Record farm price expected

HANK SCHOUTEN
Last updated 05:00 07/12/2013

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One of New Zealand's biggest and most valuable farms is for sale.

The 13,800-hectare Lochinver Station near Taupo, valued at more than $70 million, has been put up for tender by the Stevenson Group, which has owned the property for more than 50 years.

The biggest rural property to come on the market in the North Island is expected to set a record price for a farm sale in New Zealand, says Bayleys managing director Mike Bayley.

The property has a rating value of $70.6 million.

This is well over what other major farms realised in the past five years: St James Station in Canterbury sold for $45m, a Dipton property in Southland went for $33m, and Mt Pember Station in North Canterbury recently sold for close to $30m.

On the Rangitaiki Plains, 32km from Taupo and 92km from Napier, Lochinver is a sheep and beef breeding and finishing and dairy support station.

It has three airstrips, a lake, a recreational hunting block, 22 houses which accommodate the families of 20 permanent staff, a staff recreation centre, and a school.

Bayley said that with a carrying capacity of more than 100,000 stock units, this was the most productive freehold rural property to be put up for sale.

"Lochinver is widely recognised as one of the most prestigious stations in the country because it has been meticulously developed and superbly maintained and managed."

The property was purchased in 1958 by the late Sir William Stevenson, founder of the Stevenson Group.

This year the farm wintered 60,000 sheep, 3500 beef cattle, and 2300 dairy support cattle.

Agents say parts of the station could be more intensively developed as deer or dairy farmland and it also has tourism potential. The station is made up of 10 titles, over two blocks to the south and north of State Highway 5. Tenders close on February 27.

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