Lifestylers a 'threat' to farms

Sunday 19 September 2004

More than 37,000 hectares of New Zealand farmland - the size of Auckland's regional parks network - is lost each year to the rural sprawl of lifestyle blocks.

By The Landlord

Soaring demand from townies wanting the country life means 6800 new lifestyle blocks are created each year, says a new study commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF).

The land lost to subdivision equates to about 247 average dairy farms each year, raising fears that creeping urbanism now threatens primary production.

Critics say huge prices for lifestyle blocks - the national median hit $302,000 in July, up from $215,000 two years earlier - have made subdivision in some areas more viable than farming.

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