A wealthy American who bought the largest lake front property in New Zealand, has been revealed as broadcaster Matt Lauer.

The NBC television journalist and host bought the property near Queenstown, 1 News reported tonight.

Lauer, 59, is one of the highest paid news anchors in the world and commands a salary of between US$20-25 million ($28-$35m) the Los Angeles Times reported.

He has hosted NBC's Today show since 1997, after starting as a news reader on the show in 1994.


The Today show is one of the highest rated programmes in the US and generates some US$500m for NBC annually, the LA Times reported.

Lauer has interviewed the likes of US President Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton in recent times.

Mystery had surrounded the identity of the buyer of a high country station on the shore of Lake Hawea.

The Herald earlier reported an American businessman was granted consent by the Overseas Investment Office to buy the 6468ha Hunter Valley Station.

The station has been leased by the Crown to the Cochrane family for more than 40 years.

Lessees Taff and Pene Cochrane put the sheep and cattle station up for sale in 2010.

Properties on the station include a five-bedroom homestead, cottage and shearers' quarters.

Also on the property are stables, hay sheds, covered yards, a woolshed, 10 huts, four airstrips, 200km of fencing and 80km of vehicle tracks.

The estimated capital value of the property is $13.2 million.

Stretching 35km along the shore of Lake Hawea into the Hunter Valley and surrounded by mountains and native bush, the station has been described as one of the most picturesque in New Zealand.

Public access to parts of the station has been a contentious issue in the past. In 2015 the Cochranes temporarily blocked access to a road which provides the only road access to the Department of Conservation's Kidds Bush camp.

Access to five huts on the land, some used by the same family for more than 50 years, was also blocked.