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Heading up the Spaniels working on Poronui is Clark Reid's
Colchius of Springhaven.

This brings us to the current ownership. Mark Blake, seeing the potential of Poronui, purchased the Howardís 2000 acres - in addition to the 16,000 that he had purchased from Carter-Holt. Poronui was once again a complete entity - encompassing the entire Poronui Valley.

The ranch operation was expanded to include a lodge that offers every comfort, and while luxurious, is still in keeping with the rural New Zealand landscape it occupies. Guests have views of the hills where the Sika Bucks roam and the streams, brimming with brown trout, flow past the decks of the suites. The main lodge offers sumptuous meals, often prepared with organic produce from the property. The operation is overseen in every detail by Poronui Manager, Eve Reilly.

But letís cut to the chase and talk spaniels!

From the very first liberations of pheasants in the central North Island, Poronui has been home to a wild population of the birds. In the early days, huge numbers were recorded here. But intensive farming, over the years, reduced their numbers to only a handful of wild birds.

Forestry work restored a lot of the habitat and in 2000 it was recognised that the wild birds were making a comeback. Bird shooting was becoming a popular activity at Poronui at the same time as New Zealandís most state of the art Sporting Clays round was installed on the property. Duck-shooting, which was always a long standing tradition, continues with mallards and paradise ducks being in profusion. The decision was made to add "Pheasant Preserve" to the list of claims to fame that make Poronui an outdoorsmanís Mecca.

"These are wild, hard running birds and nothing puts them in the air as well as a Springer!"

Four hundred pheasants were released under the watchful eye of Gamekeeper Chris Short. Utilising English release methods, they quickly flourished and bred well in the ideal habitat that Poronui has become. To capitalize on this, 1600 birds were put out the following year and a plan to release an additional 1000 birds each season is in place. Chris Short ensures that the birds have adequate winter sustenance and keeps vermin to a minimum making Poronui a paradise for wild pheasants. The results have been spectacular!

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