Tourist attraction fight goes to court

Horse riding event at the Matakana Country Park, the property at the centre of a dispute between a separated couple. Photo / Supplied
Horse riding event at the Matakana Country Park, the property at the centre of a dispute between a separated couple. Photo / Supplied

A former couple are fighting over a $10 million property north of Auckland after their relationship fell apart.

Pamela Bourne, a real estate agent in Rodney, has filed a Notice of Claim to the tourist attraction Matakana Country Park.

The park has a restaurant, an art gallery, The Military Arts Club and confidence course, St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, equestrian facilities and a wedding chapel and is owned by the man Bourne says was her de facto partner for 13 years.

But the owner, John Baker, says he and Bourne were in a non-exclusive girlfriend-boyfriend relationship.

Court documents show the property, worth an estimated $10 million, is owned by Baker's company Matakana Museum Limited.

Bourne claimed she met Baker when she was the real estate agent acting for the vendor of a 20.8 hectare property.

She claimed the couple lived on the property in apartments for a number of years and that she helped to contribute to the property.

Baker disputed this, saying Bourne only picked colours for fireplace blocks.

Judge Belinda Pidwell's reserved judgment, published this month, said Bourne's Notice of Claim was upheld.

"Whether the applicant's claims ultimately succeed is a matter for subsequent determination, but there is an arguable case," Judge Pidwell said.

- NZ Herald

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