Minden WBOP (February 2017)

Lifestyle lots hard to find in Western Bay

Following a change in direction several years ago by Western Bay District Council there are now very few true lifestyle blocks being produced in the Bay.  On the back of increased building soaking up supply people looking for rural opportunities will be forced into the Minden Lifestyle Zone. 

Most blocks being created in this zone will be less than 5000 square metres, somewhat less than many true life-stylers need.  Those wanting a hectare or two will have to compete for the existing blocks or rely on the comparatively few lots still allowed under other rules. 

Some larger lifestyle blocks can still be created in the rural zone in conjunction with protection of ecological features such as 'over half a hectare of wetland', 'protection of 500 metres of planted stream bank' or 'several hectares of native bush' – significant cultural sites and view shafts can also comply.   This is a rule that has found favour, as it is a win win for the landowner and the general public.  Rural subdivision is also available to those who can achieve a minimum productive lot area of 6 hectares and those with over 12 hectares may even qualify for a bonus lifestyle lot.

For those who have planned ahead, boundary adjustments between existing titles or relocation of existing titles is another popular way of creating rural blocks to meet the market.  Generally these can be adjusted in size along the way to create usable  lifestyle blocks and also keep the majority of productive land in the farm. 

A little known fact is that rural properties with more than one house can now be subdivided to create a separate title around the surplus house.  Although there are costs involved, significant capital can often be released from the exercise.

Development in the Minden Lifestyle Zone has been limited with some parts reaching their capacity, due to restricted access on to the State Highway, pending construction of the Tauranga Northern Link. However, now that the NZ Transport Agency has committed to construction of this road we are going to see some more development potential freed up over the next year or two, I believe.     

If you wish to clarify any subdivision strategies mentioned here please feel free to give me a call.  I am happy to discuss the situation with you to see if it is worth pursuing.

Brent Trail, Managing Director of Surveying Services, specialises in resource consent applications for subdivisions across the Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Coromandel.  For further information call 0800 268 632 or email


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