To a good cause

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An American selling his Queenstown investment unit is donating the proceeds for a charitable purpose. 

Virginia-based Craig Andrews – who’s selling due to ill health – is auctioning his Highview Terrace unit at Larchwood Heights on March 23. 

The proceeds will endow a PhD scholarship in the School of Accounting and Commercial Law at Victoria University of Wellington’s business school. 

Andrews was principal mining specialist with the World Bank in Washington till he retired in 2010. 

In that role he took particular interest in how Third World governments manage how they spend money from extractive industries like mining, oil and gas and other concession-based industries like forestry and fishing. 

“The money is oftentimes squandered or wasted on white elephants or palaces in the jungle,” he says. 

Andrews has helped develop a programme at Victoria that trains the trainers in developing countries’ universities in accounting standards and revenue management. 

“The scholarship I’m endowing will fund some original research by a New Zealand or foreign PhD candidate on a topic related to the theme of better governance of revenue streams from these industries. 

“I would encourage potential bidders on the property to consider the charitable nature of this programme when proposing their bids.” 

Andrews says he first came to Queenstown in the late 1990s. 

“The November flowers convinced me that this was a place I would visit again.” 

In 2001 he bought a two-level Highview Terrace unit for $210,000 through local real estate agent Stephanie Drader, of Fisken & Associates The Professionals. 

Drader subsequently managed it as a rental unit – it now fetches $380 a week. 

“It’s in need of perhaps a paint throughout like most of those sort of properties,” Drader says. 

“But it’s got great potential for obviously a first-home buyer or an investor and it’s a great location. 

“It’s got three good bedrooms and two bathrooms and a lock-up garage and a log-fire. 

“What more does anybody need when they’re buying a property at that price range?” 

The Government valuation is $365,000. 

Andrews recalls Drader also sold him another Queenstown property about a year after he bought Highview. 

Drader had offered him to take him to the airport at the end of a stay here as she was going that way to view a property coming on the market, he says. 

“Well, needless to say, we drove by the property before the airport. 

“I did not even go inside, the property was right for me, the price was right and I made an offer on the spot.” 

Drader says in subsequent visits her client would always say: “Steph, you’re the only real estate person, I’m sure, that would have sold a property to somebody as you were taking them to the airport for them to go home.” 

Later, Andrews sold his Remarkables Crescent unit and used the proceeds to pay off his Highview mortgage. 

Andrews is undergoing radiation and chemotherapy for melanoma brain cancer – but he’s remaining positive: “Though the statistics may not be in my favour, I intend to beat the odds and be around for many years to come.” 

His Highview unit is the second Wakatipu property to be sold off for charitable purposes of late. 

An Arrowtown house, bequeathed by its former owner, realised $499,000 for the Royal Foundation of the Blind’s Guide Dog Services when auctioned late last year.