US billionaire US Julian Robertson Jr been given approval to buy 34ha of freehold land at Kauaroa Bay on Waiheke Island.

Robertson, a lodge developer and philanthropist, paid $18.9 million for the land and plans to build a luxury lodge for 30-40 guests at Gordons Rd.

In 2015, when the property was on the market it was advertised as having 2km-plus of riparian water frontage of his 558sq m beachfront Waiheke home. It also has a caretaker's cottage, two visitors' units, double garage, helipad, tennis court and boatshed.

The homestead was originally built in 1865.


The Overseas Investment Office said the construction and operation of the lodge by Robertson was likely to result in new job opportunities on the island and new investment in New Zealand.

Robertson has interests in lodges at Kauri Cliffs near the Bay of Islands, Cape Kidnappers in Hawkes Bay, and Matakauri at Queenstown.

Robertson will provide public access to parts of the property, which has until now been off limits.

The public will be able to walk to the coast and a lookout point on the property which provides a 300-degree view across Auckland, Koi Island and Rocky Bay (Whakanewha Bay).

''The applicant also intends to undertake a managed ecology programme on the property to restore wetlands and undertake pest control and revegetation of parts of the land,'' the office said.

Land Information minister Eugenie Sage and Associate Finance minister David Clark made the decision under the Overseas Investment Act.

The property in 2012. The original farmhouse dates back to 1865. Photo / Dean Purcell.
The property in 2012. The original farmhouse dates back to 1865. Photo / Dean Purcell.

The construction of the lodge, public access and the ecology programme are conditions of the consent to buy the property.

For many years he has contributed to philanthropic projects including donating art and making a $5 million donation to recovery efforts following the Christchurch earthquake.


Forbes magazine puts his current wealth at $4.1 billion ($6.21b) and he ranks 527 on the list of the world's wealthiest.

He helped pioneer the modern-day hedge fund industry when he founded Tiger Management in 1980.

Forbes says that since closing his fund in 2000, Robertson has been managing his own book and has seeded several funds, dubbed Tiger Cubs.

Born and raised in North Carolina, Robertson served two years in the US Navy after graduating from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.