SIZE: Land 3000sq m, house 885sq m.
PRICE INDICATION: Circa $10 million.
INSPECT: By appointment.
EXPRESSION OF INTEREST: Close Thursday May 25, 4pm.
SCHOOL ZONES: Torbay primary, Northcross Intermediate, Long Bay College.
CONTACT: Corey Knapp, Premium, 021 241 0081.
ALSO FOR SALE: 62 Sharon Rd, land 4889sq m, house 300sq m, circa $6 million.

Apparently, in the days after a certain election last November, online inquiries to emigrate to New Zealand surged to 56,300 from a usual daily average of 2300 from the United States. American entrepreneur Ron Patrick was well ahead of that curve when he searched the country for a bolthole five years ago.

"Nobody's going to bomb New Zealand," he says, semi-seriously. "I flew over here twice and looked at every single oceanfront property I could find. I looked at Takapuna, all over. New Zealand has good food, a good way of life, good education. But this property, it's beautiful. I don't know of another spot like it. It's a landmark property."

Ron and his wife, Jessie, with their son, Christian, now 8, settled on the sprawling estate that Sir Graeme Avery, founder of the medical publishing house, Adis International, the Millennium Institute, and Hawkes Bay's Sileni Estates Winery, had commissioned from architect George Paterson in the late 1980s.

The couple were struck by the wings of the building spreading over three floors, with clifftop views from Browns Bay all the way north, the swimming pool and gardens, but were keen to update some of the 80s bits that hadn't worn so well.


Ron, whose family business is in vitamins, admits to being a frustrated designer. He supervised every inch of the redesign with architect Nicholas Dalton of TOA and designed all of the landscaping that transformed the overgrown yard. Jessie focussed on the interiors.

They were determined to bring the finishes of the house up to the highest standards to match those of the original construction (Ron had seen the specs for the immense engineering that went into the piles that secure the house and pool).

The job took four years and a few million dollars to complete to the family's exacting standards, but the detail-obsessed pair were delighted with the quality of workmanship from their New Zealand tradespeople.

Rebuilding just one finial post on the new rimu stairs and upper-floor balustrades took a joiner a whole day; kauri ceilings were refurbished and matched with built-in bookshelves, every tile and bathroom fixture was imported from Italy and Ron was very particular about the quality of frameless glass for shower doors in all six bathrooms.

Dalton reworked the exterior and triple-height entry atrium, smoothing and simplifying the fussy 80s curves, stained glass and brick with a pleasing gable of fine vertical cedar, which he repeated round the house to complement Paterson's original triangular glass push-out windows and bays.

The steel colonnade that curves from the entry around the glass-fronted gallery was recoloured from turquoise to a more neutral cream, allowing the fine corrugated steel lining the curved ceiling, and the pale timber parquet floors, to shine.

The Patricks tore out dated and rusty sliding glass doors, replacing them with heavy duty industrial joinery and proper drainage sills to protect from the salty sea environment.

The pool and decks were repaved and Ron specifed borders of artificial turf to soften the hard lines on many of the decks.

Inside, the couple retained Paterson's original flow of rooms. Off the entry, the refurbished spa room includes an above-ground spa, sauna and luxury bathroom, leaving room for a table-tennis table for Christian.

There is also an entirely self-contained presidential suite with a private entrance off one of the three double garages. Ron laughs that it is hard to get visitors to leave, once they spot those breathtaking views and indulge in the gorgeous bathroom.

Family living opens off the curve of the sunny ground-floor gallery in a series of connected zones, so that all have views of the sea, framed by pohutukawa trees, and access to the swimming pool area.

There's a home office, casual sitting area and generous casual bar table adjoining the refurbished kitchen.

The couple kept the spacious pantry, but replaced dated cabinets with golden oak, adding thick granite counter tops and Gaggenau and Miele appliances.

Next door is the formal dining room and a living room that seems to hover over the tip of the point. This is the only part of the house where Ron and Jessie elected to keep the original brick, for a cosy wood fireplace and a feature wall.

There's also one of the many enchanting glass triangle sun rooms, a favourite for Christian's drum set, tucked off beside the pool.

Upstairs are the two grand bedrooms for the couple and for Christian, each with new bathrooms and special views. Between is a bookcase-lined sitting area and playroom storage for toys.

Automation engineer Chris du Toit from iPower shares Ron's enthusiasm for the latest electronica, completely updating the house's security, lighting, heating, music systems and more, controlled by iPads dotted through the house.

Lights come on automatically, the basement movie room is a better-than-cinema experience (complete with hidden kitchenette for the popcorn making), especially when the curtains are opened to the portholes off the swimming pool or view of the sea.

This lower ground floor has further bedrooms that open to the garden, luxury bathrooms, as well as plant rooms and storage.

Ron is clearly a frustrated landscape architect, as he completely redesigned the gardens into a tropical resort, complete with his golf putting greens and driving range, boardwalks and gravel and stone paths, surrounded by rolling lawns.

He was planning to do an even bigger relandscape of the adjoining property on the point of the cliff - a cool 1960s modern place, with another pool, he acquired recently - but will leave that as an option for the next owners, who may like to refurbish it for staff or guest quarters.

The family is doing more travel these days, so is downsizing to a still-spacious but lock-up-and-leave penthouse apartment closer to town.