Rooney buys Dry Creek

Waimate businessman Gary Rooney is the new owner of Dry Creek Station in the headwaters of the Orari River.

The 13,779-hectare property, the largest privately owned holding in the South Island, was put on the market late last year by its owner Brian Beattie.

Mr Beattie yesterday confirmed the sale to Mr Rooney but would not disclose the sale price, saying both parties were happy with the agreement.

Mr Beattie had farmed the station since 1950 when his father's station, Lochaber, was broken into three separate properties.

While the high country station has been conservatively farmed it is well known for its safari hunting operation.

Mr Rooney has several properties in the South Island, including a station in the Rangitata Gorge from which safari hunting operations are run and another large property in the Kaikouras.

The civil contractor, Rooney Group Ltd, was founded by Mr Rooney in 1970 as as a small earth moving business with a single bulldozer in Waimate.

Today the group employs more than 250 staff in Waimate, Christchurch, Timaru and Oamaru and remains 100 per cent owned by Mr Rooney and his wife Adrienne.

The Timaru Herald