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Political legend’ s former lake-side holiday home up for sale

Tags: Residential Taupo

The lakeside holiday home once owned by former Prime Minister and Governor General Sir Keith Holyoake has been placed on the market for sale.

Sir Keith Holyoake served twice as New Zealand’s Prime Minister – briefly in 1957, and then between 1960–1972, in what still stands as one of the longest terms ever held for the post. He was also Governor General from 1977–1980, and is the only person to have held both positions.

Sir Keith died in 1983, but the two-bedroom Kinloch property overlooking Lake Taupo has remained in the family ever since. It is now being reluctantly offered for sale by the third generation of Holyoake family owners.

The ‘bach’ on an 806 square metre low maintenance section in a prime lake-side position has been placed on the market for sale through Bayleys Taupo in a tender process closing on April 17.

The wooden-constructed 110 square metre dwelling dates back to 1964 when it was one of the first holiday homes to be built in Kinloch. Sir Keith had bought the land some 10-years earlier as part of a property development which began as a sheep farming block.

It was the vision of Sir Keith Holyoake and his farming partners which saw plans for the Kinloch township evolve into the holiday destination it has become today. When asked on his deathbed in 1983 what his proudest achievement had been, Sir Keith Holyoake replied: ”Kinloch.”

Bayleys Taupo sales person Helen Webb said that apart from the addition of a second bedroom, the home was in exactly the same format as it was when first built more than half a century ago.

“Sir Keith chose the Lockwood design home only a few years after company founder Jo La Grouw first brought his revolutionary interlocked interior wooden paneling design to the market,” she said.

“In those early 1960s you’d only see Lockwood houses around the Rotorua, Bay of Plenty and Lake Taupo regions - mainly as what were the upmarket holiday homes of their time, and Sir Keith wanted to be part of that Kiwi-founded innovation.

“Sir Keith affectionately dubbed the house ‘Cabin by the Lake’. From an interior design perspective, it’s interesting to see how the open-plan living architecture of the early 1960s is still relevant today. Like the stunning views of Lake Taupo from this cul-de-sac street, nothing has really changed.”

Ms Webb said that while the bach was modestly sized and harked back to the days when big canvas tents were often erected on the back lawn by Sir Keith to accommodate the holidaying kids during long summer breaks, there was potential to add further rooms to the existing structure.

Located directly behind the property through a private back gate is access to a recreational boat berth within the exclusive Kinloch Marina. Ms Webb said that any prospective buyer of the Holyoake home would have the option of purchasing a marina berth separately.

While viewed as a ‘boutique’ holiday destination, Kinloch’s population and size has continued to grow. Census figures show that in 2006 there were 555


dwellings in Kinloch. By 2013, that number had grown to 684 dwellings – with 70 percent of those classified as ‘holiday homes’. In parallel, census figures show the town’s population has blossomed from 327 people in 2006 to 489 in 2013.

Ms Webb said Kinloch’s urban spread and population growth had been simultaneously underpinned by a rise in tourism-related activities in the greater Taupo region – most notably driven by the increase in participating golf players and cycling enthusiasts.

The New Zealand Professional Golfers Association last year ranked the Jack Nicklaus-designed Kinloch Golf Course as the country’s best 18-hole amenity, while the nearby Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary course in Taupo came in at sixth spot.

Meanwhile, the opening of Taupo’s sections of the New Zealand Cycle Trail Project in April last year has also attracted thousands of new visitors to the region. The 71 kilometre trail - which can be undertaken over one to three days – has one portion passing right through Kinloch and linking up to Whakaipo Bay.

The intermediate-level Great Lake Trail with views over both the lake and Tongariro National Park was built in a joint project by local cycling enthusiasts belonging to Bike Taupo, the Taupo District Council, and the Department of Conservation.

Ms Webb expected potential holiday-home buyers to be attracted to the Kinloch location because of its lake-side vista offering serenity and sunsets.

For further information on the sale of Sir Keith Holyoake’s former holiday home, or images of the property, contact Helen Webb at Bayleys. Telephone 0274 444908.

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