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Slice of East Coast history gives buyers rare opportunity.

Tags: Rural

The East Coast continues to offer sheep and beef farmers opportunities to expand operations with confidence with another iconic property now on the market.


The East Coast continues to offer sheep and beef farmers opportunities to expand operations with confidence with another iconic property now on the market.

The Murphy family, owners of Panikau Station at Whangara 48km north of Gisborne have written the next chapter in the station’s history by putting it on the market for the first time in 120 years. The property comprises 1094ha in two titles, with 750ha of effective pasture country running 6800 stock units.

Marketed by Bayleys Gisborne, Panikau has been renown in the district for its strong connections to the Tolaga Bay community, and links to several other historic and extensive properties in the district. These include the 2700ha Mangaheia Station, also being offered by Bayleys for sale.

Bayleys Gisborne rural agent James Bolton-Riley says Panikau’s sale signals the opportunity for the next generation of owners to build on the station’s well-founded potential, at a time when prospects for sheep and beef are stronger than ever.

“Properties like Panikau are well known, but often looked at only from afar because they simply do not come up that often on the market. This is a property offering scale, contour, rainfall and potential that are increasingly difficult to find in today’s dry-stock property market,” says James.

Panikau represents a link to New Zealand’s station heritage long departed much of New Zealand. One where staff and landowning families play an integral role in the community, employing local staff and contractors and often hosting local events.

The station offers potential buyers a firm foundation to build future production from, aided with the injection of some re-development capital.

The property is largely north facing in a warm winter coastal climate location with good easy to medium contour country, and 18ha of largely undeveloped flat country. Spread between the relatively low-lying altitude of 400m down to 50m, with most of the property under 300 metres.

“Panikau has proven capable even with its relatively light inputs, consistently getting lambs to weight for store or finished by late November. After this it operates flexibly as a viable trading operation for the rest of the year, while also presently undergoing a transition period to increased cattle numbers in recent years.”

The property is running approximately 2000 Romney ewes and ewe lambs along with 1000 head of Angus-Salers cattle, with the steers sold at two to three years of age.

Overall, there could be potential to lift Panikau’s stocking rate by 1000 units over time, allowing for greater fertiliser inputs to bring the existing P levels of 12-17 higher, and possibly consider more intensive subdivision than the existing 50 paddocks.

“Panikau’s strengths also include its excellent natural supply of spring water throughout the property which provides a source to reticulate more of the property from, if desired.”

The property’s appeal on an aesthetic level is also as strong as its production potential. Panikau’s owners took the lessons learnt from Cyclone Bola which ravaged the East Coast in 1988, laying waste to thousands of hectares of pastoral hill country.

Extensive tree planting followed in the years later, and today form part of the property’s main appeal, including an extensive 15 hectare arboretum featuring different internationally sourced species, many of them deciduous.

“With most of these propagated from the homestead garden, this area is an extensive appealing centre to Panikau that adds a lot of aesthetic value to the station and holds a lot of appeal to visitors and owners alike,” says James.

That appeal also extends to the tasteful architecturally designed homestead property set on grounds developed by renowned garden landscaper Alfred Buxton, one of this country’s most prominent colonial landscape gardeners.

The gardens feature intricate walls constructed from local stone, set out among a rich mix of exotic and native trees throughout.

Panikau has an extensive assortment of improvements, including the station’s seven stand newly re-roofed woolshed, cattle yards, satellite yards suitable for docking and the workshop-haybarn facilities. Access around the property is assured with an extensive network of four wheel drive tracks, many within laneways created by the extensive conventional and electric subdivision.

Recreationally, Panikau is endowed with on farm hunting, with deer a frequent feature on the property’s skyline. Meantime the proximity to the coastal Tolaga Bay settlement makes fishing, surfing and swimming throughout an East Coast summer a real option.

James Bolton-Riley says interest in Panikau has been strong, coming both locally and nationally from farmers and investors keen to capitalise on the scale and potential offered within the property’s boundaries.

“Stations like Panikau don’t come around often to the market, and this property has that special mix of history, care and potential within it that will see the right buyer well rewarded.”

Panikau Station is for sale by tender, closing 4pm Tuesday June 16.

Farm Details.

Panikau Station.
Location: 1542 Panikau Road, Whangara, East Coast.
Area: 1094ha (two titles), 750 effective ha.
Contour: East to medium hill country.
Altitude: 50m-400m asl (majority below 300m).
Rainfall: 1800-2000mm/year.
Stock: 6800su – 1985 sheep, 967 cattle.
Subdivision: 50 paddocks-plus over 4ha.
Fencing: Conventional 8 wire post/batten, internal laneway w electric.
Water: Extensive natural spring supply throughout property.
Fertiliser: P levels of 12-17, Sulphate Sulphur 7-8.
Improvements: Seven stand woolshed, cattle yards, satellite yards and workshop-haybarn facilities.
Homestead: High quality architecturally designed homestead set in Alfred Buxton designed gardens, five bedroom, two bathroom.
Sale Process: By tender, closing Tuesday June 16, contact James Bolton-Riley 027 739 1011, Simon Bousfield 027 665 5188.

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