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Passing the baton with Te Uku ‘retirement project’

October 2021

In 2005 Ngaire and Noel Hamilton bought a 20 hectare bare block ‘retirement project’ in Te Uku, nine kilometres east of Raglan. They built a farm shed, which they lived in for a year while their new house was built, as Noel explains.

“This was the third house we had built with the same architect, Peter Chibnell. We asked him to design a two bedroom house with plenty of glass and a good deck for our retirement.

“We were delighted with the house. With the views of the upper reaches of the harbour, being in a friendly neighbourhood near to Raglan, and enjoying developing the property, we have loved living here,” he says.

They repaired a large old barn on the property to use as a calf shed, rearing 40 or 50 calves each year. In 2016 the opportunity arose to buy a neighbouring eight hectare block, which came with a bore, enabling them to carry more stock.

Some health challenges however persuaded them to downsize. In May Ngaire and Noel brought in Richard Thomson of PGG Wrightson Real Estate, Hamilton, who recognised their property was as good as any he has marketed.

“Location, presentation and the thought that has gone into developing the block are all top quality and made it a pleasure to sell. In the current buoyant lifestyle market, finding willing buyers for such an excellent property was straightforward. After putting in the effort over a few weeks to present the property at its best, we listed it in mid-July, showing approximately 15 parties through, resulting on multiple offers,” says Richard.

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Meryn Wakelin and Rob Mohr came through with the best offer. Having lived in the Bombay Hills for 17 years on a one hectare property they developed from a bare paddock subdivided from a dairy farm, they had been looking for something bigger for three years, as Meryn explains.

“We wanted to go to the next level. Our plans are based on moving away from monoculture, focusing on regenerative agriculture and permaculture. We found a like-minded community in Raglan, and when this property became available nearby, we knew right away it was what we were looking for.

“We plan to retire the steeper sections of the farm and the wet areas, putting them back into natives, and are really looking forward to that challenge,” she says.

Covid has provided an extra challenge, with Meryn and Rob under tighter restrictions within the Auckland region. However, they have used that to their advantage.

“We have no choice but to stay home, which allows us to clean everything up, including putting the family to work helping out us prepare for our move, and focus on our plans for the next step,” she says.

Both couples see the sale as an ideal fit.

“When Noel and Ngaire took over the property they were around the age we are now, with similar sensibilities and outlook. We are thrilled to be able to purchase from them, and it feels as if the Hamiltons are passing us the baton. We are excited to take our turn at looking after that land and developing it further,” says Meryn.

Noel feels the same.

“We are fortunate that Rob and Meryn have purchased the farm, and pleased they will carry on our farming practices, and hopefully enjoy the property as much as we have,” he says.

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