Village sale picked up by media

An aerial shot of Lake Waitaki Village, built during the 1930s and now up for sale. Photo: Kitty Culp/One Agency
An aerial shot of Lake Waitaki Village, built during the 1930s and now up for sale. Photo: Kitty Culp/One Agency
It appears there is more interest from global media outlets in the sale of a North Otago village today than there was when it was put on the market two years ago.

Lake Waitaki Village, built during construction of the Waitaki Dam, was listed for sale in 2016 and is yet to sell, perhaps because of its $2.8million price tag.

The property includes a 190sqm cafe/bar, a seven-bedroom lodge and eight three-bedroom houses.

The fact the village needs a new owner hit the headlines across the world after The Guardian in the UK ran a story yesterday.

Since then the story has been picked up by the South China Morning Post and The New York Times.

Kelli Milmine, of One Agency in Oamaru, told the Otago Daily Times she was taken aback at the extensive coverage.

''I am in shock definitely. My phone is running hot. I've had contact from CNN, CTV in Canada and a German news agency was the first to get in touch.''

CTV will interview her this morning and she was interviewed by Radio New Zealand yesterday.

Interest in the village gained traction after it was first featured in the Oamaru Mail and Otago Daily Times.

After that TVNZ covered it last Friday and it was then picked up by The Guardian.

''We tried to take it away from being an advertisement. We tried to turn it into a bit of a story about the place.''

While the village had not sold after two years, that did not mean a buyer would not be found, she said.

''Always with a property ... if the price is too high or perceived to be too high, it's just always how it goes. Locally, the village is on at a price people perceive to be too high. Whether it is too high or isn't too high is for the market to decide.

''The market is doing exactly what you would expect the market to do. That doesn't mean somebody won't pay it and the reality is the owner won't move for less than that. It's simply a matter of waiting for a person to pay the price we are looking for.''

Most of the interest since the media attention started was from locals, but she believed a determined international buyer could get the sale through the Overseas Investment Office.

Considered the birthplace of New Zealand's social welfare system, at one point, when it was much bigger, the 1930s village was home to 3000 people.

When it was first put up for sale, owner Kevin Brookes said there was a range of options for potential buyers, which included adding caravan parks, tent sites or subdividing.

He and Maureen Clifford had developed the property with a view to keeping its future use open.

Roughly 7km from Kurow, on the Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail, the property could be bought by an operator looking to capitalise on the soon-to-be-completed part of the national network.

The village sits on a 14ha property and has a rateable value of $1.2million.

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