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Farming entrepreneur puts Lake McKay Station up for sale

The 9000 stock unit sheep and cattle station is expected to sell "well in excess" of its rating valuation of $19-20 million.

Jonathan Underhill
Thu, 27 Oct 2016

Farmer Colin Harvey has put his 6639-hectare Lake McKay Station, one of the largest freehold high country stations in Wanaka, up for sale with tentative work on a residential subdivision among the potential revenue streams.

The 9000 stock unit sheep and cattle station is expected to sell "well in excess" of its rating valuation of $19-20 million, says Sotheby's International Realty sales associate Matt Finnigan.

It was too early to say what value housing development would add to the property, although Mr Harvey has submissions with the Queenstown Lakes District Council and has "done a lot of work with consultants", particularly for land near the township of Luggate, which is about 15 kilometres from Wanaka township.

Auckland-based Mr Harvey is a veteran of the farming industry, having grown up on Taranaki dairy farms, but his contribution to New Zealand agriculture includes founding Ancare, the animal health company sold to Merial, the global animal health business recently acquired by Boehringer Ingelheim International from Sanofi SA. Mr Harvey later sold the remaining Ancare R&D assets he retained to Merial.

Mr Finnigan says in putting Lake McKay up for sale, Mr Harvey "is now Auckland-centric" and mindful of grandchildren in the North Island, although the decision came about after an approach by the realtor.

Mr Harvey and wife Mary bought the farm eight years ago and have since invested $2 million in an irrigation system, while also buying 135ha more land adjacent to the Clutha River.

Luggate is seen as a natural satellite town for Wanaka and even Queenstown, where strong economic growth has boosted demand for workers but squeezed them out of the immediate housing zones. Wanaka-based Willowbridge Developments is selling sections in its Luggate Park development, which it describes as "a lifestyle choice and an affordable option."

"Given the demand for housing in the district, it is likely an area where it would certainly be acceptable," Mr Finnigan says. The district plan is under review so there are a lot of uncertainties but the idea is "not just a notion" although it is "too soon to put any definite value on that part of the property."

There is likely to be strong offshore interest in the property and from ex-pat Kiwis. Mr Harvey is braced for an Overseas Investment Office requirement.

His other interests include the Hobbiton theme set, the Taranaki pesticide company Zelam, Country TV , Canterbury Fresh Lamb and the Wool Unity Group, along with a number of property and investment companies.


Jonathan Underhill
Thu, 27 Oct 2016
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Farming entrepreneur puts Lake McKay Station up for sale