Anne Gibson

Property editor of the NZ Herald

A man's home is his asteroid-proof castle

Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

A strange Bay of Islands house with an internal bunker designed to survive a nuclear attack and asteroid strike has gone up for mortgagee sale.

David Baguley of Bayleys is marketing the unusual place overlooking the Waitangi River near Haruru Falls, inland from Paihia.

"The property was developed by Victor Hatten, an American. The house is two-storeyed, made from reinforced concrete which allows a number of design elements that the owner thought were important," Mr Baguley said.

Fear for his life appeared to be a major motivator.

"Victor made it as a retreat for him or other overseas people that wanted a New Zealand bolthole in case ... there was some kind of catastrophic event," Mr Baguley said.

"It has a bunker room right in the middle of the house with concrete walls all around, designed to survive a nuclear attack or asteroid strike.

"Victor thought that these aspects would appeal to nervous overseas owners that see New Zealand as a safe haven and want a house they can have in case things go bad," he said.

But things have now gone badly for the owner after BNZ called for a mortgagee sale - and the money spent on construction might not be recouped. The property's rating valuation is just $595,000 but Mr Baguley said US$1 million ($1.25 million) was spent on it.

"He ... wanted a place with space for helicopters, cars and all types of millionaire gadgets," said Mr Baguley.

The property also has an electronic car turntable and a maintenance pit.

An upstairs balcony was designed to give views of the entertainment area below, but is unfinished.

SAFE HAVEN?
* 4 and 6 Spinnaker Point.
* Haruru area, Bay of Islands.
* Internal bunker stronghold.
* Eight-car garaging.
* 222sq m house, 1041sq m section.
* A further 743sq m section.

- NZ Herald

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