$70m farm up for sale

Last updated 10:31 06/12/2013
Lochinver station

PRIME PLOT: Lochinver Station, near Taupo, is one of New Zealand's largest and most valuable stations.

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

The 13,800 hectare Lochinver Station near Taupo, valued at more than $70 million, has been put up for tender by the privately owned 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 other major farm sales in the past five years. St James Station in Canterbury sold for $45 million, a Dipton property in Southland went for $33 million and Mt Pember Station in North Canterbury, which sold recently for close to $30 million.

On the Rangitaiki Plains, 32 kilometres 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.'' 

Stevenson Group chief executive Mark Franklin said the company was rebalancing its investment portfolio and Lochinver Station was being put up for sale as part of that process.

''Lochinver Station no longer fits with Stevenson's future strategic direction, which will be focused on the core businesses of mining, quarrying, concrete and associated investments around these industries.'' 

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

His son Ross developed the farm by clearing its large tracts of scrub using the company's mining machinery during the winter months to break the land in.

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

Its carrying capacity is expected to increase to 120,000 stock units with further development, the return of leased land and irrigation. 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 ten titles, over two blocks to the south and north of State Highway 5 - the 10,812ha Lochinver and the 3031 Otamatea block.

Tenders close on February 27.

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- The Dominion Post

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