Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Mad Butcher chief trades elite address for another

The Mad Butcher chief executive Michael Morton has swapped one exclusive Auckland address for another. Photo / Sarah Ivey
The Mad Butcher chief executive Michael Morton has swapped one exclusive Auckland address for another. Photo / Sarah Ivey

The Mad Butcher chief executive Michael Morton has swapped one exclusive Auckland address for another.

Mr Morton has sold his Remuera mansion on Victoria Ave for $18.5 million and moved to a house in Paritai Drive costing $7.35 million.

Mr Morton and his partner, Julie Leitch - daughter of Mad Butcher founder Sir Peter Leitch - sold and bought the properties last year.

Quotable Value records show the couple bought the property in Paritai Drive on September 18, shortly before selling their Victoria Ave property on November 11 - well above its 2014 capital valuation of $11 million.

The two-storey, brick Paritai Drive house is next door to the sprawling house partly financed by Hanover's Mark Hotchin that sold to Oravida founder Deyi Shi for $39 million in 2013.

A source said Mr Morton and his family are living at Paritai Drive and plan to extensively alter the house or knock it down.

"I can confirm that I have sold my residence in Victoria Ave and have purchased a property in Paritai Drive. This is a [personal matter] and I will not be making any further comment," Mr Morton said.

Mr Morton and his partner bought the house in Victoria Ave, owned for decades by the Horton family, for $7 million in the summer of 2011. Months later they knocked down the house for a new 860sq m house - four times the size of most new houses.

In December, 2011, Mr Morton told the Herald the new house, sitting on a large 3442sq m section, would be "worth $14 million" when he had finished.

Mr Morton has moved to a house in Paritai Drive costing $7.35 million. Photo / Richard Robinson
Mr Morton has moved to a house in Paritai Drive costing $7.35 million. Photo / Richard Robinson

"We took out 139 stumps and 180 tonnes of rubbish like foliage, plants and trees. They had let the garden go, it was too much for them. All the roses are gone, I didn't like roses, we took out a row of olive trees. We're changing the pool dramatically. We've put a spa pool down one end, a gazebo and a wet bar. It will be good when we've finished," he said.

For decades charity queen Dame Rosie Horton and her husband Michael Horton staged events at their distinctive red brick house with a big pool and traditional gardens, which featured in many magazines.

The home hosted thousands of guests as she devoted more than 40 years to working with dozens of children's charities and groups helping the sick, disabled, animals, women's refuge, the environment and the performing arts.

She said the house was only informally on the market when the Mortons offered to buy it.

Mr Morton has sold his Remuera mansion on Victoria Drive for $18.5 million. Photo / Greg Bowker
Mr Morton has sold his Remuera mansion on Victoria Drive for $18.5 million. Photo / Greg Bowker

- NZ Herald

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