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Canterbury farm offers Southcap mixed options

By Chris Hutching

Friday 17th March 2000

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Southern Capital will be well placed to develop a range of tourist/residential developments with its plans to buy a prime 2757ha coastal farm at Waipara for $4.5 million.

Directors Philip Burmester and Howard Paterson have been viewing several North Canterbury properties from helicopters to help identify properties with development potential.

The coastal Waipara farm of Tiromoana they have chosen provides the company with a wide choice of development options. Part of Tiromoana fronts on to State Highway 1 near Waipara, which over the past 10 years has become a recognised wine-growing region producing top-quality wines capitalising on the area's microclimate.

Home to prominent winemaker Daniel Schuster, the area has given rise to wine labels Pegasus Bay and Waipara Springs and recently opened winery Muddy Waters.

Southern Capital's longer- term plans for tourism/winery developments will complement a proposal by Christchurch businessman Don Holden, representing a group with options over two properties a few kilometres north of Waipara township.

A consent application has been lodged seeking subdivision consent for 169ha, with about 50ha of north-facing limestone slopes earmarked for pinot noir and chardonnay grapes.

The balance would be subdivided for future residential building including visitor accommodation and a small commercial area.

Mr Holden said he welcomed the Southern Capital proposal, which could only add credibility to other development plans in the area.

He believed Tiromoana was a good buy at the $4.5 million price, particularly because it has an established water supply, which was one of the biggest challenges for newcomers.

Wine-growing land around Waipara has been selling for about $30,000/ha.

Meanwhile, Southern Capital managing director Graeme Wong said a conditional contract for purchase of the property had been signed and settlement was due mid-year.

Tiromoana carries 15,000 stock units, which will continue to be farmed, and it also contains plantations of 19-year-old pine trees.

A Carter Holt medium-density fibreboard plant is just a few miles away near Rangiora. Lifestyle blocks would also be developed to fund forestry activities.

The farm also extends to the Pegasus Bay coast with wide- ranging views above the cliffs, which rise from the plains near Waipara. Mr Wong said 20ha was earmarked for residential subdivision, which would be permitted under the new district plan.

Access is via the Mt Cass Rd, with a paper road extending down to a small but popular beach.

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