The new owners of Rerekapa Station have paid what is believed to be a record price for a Taranaki hill-country farm.
A family syndicate paid $5.1 million for the 2400ha North Taranaki station at auction last week.
Capable of wintering 15,000 stock units, Rerekapa Station near Uruti has four houses, two woolsheds with covered yards, satellite yards and an airstrip.
On the market for 14 months, it was an interesting property "that grows on you", First National Allied Farmers agent Owen Mills said.
"It's a damn nice farm, a breeding farm, but they've also finished lambs on it."
The owners had added 800ha to the station since purchasing it from Landcorp in 1996.
He said stocking the station might cost the new owners $1.5 million.
A number of prospective buyers, including some from outside Taranaki, had inspected it, including those looking to establish forestry. "But it's nice to see it staying in pastoral use."
Auctioneer Colin Morrison described bidding at last week's auction, attended by about 100 people, as brisk.
One of Taranaki's largest beef breeding units, Rerekapa Station had been farmed responsibly, but now needed capital fertiliser and better fences. Safe for livestock because it had no bluffs, it could easily run 60 per cent cattle and 40 per cent sheep, he said.
"It's a property that has so much scope and potential. It's ideal for a family operation where everyone can pitch in with development and stockwork."
The auction started with a raft of potential buyers including two from the King Country.
Bidding started at $3,450,000 and increased by $50,000 bids once momentum was established. It became a slug-out between two bidders, who were both outstanding farmers.
"We're not in buoyant times so it was a very good price," Mr Morrison said.
- Taranaki Daily News
Does more need to be done to protect NZ passports?