Hollywood heavyweight’s ideas for historic Wairarapa house include gardens to grow produce for cafe

Hollywood director James Cameron is opening a vegan restaurant in New Zealand that will serve fare grown in gardens out the back.

The Titanic and Avatar director bought the historic Baillie House in Greytown through his T Base 2 company this year, adding to his growing list of more than 1500ha of Wairarapa real estate that includes rural properties and a walnut orchard in Carterton.

South Wairarapa District Council spokesman Murray Buchanan said a building consent was granted just over a week ago for structural changes to the two-storey Greytown property, where workers have been landscaping since late last month.

Blueprints submitted to the council and an accompanying liquor licence application show "a cafe restaurant for vegan-type food" is planned.

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It would include garden areas for produce, Mr Buchanan said. The liquor licence application outlined the general nature of the business as "a fresh produce store with cafe-style menu" that would trade during the hours of 11am to 11pm seven days a week.

Mr Cameron, who two years ago said he and wife Suzy Amis Cameron were vegan, often stays at his Featherston family farm overlooking Pounui Lake.

The couple last year told the New York Times they were shifting their family to a more plant-based diet, that had sparked plans to organically improve the soil on their South Wairarapa farm.

His wife this year told a Wellington newspaper her 24-year-old son Jasper wanted to live in New Zealand and make "fabulous cordon bleu food" from some fruits, nuts and vegetables grown through family businesses.

- NZME.