Archive | Waiwera

Russian takes full charge at Waiwera Water NZ & Waiwera Thermal Resort

Published 26 February 2011

Hot-pools owner John St Clair Brown has sold 60% of his Waiwera Water NZ business and his thermal resort company, plus the site for a proposed bottling plant, to Moscow entrepreneur Mikhail Khimich.

Ownership & board changes have occurred progressively since the start of last year, with the latest ownership change made on 12 January.

The Overseas Investment Office approved the investment by Mr Khimich in the proposed bottling plant land, across the old State Highway 1 from the Waiwera village, on 22 October 2010.

The office’s approval was required for Mr Khimich’s investment in sensitive land – 10ha at 7 Upper Waiwera Rd, Waiwera. Consideration was $1.001 million plus the loan amount outstanding at settlement date pursuant to a loan agreement between the vendor, Mr Brown’s  Waiwera Valley Properties Ltd,and PHC Treasury Ltd (a finance business owned by Cliff & Susanna Cook through Private Health Care (NZ) Ltd), as varied & assigned to Waiwera Water NZ Ltd.

Submissions on the resource consent applications for the bottling plant closed on 7 February, but a hearing hasn’t been scheduled yet. Applications were filed with the Auckland Regional Council for stormwater & wastewater discharges and earthworks, and with the Rodney District Council to establish & operate the water-bottling facility in the general rural zone and to undertake earthworks. Both types of consent can now be considered by the new unitary Auckland Council.

Mr Khimich & 2 other Russians, Mikhail Sobolev, Orewa, & Oleksandr Kirichuk, Puhoi, were appointed directors of Mr Brown’s companies, Waiwera Thermal Resort Ltd & Waiwera Water NZ, last April, joining John & Fraser St Clair Brown. All but Mr Khimich resigned on 30-31 December.

Mr Khimich started out with 60 shares in each company, leaving John Brown’s Traus Holdings Ltd with 40. The holdings were bumped up to 6000:4000 and, on 12 January this year, law firm Buddle Findlay’s Budfin Nominees Ltd replaced Traus as 40% shareholder.

There’s a strong yachting connection between the parties. The St Clair Brown family has long connections with sailing in Auckland through the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron.

Mr Khimich owns the 159ft ketch Thalia, which underwent a major refit in Auckland in 2008, and Mr Kirichuk owns the 120ft classic Dragon-class yacht Alla, built by the boatbuilding company he formed in 2003, Aries Pacific Ltd.

Mr Kirichuk is also a director of Sarjoh Ltd with Mr Brown. Mr Sobolev incorporated International Marketing Consulting (IMC) Ltd in April 2010.

A separate company owned by the Browns & Roger Mac, Siesta Holdings Ltd (ex-Waiwera Water Ltd), faced liquidation in the Auckland High Court on Friday but won an adjournment on the promise of settlement on 15 March. The plaintiff was Ross Recruitment Ltd, owned by Sydneysider Julia Ross, of Verossity Pty Ltd.

John Brown is a director of Anticipation Investments Ltd, BBI Investments Ltd, Curazon Projects Ltd, Hightech Health (NZ) Ltd, Hobo Investments Ltd, JDSTCB Ltd, Manuka Health NZ Ltd, Marketing Management Holdings Ltd, Ngahemi Properties Ltd, Nippy NZ Ltd, Premium Beverage Solutions Ltd, Repower Ltd, Repower Australasia Ltd, Repower NZ Ltd, Sarjoh Ltd, Seaside Land Ltd, Traus Holdings, Waiwera Infinity Spa Resort Ltd, Waiwera International Ltd, Waiwera Resorts Ltd, Waiwera Thermal Spa Resort, Waiwera Valley Ltd, Waiwera Valley Properties Ltd, Waiwera Village Ltd, Ywera Ltd, Ywera Developments Ltd & Zentrum Holdings Ltd, and a former director of Waiwera Thermal Resort & Waiwera Water NZ.

Earlier story:

20 December 2010: St Clair Brown seeks Upper Waiwera bottling plan consent

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Attribution: Court hearing, Companies Register, RNZYS register, district council notices, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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St Clair Brown seeks Upper Waiwera bottling plan consent

Published 19 December 2010

Jurisdiction: Auckland Council

Neighbourhood: Upper Waiwera

Applicant: Waiwera Valley Properties Ltd (John St Clair Brown, Orewa)

Application detail: 7 Upper Waiwera Rd, district consent, to establish & operate a water-bottling facility in the general rural zone, undertake 13,960m³ of earthworks, doesn’t comply with parking standards; regional consent, consents for stormwater discharges from 6010m² of impervious area, wastewater discharges of up to 1.9m³/day and earthworks activity of 2.3ha

Notification date: 16 December

Submission closure date: Monday 7 February

Other details: Mr Brown is a director of Anticipation Investments Ltd, BBI Investments Ltd, Hightech Health (NZ) Ltd, Hobo Investments Ltd, JDSTCB Ltd, Manuka Health NZ Ltd, Marketing Management Holdings Ltd, Ngahemi Properties Ltd, Nippy NZ Ltd, Premium Beverage Solutions Ltd, Repower Australasia Ltd, Repower NZ Ltd, Sarjoh Ltd, Seaside Land Ltd, Traus Holdings Ltd, Waiwera International Ltd, Waiwera Infinity Spa Resort Ltd, Waiwera Resorts Ltd, Waiwera Thermal Resort Ltd, Waiwera Thermal Spa Resort Ltd, Waiwera Valley Ltd, Waiwera Village Ltd, Waiwera Water NZ Ltd, Ywera Ltd, Ywera Developments Ltd & Zentrum Holdings Ltd.

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Attribution: Council notice, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Council rejects private plan change just outside Waiwera

Published 22 April 2008

Jurisdiction: Rodney District


Neighbourhood: Waiwera


Applicant: Derek Dikstaal


Application detail: 79 & 91 Weranui Rd, private plan change 106 to rezone the 3.8ha 600m west of State Highway 1 at Waiwera from Mahurangi-Waiwera special character area rural zone to high intensity residential, with scheduling to limit the site to 12 lots and development to occur only after the Waiwera wastewater plant is operational


Hearing date: 13 February


Recommendation: Planning consultant Robert Scott recommended the application be rejected 


Decision: The Rodney District Council district plan & regulatory committee released its decision on 17 April rejecting the application


Other details: The site is outside the metropolitan urban limit and the Auckland Regional Council presented 7 reasons for opposing its development:


The proposal represented ad-hoc urban expansion contrary to the regional policy statement policies on urban containmentPotential adverse effects on the natural values of the Waiwera EstuaryAdverse effects on a high quality natural landscapeThe proposal is outside & contrary to the agreed growth areas outlined in the regional growth strategyConcerns about wastewater connection to the existing wastewater treatment plant and potential odour issues due to the close proximity to the plantThe locality is known for pre- & post-European archaeological sites but the site has not been specifically surveyed for these resourcesApproval to the plan change request would set a precedent that might encourage sporadic development in other locations and undermine the integrity of both regional & district planning documents. 

The committee said the estuary opposite the site was a feeding ground for a variety of wading birds. Mr Dikstaal proposed sending wastewater to the existing wastewater plant once its capacity has been increased, and to release stormwater directly to the estuary at high tide.


The committee said in its decision: “Whilst this is consistent with the methods in place for the existing residential development, the proposed additional residential zoned land will add to the existing stormwater loading into the estuary. On this basis, the committee was concerned that additional urbanisation may adversely affect the ecological values of the Waiwera Estuary through additional stormwater discharge contamination. The committee was particularly concerned with the lack of detailed engineering design information contained in the plan change request and presented at the hearing.”


The committee also rejected the proposal for its likely effect on indigenous vegetation & possible indigenous fauna: “There is an area of significant indigenous vegetation within the site and this is likely to contain habitats of indigenous fauna. While the plan change request indicated that any development would lie outside of the native vegetation areas, the proximity of development may adversely affect these natural values through the impact of edge effects. The committee was not satisfied that the creation of the 10 proposed sites and the resultant development on them would not require the removal of significant native vegetation. On this basis the committee determined that the potential adverse effects of the development enabled by the plan change request on the natural environment & surrounding landscape values would not be satisfactorily avoided, remedied or mitigated.”


Next point on the committee’s rejection list was landscape: The regional policy statement recognises the Waiwera coastline as landscape quality 5 (out of 7) and the estuary as landscape quality 6. Under change 8 to the regional policy statement, the coastline & estuary are rated “outstanding”. The committee said: “Any significant adverse effect to the recognised coastal & landscape values resulting from the extension of the urban settlement of Waiwera into these areas is therefore considered to be a matter of national importance.”


The committee then turned to precedent, whose role its is to undertake structure plans, integration of land use & transport infrastructure, the likelihood of land already zoned for residential use being developed and the view that urbanisation can’t be done in leapfrog fashion.


“The method by which new areas for urban living are to be introduced is through a structure planning process or other similar mechanism, and it is strongly implied (in the district plan) that there is no provision for structure planning to be undertaken by developers and that this is usually the exclusive responsibility of the territorial authorities. In Rodney District, rural zones have been maintained in the southern areas of the district as a method of maintaining a ‘green belt’ around the northern frontier of metropolitan Auckland & existing small settlements like Waiwera.”


Planners for both the district & regional councils said the strategic objectives & policies of the regional policy statement “are clear on the question of urban growth, and provide a consistent direction that expansion of rural or coastal settlements outside the limits of existing urban zones is not permitted, other than through the provision of a co-ordinated planning process”.


On the transport issue, the committee said: “The proposed extension of the urban township of Waiwera is likely to result in increased private vehicle trips and a corresponding reliance on the local & national roading infrastructure. At present there is little in the way of public transport infrastructure that services Waiwera, due to its relative isolation from metropolitan Auckland. The proposed plan change therefore does not appear to be consistent with the requirement to integrate land use & transportation infrastructure.”


On residential development in the area, the committee said: “As a justification for the need for the proposed new urban zone, the applicants make the comment in section 3 of the plan change request that the existing land zoned for residential development is unlikely to be developed for the following reasons: ‘The majority of the residentially zoned land has been subdivided and is fairly well established. One remaining undeveloped residentially zoned land parcel remains. It is about 12ha in area & adjoining State Highway 1 to the east & Weranui Rd to the north. Although this is a substantial area of residentially zoned land, it appears unlikely that it can be easily developed into high-density lots due to the steep topography of much of the land.’


“The applicants go on to state: ‘Further housing development in Waiwera is limited due to the unavailability of residential land and the natural environment & topography immediately surrounding the Waiwera residential area, which restricts residential development, especially at high density, in many places.’”


However, district council planning consultant Robert Scott said those statements weren’t accurate and didn’t reflect the potential for the existing undeveloped high intensity residential land to be further developed. “The committee heard that Waiwera Stage Two Ltd (Robert McEwan; major shareholder John St Clair Brown’s Waiwera Infinity Spa Resort Ltd) has applied for a 3-lot subdivision on the abovementioned land, with access from Weranui Rd. It is understood that the lots to be created will be sold for residential use in accordance with the high-intensity residential zoning.


“The committee considers that until such time as this residentially zoned land is fully developed, it cannot be concluded that there is either a shortage of, or significant development limitations on, residentially zoned land in Waiwera which would necessitate a need to release further land for residential development.”


Mr Dikstaal’s planner, Shane Hartley, disputed the claim in the planning report that the regional growth strategy and the northern sectors agreement (under the former Regional Growth Forum) actively discouraged urban expansion at Waiwera, on the basis that they were only generic statements. Mr Hartley also disputed the relevance of these documents to the present-day situation due to decisions on submissions and recently resolved appeals to the proposed district plan 2000, which had significantly reduced the growth capacity of areas such as Snells Beach, Algies Bay, Silverdale North & parts of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula.


“Having considered this evidence, the committee determined that the applicant had not justified the expansion of the Waiwera coastal settlement in terms of the relevant policies in the regional policy statement & proposed change 6. In particular, the committee considers that the proposal would:


compromise the strategy for containment & intensification as expressed in the regional policy statementresult in significant adverse effects on the natural environmental & significant landscape values in the areadisrupt the continuity of the existing urban form of Waiwera township, andwould not result in a defensible long-term limit to the urban area of Waiwera township.” 

On precedent, the committee found:


“There is little or no objective analysis submitted to justify that there is demand for residential development outside the urban limits of the Waiwera townshipThe vacant residential-zoned land referred to by the applicants as ‘unlikely to be developed’ is in fact subject to a subdivision consent to enable high-intensity residential development, and There is no analysis from a district or regional perspective to justify the expansion of the Waiwera township ahead of other rural or coastal communities in Rodney

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Waiwera spa apartments on market

John St Clair Brown has put 211 investment apartments on the market in the first stage of his $125 million redevelopment of the Waiwera hot pools into a thermal spa resort.

The apartments – 56 studios, 18 villas, 112 one-bedroom apartments, 18 2-bedroom & 7 3-bedroom apartments – range in price from $395,000 to $3 million. They’re being marketed by Bayleys Real Estate Orewa and Takapuna-based Premium Real Estate.

Current plans are for main contractor Fletcher Construction Ltd to start work on site next April for completion in December 2006.

Waiwera’s existing resort, including the slides, will remain fully operational while the wellness spa is built. It’s expected to be complete by winter 2005.

Mr St Clair Brown announced plans for the redevelopment in September, after several previous attempts to get hotel projects through the Rodney District Council resource consent hoops failed.

The existing Waiwera Thermal Resort & Spa attracts 350,000 visitors/year. In the transformation, Mr St Clair Brown’s company, Waiwera Infinity Thermal Spa Resort Ltd, will develop a 3000m² wellness spa – complete with the latest inner health & beauty techniques & technology – a deluxe hotel & beachfront apartments.

A key focus of the proposed wellness spa will be inner beauty & holistic health, with on-site naturopath, dietician & nutritionalist and European-style spa experiences, including Turkish baths & saunas.

Mr St Clair Brown said equipment from High Tech Health Products in Australia would be incorporated into the wellness spa. High Tech Health specialises in solutions for sports performance & injury, disease prevention & treatment, health maintenance and improvement through unique energy medicines & equipment.

And, of course, Waiwera Infinity mineral water – bottled & packed on site and marketed nationally – will be offered in the process. Mr St Clair Brown said it had been proven to have anti-aging and fast-hydration qualities.

“To be classified as an authentic spa, like Evian or Perrier, the experience has to be based around a mineral water source and this is exactly what we have and why our resort will be the first truly international spa in New Zealand,” Mr St Clair Brown said.

“Waiwera’s mineral water source has drawn people to the area for centuries and will be central to the spa we are creating. We also bottle & package mineral water on site as Waiwera Infinity ionic micro water and Waiwera Mineral Water.”

5-year redevelopment

The whole redevelopment is intended to take 3-5 years, the replacements including an 80-room deluxe hotel in stage 2, the wellness spa, conference facilities, retail & restaurants.

The apartments being sold now will be leased to the hotel management company. Owners will have access to their apartment for 28 nights/year.

The apartments range in size from 50-240m² and will be separated by clear canals leading to the beach. All will have balconies and most will enjoy sea views.

All first-level apartments will have in-ground spas & personal far-infra-red saunas, which are believed to be twice as effective as standard saunas.

Mr St Clair Brown said all furniture & fittings would be sourced within New Zealand and a furniture maker had been contracted to design furnishings specifically for the apartments. The apartments, and overall redevelopment, would have a heavy emphasis on environmental issues such as water & energy savings.

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