The man regarded as the world’ s best America’ s Cup campaign organiser – and with three decades of involvement with yachting in New Zealand – is selling up his Kiwi-dream waterfront property... without ever having stayed a night there.
Frenchman Laurent Esquier has been working with New Zealand’s yachting syndicates as far back as the 1986/87 America’s Cup in Freemantle – the first foray into the competition by a New Zealand team.
He has owned a spectacular 47.6 hectare piece of Northland coastal property since 2003 – within the exclusive Mataka Station at the north-western tip of the Bay of Islands.
Mataka Station development is an exclusive gated community of 30 large lifestyle properties located within a fully-operational 1147 hectare sheep and beef farm. The lots range in size from 20 – 57 hectares. Laurent Esquier’s beachfront holding has the most waterfront access.
Block owners within the Mataka estate have shared access to the farm’s four private beaches – one of which boasts a communal ‘club house’ lodge style facility with kitchen area, lounge, spacious decking and BBQ area for hosting parties and functions.
Another of Mataka’s four beaches accommodates eight individually-allocated boat houses and a concreted boat-launching ramp.
As well as running New Zealand yachting campaigns, Laurent Esquier was operations director for the Italian Il Moro di Venezia, the Prada Challenges, and BMW Oracle.
Mr Esquier said: “I purchased the block with the intention of one day relocating my life to New Zealand. At that stage I had been actively working for a number of New Zealand yachting entities for some 15 years, so I felt like the country was my adopted home… and the Bay of Islands was simply stunning.”
“I made many trips to the property, took countless photographs, had building plans drafted up… and even commissioned a 1.5 by 1.8 metre painting by Kiwi artist Keith Thomas depicting the gorgeous flowering pohutukawas on the property’s beach.
“However, life changes – and for family reasons I now have to make the hard decision not to relocate.
“I am separating from Mataka with great regrets, but it will always be in my heart…. It just won’t be my home. I still have the Keith Thomas painting hanging in my home in Rochester, New York state – and I’ll throw that in as part of the sale deal so someone else can enjoy the dream I had.”
The Mataka Station lifestyle block is being marketed for sale by Bayleys through an auction being held on July 22 in the company’s Auckland headquarters. Bayleys salesperson Chester Rendell said the headland property offered the ultimate exclusivity for owners – with only two entrances, each controlled by electronic keypads.
“The station concept was designed for discerning people who want luxury waterfront or hilltop homes in near total isolation from their neighbours, yet with the option of socialising at the beach lodge,” he said.
“A number of site owners within Mataka Station are offshore entities who tend to spend a couple of months at their ‘bach’ over the summer period. The rest of the year their dwellings remain empty. There are some truly stunning homes on the peninsula.”
Mr Rendell said the Esquier site being marketed encompassed a north-facing headland with expansive views to Cape Wiwiki, Nine Pin and out to the Pacific. The property had a Far North District Council valuation of $3.1 million – which includes the club house amenity -although Mr Rendell said the vendor’s price expectation was lower than this.
“There are several building platforms within the section where a new home could be built - depending on what views and elevation the new owners has a preference for. That all comes down to personal taste but the options are certainly plentiful,” Mr Rendell said.
“With only 30 sites in the Mataka community, properties rarely come up for sale – and with its substantial beach access, this offering is certainly the pick of the bunch.”