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Pioneering deer farm for sale with tourism and hunting options

Tags: Rural

An iconic Hawke’s Bay station founded on pioneering spirit and nurtured over 100 years by the same family is now on the market for the first time.


Historic Te Rangi Station, located 50 minutes north of Napier Airport is generating strong interest among farming circles as far afield as the South Island from potential buyers recognising the opportunities a deer fenced station of this scale and summer safe location offers.

The property at 748 Heays Access Road, Tutira is offered for sale by tender closing 20 November 2019 by Bayleys Havelock North salespeople Tony Rasmussen and Gavin Franklin.

There are a range of potential tourism activities which could be completed alongside farming which include guided walks, 4WD and horse treks, mountain biking, hunting, wellness retreats, kiwi and other bird watching, as well as school camps and other educational activities to do with the geographical landscape which include massive limestone bluffs on the property.

Bayleys Havelock North salesperson Gavin Franklin said with its location near Tutira on summer safe country, with a good balance of easy-medium hill country Te Rangi provides an opportunity for intending buyers to consider a range of land use opportunities.

Within the 560 hectares of pastoral country Te Rangi features 460 hectares of land deer fenced which includes around 270 hectares of native bush rich in birdlife and biodiversity that balances nicely against the pastoral country.

A portion of the kanuka has grassy clearings and provides winter grazing for around 120 cows.

Latest soil tests indicate a property with nutrient levels at or very near optimal levels, giving purchasers confidence about its future stocking capacity, and the ability to “pick up and run” once taking possession. The station has a fantastic fertiliser history.

Te Rangi has been run as a finishing unit, taking advantage of good summer rainfall and the ability to winter weaner Friesian bulls on kale, selling as store before the second winter, along with bulls bred on the property and finished at 18 months, also before the second winter.

Much of Te Rangi’s finishing country is at the bottom and southern side of the farm, with reticulated water supplying all cultivatable areas.

There is the opportunity to increase Te Rangi’s stocking capacity through further cultivation and pasture renewal, while its 60 paddocks offer well sized subdivision for the block.

Te Rangi’s history has been well recounted by Adrian Heays, grandson to the property’s pioneering founder Bob Heays who settled the property after returning from Gallipoli.

Earthquakes, depression, another war and some boom-bust years have made Te Rangi a witness to almost New Zealand’s entire agricultural history, including the innovation and opportunities that have presented themselves more recently.

This included the pioneering deer farming efforts of Adrian’s father Murray. In true Kiwi fashion he took what was regarded as a noxious pest, acquired a license and started to farm them.

The halcyon early days of deer farming were spearheaded by the likes of Murray, and he recounted to Radio New Zealand in 2011 his efforts in live deer capture, the first in Hawke’s Bay.

Capturing deer involved building a fence around the area where deer were prolific, letting them get used to going in and out the area, then simply shutting a gate into the area. Feeding them maize over the tough winter months did much to help them settle into their new domesticity.

A peaking velvet market in the eighties ensured early days were a lucrative way to build stock numbers and farming funds.

Capturing deer on the property helped raise funds to continue its improvements and was the spring board for a velvet business and bloodline imports from United Kingdom and Denmark. Red deer auctions were a regular feature of Te Rangi’s farm calendar throughout the late seventies and eighties.

Today the property does not run deer, but the facilities for handling them include two deer sheds, with all-weather access.

There is also 460 hectares in deer fencing that encompasses 220 hectares of bush and a totara basin. Having the fencing already in place offers a valuable alternative opportunity for an interested operator keen to spread the property’s income risk.

Other improvements on the property include a spacious four bedroom homestead in the 1920s colonial style, a well-built manager’s house, shearers’ quarters and a four stand woolshed and yards.

Mr Franklin says a key feature of Te Rangi are the opportunities it offers from a well-founded, well fertilised and cared for farm base.

“This could include taking advantage of the extensive bush area and incorporating it into an eco-tourism or hunting operation. The property’s proximity to Napier airport, only 50 minutes away means it has a level of accessibility that is quite rare for properties of this type and scale.”

Boosted by its long-standing reputation as a winery region Hawke’s Bay is now enjoying a growing reputation as New Zealand’s food bowl, with strong growth in both international and domestic tourists keen to sample the region’s high quality food and experience the environment within which it is grown.

Te Rangi’s landscape alone make it a stunning visual experience, with sweeping vistas from the station’s 911 metre high trig that span 360 degrees across the North Island from Cape Kidnappers in the east around to north-western Lake Waikaremoana and Panekiri Bluff. Further west the volcanic peaks of Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro and even Taranaki can be seen on exceptionally clear days.

Its unique landscape includes the “Sandhills”, a pumice area that is the remnant of the Taupo eruption, a geological peculiarity that also explains the station’s silt and sand based loamy soils that have benefitted from regular levels of superphosphate over the years.

The unique connection to the natural world is continued by the Boundary Stream Walkway, gifted as a reserve by the Heay and neighbouring Shine families in the 1980s, including the Shine Falls, Hawke’s Bay’s highest waterfall, with many walking trails throughout.

Mr Franklin says interest in the property is quickening.

“There is a lot of optimism out there, the sheep and beef sector is looking more positive than ever, with consistent returns and solid market prospects giving interested parties plenty of confidence,” he said.

“A property like Te Rangi provides an exceptional platform to grow from, with a number of options for income that don’t often present themselves.”

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