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Waterfront land once traded for muskets and gun powder goes back on the market

Tags: Commercial Kerikeri

A block of waterfront land in the Far North traded from Maori chiefs for muskets and gun powder almost two centuries ago has been placed on the market once again.

However, the sale price is expected to be somewhat higher this time compared to the original trade, says the salesperson marketing the property.

The 9097 sqm property, made up of two titles, between the sea and State Highway 12 in the seaside settlement of Omapere in the Hokianga was formerly owned by the first European settler in Omapere – John Martin.

A first mate on the sailing vessel Governor Macquarie, Mr Martin and his captain arrived into the Hokianga Harbour in 1827. He decided to remain in the area, becoming the official pilot of Hokianga and marrying a local Maori woman with whom he had three children.

Five years after he first arrived, Mr Martin purchased the block of land overlooking the water from Maori Chiefs for five muskets and 35 kg of gunpowder.

On the property he built a small cottage which he painted white to act as a marker for ships coming into the harbour. He remained at the property until his death in 1863, after which it was split in several parts between members of his family. Current owner Peter Hojsgaard bought this seaward part of John Martin’s original land, his pilot station, in 1990.

Peter Hojsgaard and his wife made plans to build a dream home on the property designed by architect Nicholas Stevens, aiming to retire there. However, a move back to her home country of Denmark in 2002 meant it has instead remained a holiday location, with the couple travelling back almost every year to enjoy the area.

Due to their overseas residency and advancing ages, the couple has now regretfully decided to place the property and a nearby bach they own, on the market for sale.

“After 24 years of wonderful memories spent at the property with family and friends it is time for us to move on and for someone else to take over this beautiful slice of paradise,” said Mr Hojsgaard

“It is a very special part of the country and we hope a new owner will enjoy realising their own dreams for the land,” said Mr Hojsgaard.

The property has been placed on the market with Bayleys Kerikeri salesperson David Baguley for sale by auction on December 3.

Mr Baguley said it was the last block of land of its size on the Omapere waterfront and offered a “blank canvas” for a new owner to create their ideal holiday or permanent home. Alternatively, the property could potentially be subdivided and developed.


“This is a stunning property in an idyllic part of the country located just over three hours from Auckland. Absolute waterfront properties are always highly coveted so it’s no surprise there has already been a strong level of interest in both this land and the bach down the road that the Hojsgaards are selling,” said Mr Baguley.

“The property has a Government Valuation of $408,000 but it is expected to sell for more than that – quite a difference from the original price paid.”

The block of land zoned Coastal Residential, is largely flat and extends from the road down to the sand dunes.

Given the flat contour and picturesque location of the property it has attracted a number of requests from brides-to-be over the years to hold their wedding ceremony there, said Mr Hojsgaard.

During his ownership he has happily consented to this many times, without charge. Before placing the property on the market Mr. Hojsgaard made one final promise to an upcoming bride, due to be married on-site in February next year.

He has requested that a new owner consider upholding this promise to allow the couple to marry on the property if possible and if not, to allow them as much notice as possible to find an alternative venue.

For further information about this property contact Bayleys Kerikeri salesperson David Baguley on 021 831 44.

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