A Hawke's Bay farm, partly bought by a group of loyal National Party supporters to "lure a future prime minister and governor-general to live in their electorate", is on the market.

Kia Ora sheep and cattle farm, located around 20km from Dannevirke, was bought during World War II by Sir Keith Holyoake.

He was the only person to ever hold the roles of both Prime Minister and Governor-General of New Zealand, and is the country's third longest-serving Prime Minister.

When he bought the 393ha station in 1942, he paid £11,874 - £3000 was paid as a "donation" by the Dannevirke electorate branch of the National Party as an incentive package to tempt him to move to the area.


His family never lived at the station, and Sir Keith only visited it occasionally on weekends, when he was said to have gained a reputation for feeding out hay from the boot of his Daimler.

During his busy political career, a manager ran the sheep and beef operations, before Sir Keith's son, Roger, took on the farm manager role in 1962. The farm was sold to its current owners in 1998, who also bought adjacent 159ha Manawa Farm a year later from separate vendors.

Now, both are up for auction on October 13 through Bayleys Hawke's Bay.

Salesman Tony Rasmussen said the vendor's preference was to sell Kia Ora and Manawa as one block.

However, if interest in the joint properties did not match the vendors' pricing expectations, but there was interest in one or other of the individual farms, Mr Rasmussen said the vendors would look at auctioning the two blocks separately on the same day.

Kia Ora Station has a large spring-feed catchment, Lake Rotoha, at the top of the property - providing a natural irrigation supply to large portions of the easy-medium contoured topography. Additional irrigation over the farm comes from Mangotoro Stream.

Infrastructure includes a substantially renovated 324sq m five-bedroom villa, a 117sq m three-bedroom manager's residence, a four-stand woolshed, a large stable complex, shearers quarters, sheep and cattle yards, hay barns and implement sheds. The property has its own airfield, and an 80-tonne fertiliser storage bin.

Kia Ora Station is divided into 45 main paddocks with a further three holding paddocks - all separated by conventional post and batten fencing. In recent years the farm has been used as a lamb finishing unit stocking about 20,000 lambs annually, with an additional smaller number of dairy grazers, steers, heifers and bulls, and up to 20 brood mares foaled.

Meanwhile, the smaller Manawa Farm has a reticulated water system, three-bedroom homestead, three stand woolshed, two hay barns, and stock yards. The property is divided into 31 paddocks separated by post and batten fencing with some use of electric fencing.

"The two neighbouring units benefit from 10km of front frontage on to a predominantly tar-sealed road. The council-maintained vehicle and stock access greatly assists the efficiency of operations," Mr Rasmussen said.

"The properties have previously been approved for dairy conversion but there are also numerous other land-used options which have been explored - from dairy goats and cropping through to continuing their long-running operation as a finishing unit."