Director buys more of Wairarapa

SEAMUS BOYER AND CATHERINE HARRIS
Last updated 11:41 29/09/2012
James Cameron
REUTERS
Director James Cameron has added another 21 hectares to his Wairarapa property portfolio.

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Canadian film-maker James Cameron continues to expand his south Wairarapa property portfolio.

In a decision released yesterday, Cameron was given a green light by the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) to buy 21 hectares of land along Western Lake Rd.

Cameron's company T Base 2 paid a confidential sum to the property's three New Zealand owners, Maria Wallace, Ronald Lloyd Allan and Robert Stuart Anderson.

Allan, a retired builder, and Wallace moved out of the property this week.

The application said the purchase was part of a larger acquisition which the Cameron family would use as a residence and working farm.

The new property includes a large three-bedroom home on Pounui Ridge and extensive native bush, interspersed with walking tracks.

Because it is near another Cameron property, the Pounui homestead, there is speculation it would make an ideal guest house for the Canadian director, or provide a handy environment to work on sequels to his box office hit movie Avatar.

Cameron paid about $20 million in January for the 817ha Pounui property and a 250ha dairy farm.

In March, he added a 10ha lifestyle block, and as the Dominion Post reported, in June added two further lifestyle blocks and a 13ha site containing several buildings.

In other decisions, Cameron's new neighbour, American billionaire Bill Foley, won permission to expand his Kiwi-based wine operation.

Foley, who owns luxury lodge Wharekauhau, bought 80 per cent of the New Zealand Wine Company for just over $48m in cash and non-cash.

The OIO also approved an application from famous French winemaking firm Compagnie Vinicole Baron Edmond de Rothschild to buy 26.4ha in Marlborough for $3.7m to set up an "ultra- premium" wine brand.

Companies owned by Singaporean hotel entrepreneur Michael Kum were also cleared to buy the site of Auckland's Hilton Hotel for a confidential sum.

Approval was given for a $110m Waikato windfarm near Kawhia Harbour. The farm is a 50-50 venture between the Maori owners of the Taharoa Block C and foreign investors, including the Chinese Government with 15 per cent.

And the stalled Gulf Harbour development in Whangaparaoa has been given a new lease on life with the sale of 31ha to mostly Chinese investors.

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The land was sold for $35m by companies owned by bankrupt property developer Jamie Peters to Top Harbour, owned by Zhaobai and Rose Jiang, Shanghai Zendai Property, and minority stakeholder Westlake Investments.

A trust associated with New Zealand entrepreneur Craig Heatley got the nod to sell half of a Canterbury sheep and cattle farm to an American, Calvin Pardee Erdman.

Erdman, who already owned half of the farm, paid $3.4m.

- The Dominion Post

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