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Robertson pins Pegasus hopes on Foveran sale – with water consents for dam

A pending water consent application in Hakataramea Valley may help Wanaka developer Bob Robertson recoup his position at Pegasus Town – in receivership – near Christchurch.

Mr Robertson is hoping to sell his Foveran deer park property in Hakataramea Valley, North Otago.

He placed it on the market two years ago without success.

But this time he has the added attraction of water consents that are in the final stages of being granted.

Last year he sold two properties adjoining Foveran Deer Park – one in Hakataramea Downs Rd and nearby Winterburg – then he bought another called The Brothers, that enlarges the properties and offers a better balance of high and low country for stock, PGG Wrightson agent Laurie Farmer says.

The attraction for buyers of Winterberg and now Foveran is Mr Robertson’s water consent applications to dam 5.5 million cubic metres of water in the Hakataramea Valley’s Homestead Stream.

The planned 16m-high, 2.2km dam between Frasers Rd and Meyers Pass Rd obtained the go-ahead from Environment Canterbury’s government-appointed commissioners last year, but final sign-off awaits the outcome of negotiations with objectors.

A consultant to the project, Tom Heller of Environmental Associates, says he is optimistic final consents will be issued in the next week or two.

The proceeds from a sale of The Brothers and Foveran would help Mr Bob Robertson recover his position at Pegasus Town, where he hopes to repurchase the debt from the receivers.

The recent receiver’s first report says the debt to New Zealand Property Finance Partners is $142 million. The company is owned by Goldman Sachs and Brookfield, which acquired the debt from Bank of Scotland last year.

Mr Robertson told NBR NZPI recently he was continuing to work toward a buyout with the assistance of other investors.

Receiver Simon Thorn of Grant Thornton says he also understands Mr Robertson is seeking backing from high net worth individuals.

Mr Robertson’s Wanaka-based Infinity Group is so far untouched by the Pegasus default and continues to sell down several developments, mostly at Wanaka.

Foveran Deer Park is renowned for producing some of New Zealand’s best red deer stock for venison, as well as being a major supplier to New Zealand’s popular trophy hunting industry.

It is home to New Zealand Trophy Hunting, an outfitting company specialising in delivering hunting experiences to tourist hunters from around the world.

Foveran’s red deer stud is one of the largest and longest established in New Zealand with more than 3000 stud deer in pasture. Each year Foveran offers a selection for sale by auction. 

More by Chris Hutching for NBR NZ Property Investor