Eric Watson puts Auckland luxury rural retreat up for sale

The palatial property owned by Eric Watson's Cullen Investments has six bedrooms, a guest wing and a helipad.
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The palatial property owned by Eric Watson's Cullen Investments has six bedrooms, a guest wing and a helipad.

A sprawling Auckland property associated with wealthy businessman Eric Watson has been put on the market.

Te Hihi Estate, a 33-hectare property in the Auckland's horse breeding belt of Karaka, is owned by Watson's business vehicle, Cullen Investments.

Cullen Investments describes it as one of the country's "most exclusive " private retreats. A private residence, it has been used more recently for events such as weddings.

The property not only has a pool, it's set on its own golf course.
bookabach supplied

The property not only has a pool, it's set on its own golf course.

With a private golf course, swimming pool,and floodlit tennis court, the property also features its own lake, gymnasium and helipad.

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The 1000 square metre.house includes six bedrooms, six bathrooms and a self-contained guest wing.

Te Hihi has been described previously as Eric Watson's main New Zealand residence.
bookabach supplied

Te Hihi has been described previously as Eric Watson's main New Zealand residence.

London-based, Watson made his initial fortune founding the Blue Star Group printing company in the 1990s.

He has a diverse range of investments including real estate, an Auckland horse stud, Texas oil interests, Auckland's Soul Bar and Restaurant, and lingerie firm Bendon.

Watson is also chairman of the the Warriors rugby league team, of which Cullen Investments has been a shareholder since 2001.

Now London-based, Watson made his initial fortune founding the Blue Star Group printing company in the 1990s.
CHRIS SKELTON/STUFF

Now London-based, Watson made his initial fortune founding the Blue Star Group printing company in the 1990s.

He was also a major shareholder of Hanover Finance which was sold to Allied Farmers' finance arm in 2009. The finance arm then failed.

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Te Hihi has been described previously as Watson's main New Zealand residence.

Sothebys agent Jason Gaddes said there were not too many properties so close to Auckland that were like it.

Watson with former wife Nicky Watson at the Karaka horse sales in 2002.
SACHA LAWSON/FAIRFAX NZ

Watson with former wife Nicky Watson at the Karaka horse sales in 2002.

"There are very few properties that provide the opportunities that this property does - 33ha of land so close to a major city ... It is quite unique."

Consented as a luxury lodge, the property included four consented titles which could be developed.

Gaddes said there had been interest from both locals and from overseas.

"There are varied interests from the commercial opportunities through to a residence."

He didn't want to put an estimated value on it, but in 2010 it was reportedly marketed above $10m.

 - Stuff

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