In line with other investments in the property sector, Quayside undertakes strategic investments into natural resources in the Bay of Plenty, including farming blocks and forestry. In 2018 Quayside Properties purchased Mystery Valley, a 170-hectare mixed-use farming and forestry block between Paengaroa and Rotorua.
This investment, while commercially feasible and generating an IRR of 8 per cent, also provided Quayside with an opportunity to develop a farm of scale which could demonstrate best use of land within the Bay of Plenty. Since the purchase, Quayside has worked with its parent company, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, to implement a comprehensive environmental management plan which includes:
- Fencing off all native bush and waterways;
- Active targeting and removal of invasive species;
- Replanting and retiring land that is uneconomic into native bush, including riparian areas, to reduce soil erosion and encourage birdlife; and
- Constructing and engineering bunds to reduce sediment.
Quayside has also adopted the approach of trying to find the most economical use of the property; importantly, this includes utilising the following farming practices:
- Incorporating both native and plantations trees into the carbon trading scheme;
- Using portions of land for high-value genetic trial stocks, in partnership with Paengaroa-based global health products company Comvita, to provide land for nursery locations;
- Using portions of previous forest operations for pumice to supply the construction in the Bay of Plenty;
- Partnering with best practice farming operations to use farming areas to grow more sustainable and soil friendly crops, leading to the first commercial harvest of hemp to be grown in the Bay of Plenty; and
- Identifying and developing natural spring water sources to supply high-value local companies with ingredients.