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Opotiki Growth Prospects Beckon For Town Farm.

Growth prospects in the Eastern Bay of Plenty have taken a leap in the past few years, and a property marketed by Bayleys sits firmly in the region’s growth epicentre.

The small town located 44km from Whakatane can lay claim to having received more development funding in the past three years than some of its larger provincial cousins, and locals are optimistic about the district’s future.

The 83ha farm being marketed by Bayleys is located on the edge of Opotiki township, currently being run as a dairy unit, but offering buyers significant development alternative and potential, says agent Rhys Mischefski.

“The funds to develop the region are coming from all quarters, and in a significant amount- this includes central government through the Provincial Growth Fund, local council, private investment and Whakatohea iwi funds as the region’s resource potential is finally recognised,” he says.

The 83ha property is multi-titled and is located alongside the Otara River, almost adjacent to the Opotiki harbour development project, the region’s most significant development project.

The $76 million project aims to provide a safe, reliable river access point to the area for both recreational and large aquaculture vessels. On completion the project will cement Opotiki as the key aquaculture centre along its 160km coastline with its access and proximity to main state highways in the hinterland.

Opotiki already boasts New Zealand’s largest offshore mussel farm. Whakatohea Mussels is based 8km off the coast it covers 3800ha with 176 lines or ropes that is to be expanded to 300, and ultimately supported by a new mussel processing factory now nearing completion.

The mussel farm’s expansion and factory has come with investment of $37 million, including $19 million from the Provincial Growth Fund.

“The property lends itself well to leverage off the development to come with the factory. It has multiple titles and good access to land that is flat and includes almost 2km of beach frontage, in addition to access via the river,” says Rhys Mischefski.

He says the potential is for developers to consider a large scale private dwelling project capitalising on the beachfront views, with commercial type development that focuses on the aquaculture sector around the riverside of the farm.

The town has also received $13 million for wharf and marina development, all within proximity of the property.

The development in Opotiki has been characterised by its strong co-operative work between local, central government and iwi, with an aim to improve the economic and social wellbeing of locals in a district that has often trailed behind the rest of the country.

“There is a real recognition about the potential both the ocean and the land hold here, and the investment is finally starting to see this unlocked.”

Up to July last year Opotiki had received $118 million from the provincial growth fund, putting it ahead of Waikato, Southland, Otago and Canterbury.

On land, kiwifruit are also providing another welcome addition to the local economy.

Zespri’s high value SunGold fruit is proving to grow exceptionally well through the Eastern Bay of Plenty, with iwi owned orchards capitalising on the Early Start payments made to early ripening fruit.

Rhys Mischefski says interest has been strong in the property as investors cast about for projects offering a cross section of uses, in regions exhibiting good growth potential outside of the main centres.

“It is a particularly exciting property this one, more for what it could become than for what it is, and it provides an excellent opportunity to get in on the ground level in a region that is only just beginning to recognise the wealth of its natural resources, and now be equipped to harvest them,” he says.

The property is being sold by private tender closing Thursday February 25. Interested parties can contact Rhys Mischefski at Bayleys for property details 0274 578 718.

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