Home' Straight Furrow 70th Anniversary : Dec 19 2011 Contents The family name Bayley is synonymous with
New Zealand's real estate industry. It is also a
family name which traces its roots deep into
rural New Zealand over generations... stretching as
far back as the 1850s.
The Bayley association with real estate in New
Zealand was first seeded when family founder
Reginald Bayley immigrated from England to
Taranaki in 1851 - eventually becoming an assistant
land registrar in what was the burgeoning rural
town of New Plymouth.
However, it was almost 100 years later that those
first inklings of involvement with property really
began to flourish into the Bayleys company as it is
Bayleys company founder Graham Spencer Bayley
was a decorated World War Two fighter pilot who
flew Corsairs and Harvards in the Pacific conflict.
On returning to New Zealand, along with
thousands of New Zealand servicemen, at the
conclusion of World War Two, Graham Bayley was
allocated remote farm land near the central North
Island township of Taumaranui on which to build a
Like thousands of other pioneer farmers who
were granted 'rehabilitation' stock units -- with
no power, no water, no sewerage, and no home -
Graham Bayley toiled for years behind the wheel
of his David Brown tractor to break-in the bush and
scrub of his Taumaranui landholding, and create
fertile pastoral farm land, while at the same time
building the farm cottage.
Graham met wife-to-be Pam in Hawera where
she admitted to "falling in love with the uniform
rather than the man." The couple often reminisced
on how they would commute up from Hawera to
Taumaranui on the back of a freight train, jump off
as the train slowed to arrive in town, then walk the
final few miles to their farm.
Graham and Pam's first son, John Bayley, was born
in the washhouse of that Taumaranui farm cottage.
The farm developed into a well-run beef operation.
After almost a decade in Taumaranui Graham
Bayley -- and the now growing Bayley family of
three children - moved to another small rural
North Island town, Taneatua in the Southern Bay
of Plenty, where he bought a dairy farm and run off
block across the road.
The young Bayley children -- who later went on to
become key members of the real estate company
bearing their surname -- were brought up in the
rural ways typical of that era. They milked cows
before riding to school on horseback, then helped
with feeding the calves and milking the herd at the
end of the day. Summers were spent jumping on
and off the back of the farm truck, manually loading
up hay bales.
In addition to the cattle activities, Graham Bayley
moved into horticulture -- establishing commercial
gardens on the Taneatua property, which produced
beans, cabbage, lettuce, and watermelons.
After some eight years on the site, Graham
Bayley sold up at Taneatua and purchased another
horticulture block in Whatawhata in the Waikato --
situated between Hamilton and Raglan. While dad
would regularly drive the supply truck laden with
vegetables over to Hamilton or up to Auckland, the
ever-increasing Bayley clan of children would take
turns manning the roadside produce stall.
Utilising his knowledge of both the agricultural
and horticultural sectors, Graham Bayley swapped
the plough and the milking shed for a desk and a tie
- joining Hamilton real estate agency Matthews and
Hyde to begin selling farms throughout the Central
While farm land was the mainstay of his sales,
Graham Bayley saw what was happening to the
fast-growing city of Auckland, and recognised
the opportunities that lay in wait as the city's
population and commercial influence expanded at
a rapid rate.
Graham Bayley and his eldest son John moved to
Auckland in 1973 to establish the genesis of what
has gone on to become New Zealand's largest full
service real estate agency.
Father and son were joined by brother David
Bayley in 1974 -- with the business operating out
of the family home in Papakura. Younger siblings
Tony and Chris also grew into the family business
over the ensuing years as the business grew -- and
in fact are still involved with selling real estate
today, as are John, David, and older sister Dinah.
While the company's real estate sales activities
were founded on the commercial and industrial
property sectors, business soon grew to encompass
the residential property market. Graham Bayley's
long-term vision was to develop an all-encompassing
real estate company with operations in all sectors
of the market.
Graham Bayley passed away in 1995, and it was
several years later that his vision took another
step toward fruition -- with the establishment of a
country sales team. The final pieces to the jigsaw
have been bolted in place over recent years with
the establishment of property management,
valuations, and business advisory divisions.
This diversity of activities across the real estate
markets has ensured Bayleys is now New Zealand's
largest property service company, with a total staff
of more than 1,100, and 60 offices throughout New
Zealand and Fiji. The company's country division
alone comprises more than 130 salespeople -- with
a presence in every provincial centre, from Kaitaia
Rural properties marketed by Bayleys include
commercial sheep and beef units, dairy farms,
horticulture and viticulture blocks, orchards,
and cropping activities. The company is now
New Zealand's biggest rural real estate agency --
combining professional and market-leading sales
initiatives with a deep-rooted understanding by
all of its gumboot-wearing salespeople in the
intricacies and anomalies of the rural sector.
With these deep-rooted connections to rural
New Zealand, Bayleys is committed to the future
of the country real estate market -- ensuring
the expertise and knowledge built by the past
generations of Bayley family members becomes the
foundations of the Bayley generations to come.
Rural roots anchor Bayleys
to heartland New Zealand
Bayleys founder Graham Bayley... fighter pilot, farmer,
real estate forefather.
Straight Furrow • December 19, 2011
STRAIGHT FURROW CELEBRATING 70 YEARS
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