The Most Powerful Reasons I Chose To Invest in Real Estate in Oamaru, North Otago in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Government drastically changed it’s real estate investment laws effective March 27th 2021. For those of us real estate investors who provide a service and business to our clients, the changes come with re-aligning our business and retirement goals. As an entrepreneur, the thinking and strategizing to maintain the business is always a goal. When I have an hour spare, I am listening to podcasts such as Property Academy, the One Roof Radio Show called the Weekend Collective on NewstalkZB, Cooking the Books with Frances Cook or expanding my horizon to Australia and listening to, The Smart Property Investment Show. Sometimes, I am entertaining myself with powerful women’s books like, Dot: Queen of Riverstone Castle for more entrepreneurial inspirations or preparing my speeches for global health debates, listening to BBC podcast on podbean.

Friendships are so important. Making new friends in Riverstone, Oamaru, Otago. New Zealand March 2021.

My first impressions of Oamaru town was in November of 2019. I had finished my University’s final examinations and I was offered a summer research job to help out with over the summer break. Part of the initial research data collections began in Oamaru and Timaru. I remembered walking through the Oamaru’s Victorian Precinct with the research team and peddling the stationary Penny Farthing Bicycle.

I fell in love.

Investing in Oamaru has Personal and Powerful Humanitarian Links

In 2013, my passion for International and Humanitarian work grew. I realized the urgent need to help Melanesian Women in Papua New Guinea and Bougainville in light of the ever increasing atrocious violence on them. I set out to raise funds to build new water tanks for Arawa Womens Refuge in Bougainville. Unbeknownst to me, during the fundraiser in Wellington using the film: Mr Pip (written by Llyod Jones and produced by Andrew Adamson, both Kiwis), a very generous man stood up at the end of the film and pledged his support to fund the logistics and the installation of water tanks for the Crisis Centre in Bougainville. I was astounded. Our then local MP Kris Fa’aoi went on the local radio the next day to praise little but powerful initiatives like this. The rippling financial effect from the fundraiser enabled the whole Bougainville Women’s Centre to install new roofs and provide women with a new outlook on life in the safe houses. Mr Pip was partly filmed in Oamaru. Re-investing back into the town of Oamaru made sense to me to say thank you to the town and it’s people.

My Secret Passion for Literature and Writing

It was only through researching the town of Oamaru that I discovered it is a town that is buzzing with so many sights and nature to see, history to discover and famous people to admire. New Zealand’s famous All Blacks Rugby Union Captain Richie McCaw was born here and of course the literary author Janet Frame. Frame became an iconic figure with her “Owls Do Cry” novel which won the national literary prize unexpectedly after her lobotomy procedure was cancelled. A collection of her short stories were turned into “An Angel At My Table” film by NZ Film Producer Jane Campion. Her house in Central Oamaru on Eden Street has been a popular reason to why tourists flock to Oamaru town. The famous 56 Eden Street has a Trust that is saving the historical feature as it is bursting with “truth, memory and imagination” according to the Otago Daily Times News. Up the road on 147 Eden Street, I am sitting in my own garden writing notes about my own international journey; a journey like no other. I can relate to Frame’s story and her expansive work on literature but I can also relate to her personal stories. It is a special space that has drawn inspiration, emotions around those dark times (in her Novel Owls Do Cry) and also to believe in my own talents and creativity.

Finding a Mentor in the Queen of Riverstone Castle

The first time I visited Riverstone castle was the weekend I settled the real estate property in Oamaru in North Otago. Little did I know about this estate until I read about it on Stuff. My discovery of the castle propelled me to even buy a ticket, take a tour and purchase a signed book belonging to the Queen of the Riverstone Castle. I dined at her Riverstone Kitchen twice and left glowing reviews on the hospitality, service and it’s fantastic menu. I was amazed at how Dot put her mindset to build a castle. As I left the castle, Dot inspired me to do the same-to take my goals and work on them as she had with her own castle. She worked the land with her family and built her childhood dreams. Sarah Scott the NZ Architect from Wanaka, NZ who wrote the foreword of Dots Book (Queen of Riverstone Castle) highlighted how highly entrepreneurial Dot Smith was:

“Take my word for it: Dot Smith can change your life. After spending just a few hours with her, you begin to see that you may be capable of more than you had ever believed.”

I believed the statement. I finished reading Dots book and got in touch for some inspiration. For now I am going through my life goals and legacy for my own family and community to plan the future developments for South West Bay, Malekula in Vanuatu-these are social enterprise goals from 2015.

As an investor, I have come to understand the drivers of business, market and development. In any business, there are factors that influence the growth of it. Immigration, affordability, government laws are just some of the many factors that drive the business sector. If you decide to invest in real estate, be smart about it with your calculated risk. I still believe it is the best investment you can make.

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