Anne Gibson

Property editor of the NZ Herald

Aussie cleared to buy $6.5m seaside farm

Critics said the Constable Rd house was too visible from Te Henga walkway. Photo / Supplied
Critics said the Constable Rd house was too visible from Te Henga walkway. Photo / Supplied

A seaside property between Bethells (Te Henga) and Muriwai beaches can be sold to an Australian buyer, the Overseas Investment Office has ruled.

The 232ha Constable Rd farm, owned by Anne and Mack Storey's Parihoa Farms, had been deemed sensitive but Australian Matthew Chapman is now able to go ahead with his $6.5 million purchase.

He plans to spend a significant amount of time in New Zealand and wants the property as a farm and lifestyle residence, the office said.

Five years ago, development of the Andrew Patterson-designed house faced huge opposition when it was revealed part of it would be visible from Te Henga walkway, but the Auckland Regional Council failed to halt its construction.

Three years ago, the property was being advertised for about $12 million.

In other OIO approvals, American billionaire Bill Foley can buy a substantial house owned by Chateau Wellington. It stands in the grounds of Mr Foley's luxury Wharekauhau Lodge and Country Estate.

Kiwi-owned Chateau Wellington runs a boutique luxury accommodation business from the house, the OIO said. Mr Foley is paying $1.85 million.

Russian billionaire Mikhail Khimich has consent to take full control of Waiwera Water New Zealand. The Moscow tycoon already owned 60 per cent and is buying the rest from John St Clair Brown's Traus Holdings.

Mr Khimich, who made his fortune from property development, minerals and gases, got permission to expand if he developed the Waiwera land into an organic winery, the office said.

He forged links to New Zealand in 2008 when his 58m superyacht Thalia had a refit here. He attended last year's Halberg Awards at Vector Arena, and was photographed arriving with model Maria Didarova.

During the Rugby World Cup, Waiwera Water was reported as having bought an Eden Park corporate box and speculation was rife Mr Khimich might bring his friend, Russian president Vladimir Putin, to watch a game.

The Waiwera Water application was processed on a confidential basis, meaning the price will stay undisclosed, But it had to go before the OIO because land deemed sensitive was involved.

- NZ Herald

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