The homestead for an eco' friendly farm The homestead for an eco' friendly farm CREDIT: Bayleys

Eco friendly lifestyle block can make cash from carbon

Tuesday 3 November 2009, 3:52PM
By Bayleys


One of Poverty Bay’s biggest lifestyle residential blocks is on the market for sale – offering potential buyers the opportunity to create an income from selling carbon credits produced by a ‘boutique’ forestry block on the land.

The 57.5 hectare block at Puha, north-west of Gisborne, has a sizeable radiata pine plantation which is 10 years away from harvesting. And with one hectare of pine producing an average of $600 of carbon credits annually, the option for passive income generation is attractive.

The Puha property some 30 minutes drive from the city is being marketed by Patrick Willock of Bayleys Gisborne. Mr Willock said the lifestyle block contained all the pre-requisites sought by people wanting to move out of the city limits, yet still remain close to all the infrastructure and amenities a city provided.

“The block has a range of geographic contours – from flat, land through to easy rolling hillside. The land is amply suitable for horse riding, the potential to create a show jumping area for the kids’ ponies, or running a small scale sheep and beef, or deer farming operation capable of running 500 stock units,” Mr Willock said.

“Essentially, there is the option to run a purely lifestyle property with a few animals as ‘family pets’ or as a commercial entity, albeit a small one. For those interested in developing commercial farming operations on the block, the property has a two-stand woolshed, a 174 square-metre utility shed, and good sheep and cattle yards.

“There are nine paddocks with additional holding areas – all fenced in a mixture of post and wire, of which some is battens and some is electrified. A well-formed track gives good access to most parts of the property.”

Seven hectares of pine forest within the property not only provide an excellent hunting ground for wild deer, but more importantly offer the potential of passive income. Carbon credits – internationally tradable units created by forested or bush-clad land - are currently selling for between $18 - $20. Land in around the Poverty Bay region produces an average of 30 units per hectare… meaning this block has the capability of producing more than $4000 worth of carbon credits annually – simply by letting trees grow.

As recently as July last year, carbon credits were fetching in the region of NZ$44 each, before slipping back as a result of the global credit crunch. Global carbon market monitoring services are forecasting that the price will rise to NZ$60 a unit by 2020 – meaning the Puha property could generate more than $12,000 income annually, potentially more should the New Zealand dollar track back to more realistic values against the US$ and the Euro.

A four bedroom home provides the final pieces of this lifestyle opportunity. The residence – built in 1972 and extended in 1982 – has a farmhouse style kitchen and pantry, a logfire in the family room, and is surrounded by a large timber deck opening onto a sprawling front garden area.

Supporting the property’s eco-friendly operation, the home’s water supply comes straight off the roof and is supplemented by a gravity-fed spring.

“In town you pay three of four dollars for a litre of spring water. Here it comes straight out of the ground for free. That’s the beauty of a lifestyle block – it offers so much more freedom, diversity, and the attraction of being close to nature,” Mr Willock said.

“The settlement of Te Karaka is just a few minutes drive away if you need a loaf of bread of a litre of milk,” said Mr Willock.

“Zoned as ‘rural general’, blocks of this size are rare to find this close to Gisborne.”
The Puha property owned by Roger Dymock has special significance for Patrick Willock who spent numerous school holidays with the Dymock family from his family home less than a kilometre down the road.

“My childhood holiday memories of the area are all about experiencing living on the land – learning to drive a tractor… I suppose the equivalent these days is a quad bike these days, trapping possums in the wooded areas, swimming in a nearby river, catching pigeons under the bridge, and the freedom of roaming the hills,” Mr Willock said.

“The opportunity to make the most of the lifestyle is enhanced by the easy drive into Gisborne –a stressless drive, comfortably taking around 30 minutes and making a great way to wind down after a tough day at the office,” he added.