As the mother of two boys born in Asia and two more born in New Zealand, Amanda Rutherford knows all about change and challenges.

She's also knows the risks of assumptions, given husband Duncan's career in finance and his postings to Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore and then Auckland nine years ago.

Take this top-shelf villa on its rural south-of-Auckland acreage that fell into their lives after four years of apartment living in Hong Kong and Singapore.

"We wanted space around us and I've always loved the charm of villas, so I always assumed that we'd end up living in Remuera or somewhere like that when we came back," says Amanda.


That assumption was flipped on its head the first time they saw this place.

"Maybe it was meant to be — the Rutherfords of Rutherford Rd," she says of a happy coincidence that wedded them to this property.

"We came back from the rat-race in Asia, drove out from the city, the property came into view and it was so beautiful. And we didn't have to go anywhere in the weekends. It was like a one-stop-shop, which was great."

Their city friends wrongly assumed the distance would isolate them.

"We're so glad we did it otherwise we'd never have known how special it would be here, how different it was from the city and how it has kept the boys grounded. We made the most wonderful friends, too. "

For George, 11, Harry, 9, Charlie, 8, and Jack, 7, life here was about the pool, rugby on the lawn, their pet cows and racing go-karts, skateboards, bikes and scooters down the driveway.

"We'd have barbecues and our friends would bring their kids and their bikes ... and they'd all be outside all day."


Inside this home with its ornate plaster ceilings and leadlight windows, the boys' mother cut them enough slack so they knew this was their space, too.

"We put in the heating to make it snug and changed the aesthetics to modernise it," she says.

It was the previous owners who installed the country-style kitchen with its granite and timber benches and traditional cabinetry.

"We wanted to work with all of that," says Amanda of the booth-style seating to compartmentalise the kitchen and the dining area.

Reflecting on this rural gem from their smaller home in Sydney, Amanda has treasured the life her boys got to enjoy near their retired grandparents in Pukekohe.

• 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 3 parking spaces.
• Land 3.47ha, house 326sq m.
• Sale price: CV $2,375,000.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 11-11.30am.
• Auction: June 27.
• Schools: Pukekohe East School, Pukekohe Intermediate, Pukekohe High School.
• Contact: Scott McElhinney, Barfoot & Thompson, 027 210 8887,