Wat­son sells lux­u­ri­ous Te Hihi es­tate


Thirty-three hectares of open green space, a nine-hole golf course, polo field and a six bed­room man­sion with three fire­places are no longer the prop­erty of Eric Wat­son.

The Te Hihi Es­tate, in Karaka, car­ried a CV of just un­der $6m and served as a $10,000 per night re­treat for cor­po­rates and celebri­ties.

It has been sold by busi­ness­man Wat­son’s com­pany Cullen In­vest­ments to Lux­ury Re­sorts New Zealand ac­cord­ing to prop­erty records.

Agents for the prop­erty con­firmed in Fe­bru­ary that it was up for sale in Fe­bru­ary and list­ings in­di­cated of­fers on it were closed by Fe­bru­ary 28.

An Agent for New Zealand Sotheby’s In­ter­na­tional Realty, Ja­son Ged­des, con­firmed the prop­erty had been sold but de­clined to given any fur­ther com­ment.

Lux­ury Re­sorts New Zealand is solely owned by Qing Ye, a Di­rec­tor of GMP phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

GMP Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals is a re­cip­i­ent of nu­mer­ous busi­ness awards for ex­port­ing nat­u­ral health prod­ucts to Asian mar­kets through their large fac­tory in East Ta­maki.

Wat­son, who also owns the Voda­fone War­riors, once owned both the es­tate and a nearby stud farm. Both car­ried the name ‘West­bury Stud’, but Wat­son man­aged to sell the stud in 2009.

The Te Hihi es­tate also car­ried the name ‘West­bury’ at the time and was of­fered up for sale in 2010 through Col­liers In­ter­na­tional but was taken off the mar­ket some time af­ter­wards.

At the time it was re­port­edly mar­keted with a sell­ing price around $10m.

A two-minute pro­mo­tional video in 2010 uses the word ‘large’ nu­mer­ous times to de­scribe ev­ery as­pect of the prop­erty from its bil­liard room to walk-in wardrobes.

The spa bath near the main house over­looks a 15-me­tre swim­ming pool.

Its all-weather flood­lit ten­nis courts open up to a polo field.

A he­li­pad of­fers easy-ac­cess for fly-in, fly-out com­muters. And then there is the nine-hole PGA- stan­dard gold course.

Fea­tures like th­ese made rooms at the es­tate some of New Zealand’s most ex­pen­sive AirBnB list­ings at $10,000 per night.

In the words of one agency that pro­moted the prop­erty un­der Wat­son’s own­er­ship, ‘‘a great venue for your next big birth­day’’.

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