Summary Take Away:
Denis Mackenzie CSG, the previous owner of the property, founded IT company CSG Ltd in 1988. CSG had grown to become a leading Australian IT services company, providing managed technology, print, and cloud solutions to businesses of all sizes. In 2012, Mackenzie decided to sell the land at Closeburn Station, and it was purchased by an Australian family. The family hired Sumich to design a luxury holiday home on the site, and Triple Star was contracted to build it.
On March 23, 2017, news broke that New Zealand’s richest man, Graeme Hart, had purchased a holiday home in Queenstown for $24 million. This marked the first eight-figure residential property sale in the resort, and the property was located at the exclusive Closeburn Station, about 11km from Queenstown.
The luxurious six-bedroom home covered an area of 746 square meters and included a 144sq m day spa and 91sq m implements shed. The property had been built for the family trust of Brisbane businessman Denis Mackenzie, who founded the IT company CSG Ltd.
Local builder Triple Star completed the 12-month build in December 2015, and it was designed by prominent Auckland architect Lawrence Sumich. According to Sumich’s website, the client “wished for a resort-style retreat to share the beauty of Queenstown with his family and friends.” Sumich faced the challenge of providing the number of rooms required without overpowering the sensitivity of the site, which was perched above the 12 Mile Delta.
Luxury Real Estate NZ agent Terry Spice was believed to have brokered the sale to Hart. Spice had also brokered the Australian family’s purchase of the site in 2012, where the $2.85m price tag made it Queenstown’s dearest ever section. At the time, Spice had said that the site, with stunning lake and mountain views, was “the most exclusive and unique property in NZ, without question.”
The property had five chimney stacks, formal avenues of exotic and native trees between the buildings, a sculpture garden including a 26sq m loggia between the main dwelling and the spa building, and a driveway about 180m long. The spa building included a gym, relaxation area, indoor and outdoor spa, sauna, and bathroom.
Hart’s purchase of the property added to the list of big-ticket toys accumulated by the packaging tycoon in recent years. The National Business Review Rich List of July 2016, which rated him as New Zealand’s richest man, had said that he had recently launched two mega-yachts worth over $100m each in Norway, one of which he had listed for $266m. The Rich List also said that Hart’s Auckland family home was worth $45m, and he reportedly owned two homes in Queenstown’s sister city of Aspen, in the United States.
Denis Mackenzie, the previous owner of the property, founded IT company CSG Ltd in 1988. CSG had grown to become a leading Australian IT services company, providing managed technology, print, and cloud solutions to businesses of all sizes. In 2012, Mackenzie decided to sell the land at Closeburn Station, and it was purchased by an Australian family. The family hired Sumich to design a luxury holiday home on the site, and Triple Star was contracted to build it.
Mackenzie’s decision to sell the land had come at a difficult time for CSG. The company had been struggling financially. The company had posted a net loss of $43.7m for the financial year ending June 30, 2012, and the board had decided to undertake a review of the business.
The review had resulted in the resignation of CSG’s CEO Denis Mackenzie and the departure of several other senior executives. The board had also decided to divest several non-core businesses and focus on its core managed services and print solutions. Mackenzie had resigned from his role as Executive Chairman in November 2012 but had remained a substantial shareholder in the company.
In April 2013, Fuji Xerox had made a $140.8m takeover bid for CSG, which the company’s