Waiheke mansion on market for $22 million (+ video)

By Kieran Campbell

The vineyards grow four grape varieties, and the house has seven bathrooms.

Agent Clive Lonergan says the property, which has a wine cellar and a heated pool with a drop-down screen, is "one of the best houses in Auckland, if not the best". Photo / Brett Phibbs
Agent Clive Lonergan says the property, which has a wine cellar and a heated pool with a drop-down screen, is "one of the best houses in Auckland, if not the best". Photo / Brett Phibbs

A ridgetop estate that is one of New Zealand's most expensive properties is for sale before the owner has had the chance to experience the fully finished home.

David Parkinson, who made his fortune from businesses including printer cartridge filling retailer Cartridge World, is selling a six-bedroom, seven-bathroom mansion on 13.9ha at Church Bay on Waiheke Island to pursue a new business opportunity in Britain.

The house, independently valued at $22 million, has a 2.5ha vineyard making syrah, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and pinot gris and a basement winery.

It has views across the Hauraki Gulf to Auckland.

The nearest neighbour is New Zealand's richest man, Graeme Hart, and former All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry is a few ridges away.

This week the painters were applying the finishing touches, and an international marketing campaign to sell the property begins today.

No wonder Mr Parkinson says he wouldn't mind too much if there's no quick sale.

"We're quite enjoying it, and won't be too dismayed if it takes a year to sell."

Mr Parkinson was born in the UK and moved to New Zealand in 1987.

He liked Kiwis so much he married two of them - the second in 2000.

The Waiheke house was planned as the "forever home" for him, his wife Dee and their 4-year-old twin daughters.

But a new opportunity in the UK prompted them to sell.

They will leave a high-tech home with more gadgets than a James Bond film.

A hidden projector screen drops in front of the heated indoor pool.

"It's got full surround sound, which is quite unnerving. When you're watching a movie you think something is coming up behind you," Mr Parkinson said from Britain this week.

Baby monitor cameras keep an eye on the twins' bedrooms, streaming live video to Mr Parkinson's iPad.

A secret library is hidden behind a false door in the wall of the master bedroom.

The mammoth suite also contains his and her bathrooms and dressing rooms, each as large as a standard living room.

"It's one of those little aspects, like having your own bathroom - you don't realise until you have something like that it is quite special," said Mr Parkinson, who has a jukebox which works with British one-pound coins in his dressing room.

But it might be the sprawling lawns he will miss the most.

The energetic father enjoys the view of the ocean from behind a lawnmower.

"I must confess I have one of those lawn fetishes. It's a male thing I think," Mr Parkinson said.

"It's my weekly workout. If you're into lawns we've got the perfect property."

The plantation-style home was modelled on luxury lodge Kauri Cliffs.

Real estate agent Clive Lonergan, of the Bayley agency, said a marketing campaign in New Zealand and Asia was being run to attract the right multimillionaire.

"I would like a Kiwi to buy it but realistically it could be an overseas buyer," said Mr Lonergan.

He declared it "one of the best houses in Auckland, if not the best".

There are eight fireplaces and a self-contained guest wing, an art gallery and garaging for four cars.

The chief executive of Realestate.co.nz, Alistair Helm, said properties at the absolute top end of the market were protected from wider trends.

But those valued at more than $10 million often took years to sell.

Despite the price, Mr Lonergan said he'd like to think it would be sold "sooner rather than later - I'd like to see it sold before September".

See the house here:


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