annual rates: $28,618.86
• Valuation for rating purposes, July 1, 2014: $11m
• Homes.co.nz valuation: $14.7m
• $4m renovations and extensions completed

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