Mike Scaddam is a practitioner of positive thinking. When he decided in 2000 to buy this idyllic property, 15km from the centre of Tauranga, he was $5000 off the agreed price.

"I had two other houses but I wanted to keep them as rentals," he says. "Within three days I won $5250 on Bonus Bonds.

"I was a school principal at that stage and I shouted the staff $250 in pizzas and wine. With the other $5000 I gave the guy a cheque."

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For Mike and his wife Fiona the main attractions of this property are the privacy and freedom it offers from its elevated position, the dynamic views over the Kaimai Range, the Coromandel Peninsula, Mayor and Aldermen islands and into Tauranga harbour and on to Mount Maunganui apartments.

"The sunset and sunrise are absolutely beautiful," says Mike. "You get this feeling of openness. The closest neighbours are about two kilometres away."

Mike and Fiona extended the house that had been built as accommodation for people attending conferences.

Now it has three bedrooms plus an office. They added a new bathroom with floor-to-ceiling windows and a large bath that has views of the Kaimais.

A lounge was made into a dining room; a new lounge was added. The garage attached to the home was converted to another lounge/media room, plus there is a separate conversation area inside the home.

Two outside spaces accommodate a spa and areas for a barbecue and pizza oven.

Also, on the property are a four-car garage, which has the gym, and a 75sq m seminar room with a toilet and shower.

"My wife says it is the best commute in the world to walk from the house down through the bush to the seminar room to meet with a client," says Mike.

"We have had a lot of special events here including 21sts. Fiona and I got married here two-and-a-half years ago.

"The seminar room caters easily for about 50 people. We have often thought that would be an ideal place for weddings or funeral parties. There is a very special feeling.

"We have a pool table and table tennis table in the seminar room. That would be a great space for teenage-plus family to come and have their own space."

As well as extending the home, Mike and Fiona turned their attention to their near 2ha of land.

"It is in an organic property and it was originally part of the farm," says Mike.

"We found that the farm soil was absolutely no good in the summer.

"The ground was hard and there wasn't a single tree on the property, just grass."

They organised a planting programme of 6500 trees.

"And with that we have bush and birdlife and I designed a 6km track which I use as part
of the business.

His business, called Brain Stems, offers advice about brain-compatible learning based upon neuro, cognitive and behavioural science.

"I work with people on healthy brain and mind functions and how motivation works. I do a lot of work with top-core athletes.

"Lisa Carrington and I worked together for five years before she got her first gold medal.

"I work with schools, businesses, individuals, counselling, that kind of thing.

"People come up here and comment on how special the place feels.

"Whenever I am working with anyone, it needs to be peaceful and positive.

"The house can't be seen from the road."

Mike and Fiona have found their 18 years here fulfilling.

But Mike loves a challenge and one day he said to Fiona, "Let's sell up and go".

They bought a new property down the coast — still on a hill and with fantastic views.

"So, we are building a house down there and hoping, too, that we can spend some time overseas," he says.

And former scientist/teacher/counsellor Fiona is moving into the business with Mike.

"We are looking at a whole lot of wellness things and we have some programmes we want to introduce into high schools," says Mike.

665A MINDEN RD, TAURANGA
• 3* bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 4 parking spaces.
• Land 1.9393ha, house 308sq m.
• Price: RV $1.17 million.
• Tender: Closes Thursday, 6 Sept, 4pm.
• Inspect: Please call for an appointment.
• Schools: Te Puna Primary and Tauranga City secondary schools.
• Contact: Andrew Fowler, 027 275 2244, pggwre.co.nz/property/tar28585/665a-minden-road-te-puna/
*Plus office