A large harbourside chunk of former farmland bought over a handshake at the local pub by a truckie who stopped in at the bar for a quick pint is for sale.

The 40 hectare lifestyle block of land at Paparoa on the northern shores of the Kaipara Harbour just north of Auckland was bought by trucking firm owner Howard Smith in 1973.

Mr Smith, who at the time was operating a trucking firm in the Waikato township of Morrinsville, was making a delivery to Northland when he stopped into the Paparoa Hotel for a pie and a pint, according to Bayleys Realty Group which is marketing the property.

During banter with local Paparoa farmer Alan Tee in the bar, Mr Smith was offered a 100 hectare dairy farm for a price which proverbially sounded "too good to be true".


However, after Howard Smith finished lunch he took a detour from the scheduled delivery route and visited Alan Tee's property before later returning to the Paparoa Hotel and settling the deal with a handshake over another beer.

Over the ensuing decades, the original 100 hectare dairy farm has morphed considerably - reverting to a bull farm in the 1990s before gradually being subdivided into lifestyle blocks and sold down in portions.

Now the final remaining 40 hectare landholding has been placed on the market for sale by tender through Bayleys Whangarei. Tenders close on April 20. Bayleys Whangarei salesman Alex Smits said Howard Smith's handshake deal was a legend around Northern Kaipara region. "Howard Smith only dealt with people he trusted, and he did a lot of deals settled with a handshake. For example, in the early days Howard partnered with his sharemilker over a handshake.

"Doug is still leasing the property as a bull run some 20 years later, even after Howard's death. "

Mr Smits said the 40 hectare property comprises three separate land titles of 33, three and four hectares each.

While Howard's handshake legend lives on around Paparoa, all tenders for the land now must formally be in writing, Mr Smits quipped.