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About Us

Ray_Pam_About_Us.jpgRay and Pam have a strong rural connection and affiliation, we have lived all our married life of 40 years in the Rodney District.

We purchased the land in 1992, the fulfilment of a dream to own and work a farm.

We have enjoyed developing and working the farm and built our home here in1996. We consider our home, on lot 8, a good example of dwellings blending with the rural environment, which we want to encourage.

We have a long term interest and commitment to Gracefarm. We enjoy the environment and the development. Great to watch trees growing, see progress, enjoy the farm and explore new features Something to treasure and share with others

We appreciate people and believe the rural lifestyle is a natural way to live and want to share that with others.



ray_small.jpg DOB 1941 , fit and active.

Professionally, Ray is a Registered Farm Management Consultant and Registered Valuer who thrives on bringing practical application of his skills to management.

Ray has experience and interest in optimising land use either for productive  or conservation purpose and both Ray and Pam recognise the need for both.

In the course of his professional career Ray has observed first hand many “farm park” style developments     
and has drawn on this knowledge to create a sustainable, workable and satisfying plan for this land.

Ray brings his expertise to this development and will continue to farm the land as lessee to the Incorporated Society for the first six years - God willing. This gives security and continuity of management to prospective owners for their common land.  Final consent was issued by Auckland Council in May 2013, signalling the completion of the development,( 9 years after first applying for a consent!).  Ray and Pam remain focused and enthusiastic. They have laid the foundations for sustainable land use and a secure, quality place to live. They  continue to build a pattern and  policy with improvements that will endure and mature the property for the benefit of all who come to live here, for the  environment and for  future generations.

The Farm Lot or Common land is not promoted as pristine but as a work in progress. The essentials are here. It is an interesting property that works but is a dynamic environment, developing, enhancing and progressively maturing. Would you like to be part of it? You could also contribute to the development or just enjoy it. In the mean time the rewards are both financial and physical


Pam - (Pamela Grace)

DOB 1944--fit and active

A nurse by profession, a mother by nature, a gardener by desire, enjoys floral art and is a great hostess.

  Pam was from a farming family in the south Island

Pam dots the I’s and crosses the T’s. She likes things done well and finished

The garden at our home is all her work.



Our Family

We have three adult children. Derek, Mark & Anne.

Derek and his wife Jane have a daughter, Gemma Grace. They live in Warkworth and work in social services.

Mark and his wife Juliet have two sons, Bryn and Tom.  They currently live in Parua Bay Whangarei Heads, Mark works for MPI in forestry and Juliet is a nurse.

Anne and her husband Pete Richards have two daughters, Grace and Cate and a son Leon. They have built their own home on lot 4 in 2009. Anne is a nurse and Pete is a builder.

We are a close family who enjoy each others company without living in each others pockets!


Grace Farm - Why did we choose this name?

As can be seen from the above, it is a common family name

The word grace has at its root: being joyful or cheerful and means ‘an undeserved or unmerited gift’.

That’s what the farm was for us when we had the opportunity to take ownership of it in 1992.  That has continued through the years for which we are thankful and consider ourselves blessed.  We’re here by the Grace of God and by His Grace we continue.


About our time on this farm

The farm was run down when we took over in 1992. It had been a small dairy farm and then a runoff to an adjoining dairy farm.

There was a serious gorse weed problem and pastures were poor.

The internal infrastructure of access, fencing and water reticulation were satisfactory.

Our focus over the years has been the control of weeds and improve pastures through regular topdressing and good management. This pattern of management will continue under the lease arrangement

The land class is variable with about 50% undulating easy hill and some flat. The balance is steeper country that needs conserving while there is also some good native bush. The riparian margins also needed protecting. All these sensitive areas are now  fenced, planted in native trees and covenanted. We are pleased to be able to advance this work of  productive and conservation land use under this plan. To some extent the resources required to do so are released through the subdivision.

We want to share this ideal lifestyle with others who may have an appreciation of appropriate rural land use or who simple want to be enjoy the rural environment.


A brief history of the Land

Gracefarm is a small part of what is known as the “First Oruawharo Purchase” by the Crown. It was transacted on 27th January 1860 from the Te Uri O Hau hapu of the Ngatiwhatua iwi and signed by Te Otene Taraia and 18 others and John Rogan District Commissioner. It was witnessed by J William Kawau.

The area purchased was 30,000 acres and payment was five hundred pounds sterling. This land was subsequently allotted to intending British settlers under the “40 acre” scheme which was administered by the NZ Provincial Councils. Immigrants had to be “approved” and subsequently received “Land Orders” based on grants of 80 acres for a husband and wife for forty pounds sterling and 20 acres for each child aged between five and eighteen years for ten pounds sterling. (H Mabbitt 1968)

Crown land purchase in this locality was not acrimonious due to the local Maori history of the area combined with friendliness, wisdom and understanding from both  Maori and the British men involved. They were John Rogan District Commissioner, Percy Smith Surveyer and William Gittos missionary who was known locally as “the friend of the Maori people”. (H.Mabbitt 1968)

The group who came to the area were known as Albertlanders and they were organised by William Rawson Brame. He promoted this Special Settlement Scheme for Nonconformist emigrants. This was welcomed by the Auckland provincial Council because the previous Church backed schemes in both Canterbury and Otago were perceived to have been so successful.

The first allotment holders of this farm according to an Albertland North map (Mabbett 1977) drawn late 1862 were a Robert Nicholson, his wife Ann, daughter Mary Ann and sons George and Edwin. They arrived in Auckland on the “Hanover” on 17th September 1862 and proceeded to their farm via the east coast. That is a story in itself (Brett & Hook 1927). They were allocated allotments 179,184,185 and 186. The farm today essentially follows the boundaries of Allotments 184 and 186. The others have been sold off either by the Nicholsons (Albertland District Museum records) or subsequent owners and these owners are recorded on Land Transfer Titles from 1916 (Land Information New Zealand) The names recorded are Harding, Close, Busbridge, Underwood, Grant, Litten, Cowlrick, Curel, Crawford & Woodham, Price and at present Hollis/Gracefarm.

There appear to be no records of the Nicholson’s farming endeavours but their sawmilling enterprise is well documented and photographed. (Ryburn 1999, Mabbett 1977, Brett & Hook 1927, Borrows 1969).

Gracefarm was kauri land and these beautiful trees still grow at the south end of the farm. Small chunks of gum are still here to be picked up from time to time. It was also totara land and, there are at present, about three groves that were never felled. However, judging by the number of totara posts on the farm some of the trees that were felled never left the place.



Mabbett, H (1968) Tidal Creek to Gum Ridge, Lower North Weekly News.
Mabbett, H (1977) The Rock and the Sky, Wilson & Horton Ltd.
Brett, Sir Henry & Hook, Henry (1927) The Albertlanders, The Brett Printing Co. Ltd.
Ryburn, W (1999) Tall Spars, Steamers & Gum, Kaipara Publications.
Borrows, A L (1969) Albertland, A H & AW Reed.
Albertland District Museum, Wellsford.
Land Information New Zealand

Contact Us

Phone:  +64 9 4238707
Mobile: 0274939703

20 Mangawhai Road, RD 5
Wellsford, 0975

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027 4939703