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Love Hauraki

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06/11/2020 4:30pm
Multi-million dollar Hauraki project reflects business confidence

Eight years after the last horse crossed the finish line, Paeroa Racecourse has a new lease of life, with an aspirational vision that will help create employment opportunities and additional homes for the region.

Hauraki District Mayor Toby Adams, Deputy Mayor Paul Milner and former mayor Basil Morrison attended the official ‘chain cutting’ at the Racecourse today as new owners WFT Finance & Investment Company Ltd took possession of the historic property.

Paeroa Racecourse   new start gates

Photos supplied by Tomek Friedrich, Artzentao Photography

WFT Finance & Investment has partnered with local developer Tim Bartells. The company hopes to develop the 33.5-hectare property, including refurbishing the racecourse stands and kitchen areas, continuing the link the racecourse has with the region.

The Wright family of Tauranga is the shareholder of WFT Finance & Investment Company and is committed to investments that make a positive difference to New Zealand communities.

The Wright family is also behind The Wright Family Foundation, a charitable trust renowned for the particular focus foundation trustee Chloe Wright has placed on mothers and children’s well-being.

Tim is the developer and co-owner of Paeroa’s Longridge Country Estate; a 250-villa retirement village project currently under construction (co-owned and financed by the Wright family) and will see $180 million invested into the local community.

“Paeroa is a spectacular place to live and an obvious place for investment, particularly with the Hauraki region’s growth over the last five to ten years,” explains Tim.

“We’re so close to Hamilton, Tauranga and South Auckland. The beach is a mere 30-minute drive and of course, there is the amazing Hauraki Rail Trail and the picturesque and historic Karangahake Gorge.”


Paeroa Racecourse   new start cutting the chain

Photos supplied by Tomek Friedrich, Artzentao Photography

Vibrant commercial hub and residential subdivision proposed

The company’s long-term vision with the racecourse property is to create a vibrant commercial hub over approximately half of the land and a residential subdivision on the balance, complementing the antique stores and other businesses in the main street area.

“The racecourse has a proud legacy of serving the Hauraki District and we intend that the site maintains that legacy, preparing for its new place in Paeroa’s future,” says Tim.

“We’ll continue to develop concepts and ideas over the next year with the aim of providing long lasting employment opportunities for the region. Currently, we’re in talks to open up the old stables to host a community farmers market and the planned refurbishment of the existing facilities will create a dedicated wedding and special events space.”

Paeroa Racecourse   new start stables

Photos supplied by Tomek Friedrich, Artzentao Photography

The Wright family and Mr Bartells are working closely with the mayor and Hauraki District Council and continue to be impressed with the Council’s foresight in creating opportunities for future generations. The development team expressed gratitude for the Council’s support on Longridge Estate and the racecourse projects.

Still a long way to go

The Hauraki District continues to outperform growth predictions, a trend that will put pressure on the region’s already tight housing market.

Supporting the population growth with amenities and additional housing opportunities is a priority for the district.

Hauraki District Mayor Toby Adams says there is a real need for investment in facilities and says the proposed new development offers exciting future economic benefit to the region.

“It’s still very early days and there is still a formal process to be followed for re-zoning and consenting but I’m allowing myself to feel a little bit excited about this fresh start.

“We’ve worked closely with the Longridge team over the last few years and what has struck me the most is their genuine desire to achieve positive outcomes for the community. They live here, they want the district to thrive, and they want to bring everyone along with them on their journey.”

Over the coming weeks and into the New Year the development team will meet with the local community, talking to residents and iwi, and firming up development plans.

Paeroa Racecourse   new start 1