Kirsty Wynn is a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday.

Sir Russell Coutts moves into the house that Oracle built

Russell and Jenny Coutts at Louis Vuitton charity ball, SkyCity, Auckland. Photo / Norrie Montgomery
Russell and Jenny Coutts at Louis Vuitton charity ball, SkyCity, Auckland. Photo / Norrie Montgomery

America's Cup yachtsman Sir Russell Coutts and his family have moved into their multi-million-dollar beachfront home.

Finishing touches were put on the Cape Cod-style mansion this month and the family moved in.

A relaxed Jenny Coutts said it felt good to have the family's permanent home finished after years of living in rental accommodation.

Initially there was negative feedback on the two-level home, which is spread across three waterfront sections at Tindalls Bay on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, 40km north of Auckland.

Some neighbours labelled it "ostentatious" and said it stood out from the "humble baches" in the village. But Coutts said the overwhelming feedback from the community had been "very positive and welcoming" since they moved in.

She said extensive planting of mature palms and native shrubs had "softened the look" of the new build.

The two-level, 667sq m property includes six bathrooms, three living areas, basketball and flood-lit tennis courts and sits on 2435sq m of beachfront land. The Coutts family paid $7.7 million for three sections and demolished the houses on them.

Graham Wall of Graham Wall Real Estate, which specialises in luxury properties, yesterday estimated the Coutts' family home would be worth at least $20m.

Former Olympic sailor Coutts, who was knighted in 2009 for his services to the sport, is working overseas. He now runs the America's Cup Event Authority.

He is a five-time winner of the America's Cup, first with Team New Zealand in 1995. Eight years later he skippered Alinghi to its 2003 defeat of Team New Zealand. He also led US team Oracle.

Sir Russell Coutts' new home on Tindalls beach. Photo / Neville Marriner
Sir Russell Coutts' new home on Tindalls beach. Photo / Neville Marriner

Work started on his Sumich Chaplin-designed property at Tindalls Bay in 2014.

The completed home sits low, and the blue weatherboards, shutters and weathered cedar shingles fit the beach location and other homes.

Neighbour Heather Matthews described the house as "an asset to the bay".

"The roof has weathered and they have planted mature palm trees so the house looks like it has always been here," she said. "It has probably added a lot of value to the neighbouring properties."

Matthews said a lot of the initial negativity had died down because people liked the final design.

"A lot of the negativity was just envy but we think it is a beautiful house, it looks amazing."

Another neighbour who voiced concerns about Auckland Council's non-notifiable resource consent process said she loved the style of the home.

"It is a stunning, beautiful, wonderful home and it has added a lot to the area."

- Herald on Sunday

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