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Cromwell’s growth sparks expansion in Central Otago

Cromwells growth sparks expansion in Central Otago  hero

Cromwell’s significant growth potential has prompted one of Otago’s leading property agencies to launch a new office that will service the area’s commercial, industrial, rural and valuation needs.

Colliers International has recently opened its new Cromwell office, building on more than a decade of work with clients throughout the Central Otago region.

Mark Simpson, Director of Colliers Otago’s Queenstown business, says Cromwell has been identified as a high-growth area of the Southern-Lakes District.

“Colliers International has worked with clients throughout the Central Otago area for over a decade, so it’s a natural progression to expand to a dedicated office for the area.

“The fundamentals underpinning the wider Cromwell economy remain strong with its location a natural distribution hub servicing the Queenstown, Wanaka and wider Central Otago area.

“We’ve seen sustained growth over the last decade in the residential and lifestyle sectors which has helped the growth in commercial and rural-agri activity, particularly in transport/logistics and viticulture/horticulture.

“Despite the current Covid climate we’re confident in the region’s potential for further growth. It’s an investment in the future supported by the strong performance of the last few years.

“A number of our corporate and offshore investors and occupiers have also shown interest in expanding their presence into this part of Central Otago for these reasons.”

Colliers International will also continue to expand its rural and agribusiness presence, with members from the wider Otago rural team continuing to grow their presence in Cromwell and the wider Central Otago area.

Ruth Hodges, National Co-Director of Rural and Agribusiness at Colliers, says high demand for specialist property services and confidence in the local market’s future are the key reasons for the move.

“Cromwell is the hub for many of our rural professionals and clients involved in the horticulture and viticulture industries; having a base for our rural specialists here allows our clients direct access to the team and positions us in an area of consistently strong rural and lifestyle sales.”

Central Otago has long been a sought-after destination for tourists, outdoor adventurers and wine aficionados. It is also one of the most productive and valuable horticulture and viticulture regions in New Zealand.

Cromwell is a much-loved destination in the Upper Clutha valley, set on the idyllic shores of Lake Dunstan, with spectacular mountain views.

The area offers many attractions including wineries, restaurants and bars, cycling and walking trails, the growing motor sports presence off the back of the Highlands Motorsport Park, Goldfields Mining Centre, helicopter tours, and adventure sports including jet boating and hang gliding.

Simpson says: “Having a dedicated Cromwell office will put our team in a stronger position to assist clients with property solutions that maximise the value of their assets.”

Colliers International is Otago’s leading full-service property company, offering commercial, rural, lifestyle, residential and valuation services from offices in Queenstown, Wanaka, Dunedin and now Cromwell.

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Mark Simpson

Director | Commercial Broker


Specialising in commercial property for over two decades, Mark’s knowledge and experience bring a rare level of insight to the buying, selling and leasing process. Working extensively within the industrial sphere, client feedback speaks volumes about Mark’s innovative thinking and ability to match investor with product.

As an Associate Member of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand and a director and board chairman for Otago Realty (NZ) Ltd along with other industry boards, his wide-reaching connections and influence bring clients an elevated level of targeted exposure.

Active in the Queenstown, Cromwell, Invercargill and Wanaka markets, his business horizon encompasses Otago and Southland, with a unique knowledge of the economic factors underpinning localised markets.

Outside of the office, the father of two embraces the outdoors lifestyle of the Southern Lakes.

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Ruth Hodges



Ruth commenced her career in rural real estate in August 2009 before establishing the first Colliers Rural and Agribusiness franchise in New Zealand with Shane O’Brien in September 2014. Her experience and acumen led to a role operating at a national level, spearheading growth in Colliers’ Rural business between 2018 and 2021.

Now based in the Southern-Lakes district, Ruth is Managing Director of the Otago and Southland Rural business, of which she was one of the co-founders in January 2019.

Growing up on a large-scale, high-country farm in Central Otago set the foundation for Ruth’s involvement in the rural industry throughout her working life. After achieving a first-class honours degree from Otago University, Ruth commenced a career in rural finance that spanned nine years with the National Bank. She then joined the progressive new dairy company, Synlait, as Business Development Manager, focusing on growing their farming assets via key acquisitions around the Canterbury region.

Ruth is also involved in the rural building industry with her husband Nigel, and the experience of the incredible highs and lows that this industry has encountered over the past 13 years has honed her management and problem-solving skills to the highest level.

As a rural real estate professional, Ruth's strategy is based around the cornerstones of people and their farming businesses.  Focussing on these rather than solely the physical assets is key to how she achieves positive outcomes regardless of market conditions. Her underlying principles of trust and integrity ensure she continues to form long-lasting, genuine relationships and she applies an open, honest approach to all situations.

Furthermore, Ruth's comprehensive understanding of an often complex and evolving rural market together with her ever-present proactive attitude allow her to provide solutions that go beyond the traditional real estate model.

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