One of New Zealand's smallest islands - a rare, privately-owned island in an Auckland harbour - is for sale.

The tiny island is Ngarango Otainui, which lies in the inland area of the Manukau Harbour, only about 5km from Auckland International Airport, between Onehunga and Mangere.

It is separated from the wider, more open area of the Manukau Harbour by State Highway 20, which crosses the harbour from Onehunga to Mangere Bridge.

Chinese buy two Auckland islands for $41.5m
Sale of sensitive' island still a mystery two years later


A Trade Me listing has called for buyers: "This is a rare once in a lifetime opportunity to own your slice of paradise. Dreams can come true. Last chance to own your own Island in Auckland. Situated in the heart of Manukau harbour."

There is no house on the island which is one third of a hectare and almost completely flat.

In 2008, it was advertised and a previous owner, Stan McCloskey, was reported as saying that it was "slowly washing away...there won't be any island there in 20, 30, 40 years time."

Trade Me lists the island under the lifestyle bare land category. It is 0.33ha or 3300sq m, equivalent to about four older-style more traditionally-sized Auckland residential sections.

Graham Wall, who sells top-end Auckland lifestyle and waterfront properties, wondered who might buy it.

It's a very attractive proposition - if you're a shag.


In 2008, McCloskey was reported as saying his family had bought the island for about $4000 about 30 years ago and sold it for $20,000 in the early 1990s.

The Trade Me ad says the price is by negotiation but does not name the island although the map identifies it clearly.

See a Google Map showing the island's location here:

The auction finishes on April 8 and had drawn 1358 pages views by this morning.

Last year, Chinese interests were granted consent to buy two Auckland islands linked to the mainland in a $41.5 million deal, planning to develop a $130.6 million six-star luxury resort and native reserve. The Overseas Investment Office gave consent to China's Rainbow Holdings NZ is buy Pararekau Island and Kopuahingahinga or Lee Island, alongside each other and connected and standing in the Manukau Harbour across from Wattle Downs. Those island are 27ha in total and consent was needed because waterfront land is regarded as sensitive or precious, so the office must scrutinise such a deal.

The OIO consent said the proposed vendor was NZ's Karaka Harbourside Estate and shares were being sold by NZ's Simon Deng-Li, also know as Yin Bing-Li, as part of that transaction.

However, lawyers acting for Karaka Harbourside Estate later confirmed the vendor had cancelled the sale before the OIO consent was given. Rainbow Holdings was also granted OIO consent to buy 81 per cent of the shares of Lee Island Investments from Simon Deng-Li. This did not go ahead. But Rainbow Holdings now owns 9 per cent of Lee Island Investments NZ with Simon Deng-Li still holding the majority.

The 23ha Pakatoa Island in the Hauraki Gulf has been marketed for sale around the world for some years, in the about $30 million to $40 million price range.

Website is advertising Pakatoa as well as Motukawaiti Island, a 37.9 ha slice of the Bay of Islands.

The web site describes that Motukawaiti Island: "Stunning million dollar view from nearly every spot on the island, three freehold titles going as a whole! Luxury resort on this private property, spa, sauna, commercial kitchen, swimming pool to make world top leisure experience even better! Chance to own your own escape in Bay of Islands and call now to seize this once in a lifetime opportunity!"

An earlier version of this story which was repeated within the New Zealand Herald on February 16 reported that the sale had gone ahead.