Lionel Wellington is the proud new owner of one of the country's cheapest homes.
Just $15,000 has netted him an abandoned three-bedroom weatherboard house in the tiny King Country village of Ohura.
The house was one of 23 properties that the Ruapehu District Council put out for tender last month.
One small flood-prone block of land went for only $250, but the most liveable property went to Wellington - who lives across the street.
"I am quite pleased," said the 66-year-old. "I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet."
The septic tank needs fixing, the bathroom and laundry floors need replacing, and it will have to be repainted. But "mostly the house is fairly sound" he said.
"If I spend from now until Christmas, I can get it looking pretty good."
Council deputy chief executive Peter Till was pleased with the $155,000 raised from the 19 property sales.
The council is asking the courts to deem another 40 properties abandoned, so they too can be seized and sold.By Kieran Nash Email Kieran