James Cameron buys Kiwi farms

By Nathan Crombie of the Wairarapa Times-Age

Film director James Cameron is moving his family to New Zealand. Photo / AFP
Film director James Cameron is moving his family to New Zealand. Photo / AFP

Wairarapa will soon be home to another Hollywood director after James Cameron bought two farms in the district.

The Avatar and Titanic director plans to live on the South Wairarapa properties with his family.

Land Information New Zealand documents show sales have been approved by the Overseas Investment Office for two blocks, of 817ha and 248ha at Western Lake Rd.

The land was sold to Anglin Classics, a firm owned by Cameron.

In a statement today, the Cameron family said they were "thrilled to be making a new home in New Zealand''.

"We love the rugged landscape and the spirit of the people here, and are looking forward to becoming resident on our beautiful farm. We hope we will be accepted as good neighbours and good members of the community in South Wairarapa.''

Cameron intended to reside indefinitely in New Zealand according to his purchase application, and would live at the property, which he would work as a farm.

Cameron joins a growing list of Hollywood heavyweights who call Wairarapa home.

Sir Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, who together helped create the Lord of the Rings trilogy, live in a multimillion-dollar estate on the outskirts of Masterton.

Filmmaker, author and artist Vincent Ward owns a home in Greytown.

Ward said today that he had never met Cameron but had worked on special effects for the film Titanic at Digital Domain, a Los Angeles company owned by the Canadian director.

"I know Western Lake Road well - I used to party there as a teenager - and Mr Cameron is sure to find it cold, especially after spending all that time in California.''

South Wairarapa farming couple Bill and Annette Shaw struck the deal for the larger Pounui farm overlooking Lake Onoke.

Mr Shaw said confidentiality was a condition of sale.

"I don't have a clue who bought it and what they're going to do with it. I can't discuss it,'' Mr Shaw said.

He confirmed the purchasing company as Anglin Classics.

The Shaws, who founded the nearby Wharekauhau Lodge now owned by American billionaire William Foley, have been dividing their time between Queenstown and Pounui for the past 10 years.

He would not confirm the selling price or value of Pounui.

Heather and Rob McCreary sold the smaller lot to Anglin Classics in the same deal and Mrs McCreary declined to comment as well.

Another nearby property owner also refused to be identified or comment about the sales or the prospect of having a second high profile neighbour in their neck of the woods after Mr Foley.

"I haven't met him yet and I'll probably not meet the other bloke either; and no I won't be dazzled by the fame.''

- APNZ

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