Protecting, Promoting and Enhancing out Rural Lifestyle


Despite the rapid growth of our three main towns, the majority of Matamata-Piako residents live in rural communities. When we talked to rural residents it was apparent that one of the main concerns they had was to preserve their rural lifestyle.


Discussions around rural lifestyle suggested a number of key areas that would need to be addressed to preserve and enhance rural lifestyles; these include Rural subdivision and amalgamation, Town planning, Protecting the Landscape, Transport, Safety, Services, and Farming.



Rural Subdivision and Amalgamation


Rural subdivision trends have a considerable impact on the sustainability and viability of our rural communities.


At present there is a trend toward the amalgamation of properties instead of subdivision, resulting little growth of small rural communities; this is economically driven with farm owners seeking to improve returns and may get worse. At the same time our land based industries, such as Fonterra, are concerned about the huge acreages being subdivided for lifestyle blocks. Subdivision in rural areas is putting pressure on Council as lifestyle blocks and rural residential subdivisions demand improved services and infrastructure; this needs to be properly planned and could be a burden on rate payers.


Ideally we would be promoting and encouraging planned community growth, this would involve restricting subdivision in rural areas so large ‘blocks’ of land would be protected, while ensuring we would no longer have a shortage of rural properties. Council plans would be prepared to accommodate changes in the trends of subdivision versus amalgamation.





The percentage of residents that rated this issue as:


Extremely important 55.6%

Important 22.2%

Not so important 11.1%

Proposed Goals and Strategies


Review the subdivision policy to:


- Restrict residential subdivisions to around the three main towns.

I do not support this 33.3%

I support this 44.4%


- Protect large land blocks for farming.

I do not support this 11.1%

I support this 66.7%



Town Planning


Our town planning sets guidelines for the shape and appearance of our towns for the future. At present certain sections in towns are putting pressure on Council infrastructure from increased residential subdivisions. Comparing

Te Aroha and Morrinsville, Te Aroha has retained larger sections maintaining character, while Morrinsville has more infill housing which some feel has spoilt the ambience of the town. Each of these trends provides the towns with different opportunities, tourism for Te Aroha with Morrinsville becoming a residential satellite town for Hamilton. Overall it was felt that the rural communities are pretty healthy, but we need careful planning for our towns.


Ideally our District Plan and Council policies would promote the retention of the character of our towns while accommodating growth and development. Our three towns would be growing bigger to the benefit of urban and rural citizens - Morrinsville will expand up to a maximum of 10,000 people with a well managed growth plan and Te Aroha would have expanded to a vibrant community of 5000-6000 people permanently resident.






The percentage of residents that rated this issue as:


Extremely important 33.3%

Important 38.9%

Not so important 11.1%


Proposed Goals and Strategies


Develop structure and growth plans for our urban communities, these plans would:


- consider where the three main towns need to grow in the future

I do not support this 11.1%

I support this 77.8%


- ensure growth for Te Aroha is managed to develop away from the mountain.

I do not support this 16.7%

I support this 61.1%