Herald on Sunday
THE WATERFRONT BARONS
Viaduct Harbour Holdings was originally founded by Mark Wyborn, along with Trevor Farmer, Ross Green, Alan Gibbs and the late Adrian Burr in the 1980s.
Their $1 billion-plus business owns more than 20ha of Auckland waterfront land, including the Viaduct Basin, along with big slices of Newmarket and its surrounds. Numerous America’s Cup regattas have set the hospitality, business and residential scene,
that has made the Viaduct the place in Auckland to eat, play and work.
And just as the Viaduct has grown over the decades, the second-generation family members are now instrumental behind the scenes.
Wyborn’s son Justin, Farmer’s son Dean and Gibbs’ daughter Emma are all active directors of the firm, which makes money by retaining ownership of the Viaduct land and charging a leasing fee to the apartments, offices, restaurants, hotels and other businesses built there. Justin is a director of Wyborn Capital and managing director of Vantage Group. Last year, his mother, Fran, founded the Due Drop Foundation, dedicated to helping disadvantaged Kiwis.
Dean and his father Trevor are also directors in Tappenden Holdings, which became famous when it sought resource consent to test helicopter flights on a putting green on Ōrākei’s Paritai Drive in 2018.
Emma Gibbs lived in New York for many years, and shares a love of the arts with her parents. There is the famous Gibbs’ sculpture farm, north of Auckland, and her mother, Dame Jenny ,is recognised as a leading philanthropist and patron of the arts.