Past Homes: New Zealand

Kaipara Harbour Sunset

Anthony used to own a 169-acre farmhouse overlooking Kai Para Bay in New Zealand

ANTHONY:  I bought a house in New Zealand on a whim, because when you’re there, you think, Oh I can get here whenever I want.  What’s 13 hours on a plane?  I haven’t been back since.  I bought a fuckin’ house there, and I never go there. Complex

More detail can be found in Anthony’s autobiography:

After the West Coast leg, we had a few weeks off before we set out to tour Australia and New Zealand again. We started off in New Zealand, and being back there made me realize that this is where I was going to make my home away from home. Somehow I hooked up with an ex-rugby player who was now an older, brutish, conniving real estate agent. One a break from our shows, he took me out to look at this 169-acre farmhouse overlooking Kai Para Bay, which is an hour and fifteen minutes northwest of Auckland. We went out on the most gorgeous, sunny day. I fell in love with the place, even though Kai Para Harbor is an incredibly rough body of water where great white sharks go to breed. It’s a furiously tidal, raging harbour.

My whole thrust of finding a home away from home was to buy a place near a clear, temperate, inviting body of water, one that I could swim in and play underwater. I have no idea why I chose this place, because none of that was there. But the view of the harbour was incredible, a kaleidoscopic, psychedelic patina of colors. And this agent had me all hyped up about the auction for the property, which was going to take place, coincidentally, while I was on tour in Australia. “This is your one and only chance to get this property. It’s gonna go quick, there are a lot of people interested. I’ll have you on the phone and I’ll do the bidding for you. Blah blah blah blah.”

I was on the phone from Australia, and he was at the auction. “It’s at a million dollars. Going up. Going up. Someone here wants it for one point seven. “I was like “Okay. Go two.” The next thing you know, I’d bought this place for way more than it was worth. When I got back, people started telling me that they weren’t even sure if there was anyone else bidding, that all these Kiwi businessmen were in bed with each other, but I didn’t know if that was true.

We finished the two-week cycle, and everyone went home to the U.S. except me. I went back to New Zealand, checked into a bed-and-breakfast, and went through the process of closing this deal. Which cost me about $1 million U.S. I was waiting for the farmer who had sold me the place to take his money and move to the Gold Coast of Australia, where it’s always sunny. Meanwhile, I was thinking, “Why on earth would these farmers leave the most beautiful piece of paradise for the crowded-ass Gold Coast, which is like Miami Beach, only tackier?” I soon found out. It turned out that I saw the farmhouse on one of the few days of the year when it didn’t rain. Three hundred days out of the year, that country just poured precipitation. It was cloudy, rainy, chilly, blustery, England-on-a-bad-day kind of weather.

Eventually, the farmer moved out, and I signed the papers and set up a bank account in Auckland. I got Greer’s father to be the caretaker, because people in New Zealand were known to move in and occupy vacant country properties. There was this Wild West mentality out there. Greer’s dad was going to check up on the property and make sure no one was squatting or stealing the fixtures.”  ‘Scar Tissue’ (pages 358-9)

The property has since been sold.

4 Responses to Past Homes: New Zealand

  1. kim hardy says:

    what crock of shit, I was a neighbour of the South Head property and there was never any threat of squating or looting in any of our properties, most of the residents were either professional couples that worked in Auckland and a few farmers that had owned the land for many generations. When Anthony was away we all kept an eye on the place and tended to the pool, just as we did for other neighbours when they were away, my imeadiate neighbour was a surgean that lived in Remurewa and kept his
    kaipara home for holidays. I havnt read all of the book but I wonder if there is any mention of how the locals treated him when he did stay at his house. Hangis, bbqs were all put on for him, we never invited any fans from the city, and none of us gave a rats arse about his music, he was treated just like a regular person but shown much more kindness than your average neighbour.
    we even helped him catch his first fish ever, apparently well thats what he told us.
    Its all a bit insulting to be honest, my children remember him as he called them
    buzz and Woody after the Toy story movie that was around at the time, they are in their 20s now and they feel proud to have eaten a meal and having a sing with the famous Anthony, pitty its now tainted with insults and lies

  2. J B H Goudie says:

    I know he loves New Zealand

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