Millbrook Resort starts work on $50million development

Four years of planning, appeals, hearings and zone changes have finally come to fruition for Queenstown’s Millbrook Resort.

The multi-award-winning resort has been granted resource consent for a $50m development that will see it develop a neighbouring farm into a new golf course interspersed with 42 sections for high-end residential homes.

The development will add nine new golf holes to Millbrook’s current world-class 27-hole offering, enabling the resort to operate two full 18-hole courses.

Initial site clearance is underway and, under a separate consent, work has almost been completed on shifting the Arrow Irrigation Pipe to a new location to make way for the development.

Groundworks include a raft of ecological and landscape enhancements, the first land titles should go live in late 2020, and once the new golf course is constructed and ‘grown-in’ it should be playable by 2021.

Millbrook Director of Property and Development Ben O’Malley says the net was cast “far and wide” for project tendering, with the main earthworks contract going to Grant Hood Contracting from Ashburton.

Highly-experienced turf specialist company TIC Golf Projects Ltd has been awarded the main golf course construction project, the same company that developed the resort’s Coronet Nine course, along with a golf course irrigation installation contract.

Millbrook is still working through detailed design on works such as roading, reticulated services and the resort’s distinctive schist stone walls.

In the initial earthworks phase, half a million cubic metres of material will be moved within the site. A ‘zero cut to fill’ balance means all work will be carried out with material contained within the farm area, with topsoil stripped and stored before being re-spread once earthworks are complete.

Mr O’Malley says Millbrook has been working alongside the Friends of Lake Hayes and the Otago Regional Council to support their initiative to discharge off-peak water from the Arrow River irrigation race to Mill Stream (which runs through Millbrook into Lake Hayes).

“They believe this will help enhance the water quality of Lake Hayes and we have the means to provide them the link between the Arrow Irrigation Company pipe and Mill Stream,” he says.

The ORC is part-way through a plan change process that will see a minimum flow placed on the Arrow River, from which Millbrook currently sources its golf irrigation water via the AIC.

The minimum flow process would pose a risk to Millbrook’s golf operations, as it’s sand-based tees and greens, installed to meet international PGA specifications, require daily watering.

“To guard against this risk we’re also constructing a 30million-litre water storage lake on the farm land,” says Mr O’Malley.

The new 36-hole format at Millbrook s been described as a ‘game changer’ for the resort, effectively adding 100% golf capacity with two fully operational 18-hole courses that can be operated simultaneously.

It’s being welcomed by the growing number of Millbrook Country Club members who will be able to play an ever-changing private members’ course on a daily basis, as well as another for tourists and locals.

It’s also good news for the long-term future of the New Zealand Open, currently hosted at Millbrook in conjunction with The Hills golf course.

The Open has always planned to move to a three-course model, similar to international Dunhill Links and AT&T events, and having two courses available at Millbrook would enable this goal to be achieved.

Ben O’Malley says the resort is “ecstatic” to be getting underway with the development.

“It’s been over four years since we first bought the former Dalgleish Farm land with the dream of adding to the resort,” he says.

“There’s been a lot of hard work from our consultants and planning team to get to this point, but now it’s all coming to fruition it’s simply fantastic.”

The land has provided a fantastic opportunity for the golf course team, as well as lending itself to the development of two discretely and geographically-separated residential neighbourhoods.

The large upper plateau contains 24 sites boasting elevated panoramic views over fairways and pastoral lands to the wider basin. The lower slopes are home to a further 18 sites with north-facing outlooks over an enhanced Mill Stream and the last of the stunning new golf holes. Most of the sites are expected to sell for over $1million each.

Parts of Mill Stream will be widened to create larger waterways and enhanced wetlands. The new development will retain a rural, agrarian style with over 20 hectares of working farmland retained for grazing and retention of a historic woolshed.

The original 1860’s farmhouse will also stay on the land, with some sympathetic additions.

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Stunning Queenstown home wins Southern Supreme House of the Year

A Queenstown building company renowned for quality standards in workmanship and ‘ultimate pride in the job’ has struck gold, again.

AJ Saville Builder Ltd was named Supreme House of the Year Award winner for a Queenstown home at the Southern Registered Master Builders 2018 House of the Year gala dinner this weekend (Saturday July 21).

In addition to the Supreme accolade, the company also scooped multiple gongs for the same home with a Craftsmanship Award, Heart of the Home Kitchen Award, Gold Award and Category win in the New Home Over $2 million division.

The multi-award-winning company had a second home in the awards, which also won Gold and a GIB Show Home Category awards for a Millbrook Country Club property.

Arrowtown-based owner and founder Allister Saville says the seven awards are testament to the hard work and dedication of his team of over 35 tradesmen, sub-contractors and suppliers.

“It’s a winning result for everyone involved,” he says.

“The immaculate detailing and craftsmanship of the Queenstown home won over the judges, and we’re delighted with the feedback.

“This project was a ‘once in a lifetime’ build for our tradesmen and subbies, delivering a home with this level of bespoke requirements.

“The client, builders and designers all worked in harmony, and it’s demonstrated in the immaculate finish of this four-year build.

“Both projects demonstrate consistency in our work and it’s hugely rewarding for our staff to be recognised for their hard work and quality craftsmanship.”

The substantial 802sqm four bedroom, four-plus bathroom Queenstown home is a collection of different building types, functions, cladding and internal finishes, all centred around a sunny courtyard.

The judges were most impressed with the immaculate detailing of curved glass galleries linking stone buildings to the kitchen, lounge and living areas.

The project was constructed in keeping with historic buildings of the Queenstown Lakes district, using local stone and steep-pitched slate and iron roofs.

The energy-efficient Millbrook Country Club show home, designed by Mason & Wales Architects, exudes modern class and a subtle French feel with all the charm and character of a traditional Central Otago cottage.

Allister says the show home is a timeless design that epitomises the sophisticated rural elegance and character that is world-class Millbrook Resort.

“A show home demonstrates the very best standards in your work and I’m honoured to work in partnership with Millbrook Resort to deliver functional, spacious and energy-efficient homes at the resort,” he says.

A total of 13 Gold Award winners from the southern region will now be judged against Gold Award winners from around the country to identify the National Gold Reserve finalists.

Those finalists will go head to head at the Registered Master Builders Supreme Awards for House of the Year and Renovation of the Year on November 24 in Auckland.

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Remarkables Residences development in Queenstown launches Stage Two

The property market in Queenstown is showing no signs of a slowdown, with the second stage of a $200m residential development being launched this week.

The Remarkables Residences townhouse development in the popular Frankton area of Queenstown is launching another 46 homes onto the market, following the successful sell down of all but one of 56 Stage One homes.

Stage One comprised three to five-bedroom multi-storey townhouses, offering buyers the chance to get their foot in the door of the Queenstown market for a competitive price.

Construction is well underway on the first homes, with completion expected in summer 2019. Roughly half of the purchasers have been Queenstown locals who have bought as an investment property or to live in, while the remainder are a mix of Auckland based investors and holiday home owners.

Local realtors Sheryl Williams and Mark Martin from Bayleys Queenstown said buyers saw superb value for money in the homes and loved the configurations of the properties that had flexible living and renting opportunities.

Another 46 terraced homes are available in Stage Two, with prices ranging from just over $1.1million.

The new release properties have slightly different layouts to Stage One, after designers took buyer feedback on board and made the majority of the homes four-bedroom properties with four ensuites.

The development is being driven by GYP Properties Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Singapore public-listed Global Yellow Pages Limited, and marketed by the Bayleys Realty Group.

Bayleys Projects’ General Manager Suzie Wigglesworth said the company was “very pleased” with the successful sell down of Stage One and that construction was underway.

“Remarkables Residences appeals greatly to owner occupiers as well as investors, with functional layouts and a location that provides convenience and accessibility,” she said.

“The annual capital growth in Queenstown continues to rise and the demand for residential properties is still at an all-time high.

“We believe Remarkables Residences offers what buyers are looking for, and its central location with the airport, major ski-fields, retail and dining all a walk or a short drive away makes it highly desirable.

“We’ve already received a high volume of interest in Stage Two and we expect these homes to sell out fairly quickly.”

The development aims to have a vibrant community of owners from all walks of life, from owner-occupiers through to seasonal-based workers.

The Remarkables Residences display suite at Five Mile Centre is open 12pm – 2pm weekdays and 12pm – 3pm Saturday and Sunday. To register interest or request further information go to

About Remarkables Residences

Master-planned and designed by Auckland-based Ignite Architects, these are well-built, stylish and low-maintenance homes that are a very modern interpretation of popular developments of this kind.

Different building forms within each street offer individuality amidst a community, while each residence is thoughtfully designed to optimise sun and natural light. Quality fixtures and fittings are used alongside energy-efficient design elements for year-round comfort.

Green spaces incorporated in the development include a main public square and smaller Pocket Parks throughout the area. There are good links to surrounding biking and walking tracks, as well as easy access to public transport.

Remarkables Residences is in one of the most accessible parts of Queenstown, close to the airport and a very short walk to retail and hospitality outlets. It is just 15 minutes from central Queenstown and Arrowtown, and 30 minutes to ski fields.

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A sustainable alternative – company urges awareness of cedar cladding

Media Release from Abodo

Explosive growth in Queenstown’s commercial and residential building sectors has led an innovative New Zealand company to focus its sustainable timber messages on the district.

Abodo has been active in the New Zealand market for 16 years, born from a vision to offer an alternative to destroying endangered old-growth forests around the world.

As an example, New Zealand imports of Canadian old-growth cedar have steadily increased over the years, adding up to 35% of all sawn timber imports into the country (around 30,000 cubic metres a year).

But Abodo Director Daniel Gudsell says most New Zealanders do not realise that much of the high-grade cedar used across the country is from old-growth trees, which are often aged from 150 up to 2000 years old.

He says the only real way for people to be sure they’re not ordering old timber log exports is to insist on Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified timber.

In a bid to offer a sustainable substitute to irreplaceable old growth trees, Abodo harvests its high performance architectural and structural timbers from New Zealand plantation forests, primarily in Rotorua region.

A newly-released Infometrics profile of the Queenstown Lakes district indicates a 20% rise in residential building consents, and 13% rise in non-residential building consents over a 12-month period ending September 2017, compared to a 3% and 5.9% rise respectively elsewhere in New Zealand.

With the continued rapid growth of the district, Mr Gudsell is concerned about the lack of awareness of local alternatives for old-growth cedar.

“The district uses a large amount of imported Canadian cedar cladding, but I’m not sure that people are aware that the Western Red Cedar typically comes from these ancient forests,” he says.

“Just look around and you see it everywhere. From the McDonalds on Frankton Road, to many of the new houses in Jack’s Point and Shotover Country, the cladding is imported Canadian old-growth cedar.

“Our alternative timber cladding is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, is durable in the alpine conditions of Queenstown and Wanaka and has a similar aesthetic to cedar.

“Our unique patented technology ensures our timbers have exceptional weatherability to cope with dry summers and cold, snowy winters.

“By using local plantation timbers you’re not waiting for 250 or 500 years for a new tree to grow, so we’re thinking ahead for future generations.”

From a global perspective, Abodo’s contribution to New Zealand forestry sits in line with the Government’s goal to plant one billion trees between 2018 and 2027.

“It’s fantastic to see the government taking a shift in a better direction. The tree species they’re planning to plant includes radiata pine, redwood, totara, eucalyptus, Douglas fir and mānuka,” says Mr Gudsell.

“Unfortunately, pine isn’t a durable or stable building material as it doesn’t weather well and needs to be chemically-treated before use.

“Ninety-five percent of our New Zealand plantations are already pine and that’s why Western Red Cedar is the largest single species we import, as it’s a durable building material.

“To be sustainable we need to be planting higher volumes of alternative naturally durable species such as eucalyptus, or modifying pine to make it more durable, without toxic chemicals.”

To help generate awareness on a national level, Abodo, along with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), has facilitated the visit of a top forestry specialist from Canada to New Zealand to speak at two high-profile industry events.

Ken Wu has been working to protect the old-growth forests of British Columbia for over 26 years and is in New Zealand this week in his capacity as executive director of the Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA).

The AFA is a British Columbian organisation working to protect its endangered old-growth forests and to ensure sustainable forestry jobs in the province.

Previously unaware that New Zealand had been importing large volumes of old-growth Western Red Cedar from B.C., Ken was delighted to accept the invitation.

“Unless it’s coming from an FSC source, old-growth Western Red Cedar logging is very destructive,” says Ken.

“It’s not only a big issue from an ecological perspective, but also economically and culturally, damaging the climate and our tourism.

“Our ancient forests inspire wonder and awe in visitors from around the globe. We have some of the largest trees you’ve ever seen, growing as tall as skyscrapers and as wide as homes. They’re truly spectacular.

“We’re calling on the British Columbian government to expand protection of old-growth forests and it’s fantastic to see a New Zealand company like Abodo help create awareness of the issue and educate its building industry.”

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