A multi-millionaire iced-coffee mogul is reportedly seeking New Zealanders who are prepared to live with him on his remote North Island coastal "paradise", according to an ad that was published twice in the NZ Herald's Holiday accommodation section this past week.
German national Karl Reipen is apparently on the lookout for 10 people, aged up to 70, who would be interested in joining a “communal living situation” at his Awakino Estate on the west coast in southern Waikato.
The advertisement, claimed to be placed by the mogul, touts the benefits offered to those who would apply:
"They could live in houses by two persons and share a beautiful winery for social meetings and dining. If you are interested to live a life with a group of interesting people it can be a new life for you… You can enjoy walking, fishing, shopping, kayaking, bird watching, swimming or looking at the nice animals," it reads.
The Awakino Estate is fitted out with an indoor equestrian centre, stables, a winery and several homes.
Isolation is something the applicants would have to be content with, as the picturesque location, known for stunning views of the Tasman Sea, is a 90 minute drive to the city of New Plymouth, and Hamilton is a 90 minutes’ drive north.
The advertisement, written in the first person without identifying the narrator, also states people can bring their own horse and are welcome to use the indoor arena.
The ad offers a brief background digression, narrating how a person with a background in "international business" first came to live in the area, after finding "a beautiful farm" while visiting New Zealand in 2000.
"But I bought a lot of work and it took me 10 years to bring it to the standard of today. Now where everything is finished I would like to share the “paradise” with nice people,"” says the ad.
Communal Living Concept
The communal living concept, if true, seems to be the latest chapter in the mogul’s intriguing history in Taranaki.
The German national, who made his fortune selling canned iced-coffee, has had property there since 2000.
Back in 2003 Reipen told the Taranaki Daily News it had been his boyhood dream to own a farm and transform it into a five-star operation.
In October 2000, Reipen was granted consent under the Overseas Investment Act to buy Pioi Station on Fraser Smith Rd.
A year later permission was given to Awakino Fortune Limited, a company 100 per cent owned by the German, to acquire Awakino Heads, an adjoining property on the same road – thus, the properties were combined to form the Awakino Estate.
Reipen sold the 1100ha Pioi Station for more than $6 million in 2010 and in 2016 attempted to sell the land he is now looking for people to live on.
The property, which was called Awakino Heads but is now Awakino Estate, was listed for $8.5m but the sale never went through, according to Stuff.
There has been no comment from Reipen himself in connection with the advertisement, with his personal assistant reportedly claiming he was unable to talk as he was preparing to go away on business.