Landshare – connecting people, land and food

If you are a landowner with land available to share/lease/buy, or a gardener without land, I can list your requirements here, so that connections can be made. If you want to make contact with any of the listings below, email me at quoting the reference number. I will need your phone number and physical address to confirm that you are a genuine enquirer.

Thanks to The Land Trust NZ for supporting this landsharing initiative.

Whakatane area – barn converted to house available to rent plus options for yurt, bus or translocatable house

We have a block of land in Toatoa which is in the Pakihi Valley. Closest town is Whakatane, which is 30 mins drive.

It is situated backing onto native NZ bush.  The land itself is regenerated farm land, with

around 10 useable acres.

We are wanting to develop a regenerative food forest following organic principles. Someone compatible with this would be ideal.

It has a large lofted, converted barn which sleeps a large family easily. Also there is a second dwelling we wish to develop further as our getaway Bach.

We would be interested in renting the barn out. Alternatively, if it’s a couple or one person we could consider renting out the second dwelling.

Would also consider yurt, bus, small translocateable house on the property.

Very very beautiful area, beach and bush.

We will continue to come and go from the property as we want to actively develop it.

Ref 23

Auckland district – small block of land wanted for permaculture use

I have completed a Permaculture Design Certificate, live in Auckland and am interested in land share opportunities which are not too far from Auckland.

Is anyone close to Auckland and interested in permaculture willing to subdivide land?

Ref 22

Northland or Nelson – 2 acres wanted

I am a female in my late 40’s with plenty of energy and enthusiasm.  I have a passion for ‘growing edible plants and trees’ and being in nature.  I am ready to invest in property where I can reap the benefits of what I sow.

Permaculture practices inform my application of growing food, and I incorporate bio-dynamics as I learn more.  After many years of growing I feel well synced with the seasons, and wish to maintain this connection.  My desired environment to arrive at would offer community in some form. I enjoy my own space, and also sharing with others.

My current lifestyle is wholesome and organic.  I have been in the field of growing plants and people for the past 7 years.  I have created and managed 4 community gardens in the past 7 years, and now spend most of my time working at an environment centre and teaching sustainable gardening and compost workshops.  Creating clothes is also important to me.

I would like to be on land that provides me with security of tenure, and offers ‘community connections’.  What that means for me is sharing together, maybe growing together in a business partnership, or supporting each other to achieve our goals.  My wish is for 2 acres where I can develop a Food Forest and Food gardens, and to also utilize the site as a teaching ground.  Of course if the land has something developed on it, then that would be a bonus.

Please contact me if you have land available in the north of the north island or the north of the south island.

Ref. 21

Rotorua Area – looking to buy or long term lease about 1 acre.

After many years of travelling and working in Africa, Australia, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean, my wife and I have settled on making our home in NZ.

Most recently we have spent 3 years living and sailing a 38 ft sloop in the Caribbean, we are sold on the tiny house concept and are looking to buy or long-term lease a piece of land in the Rotorua area. I’m currently employed as a beekeeper. We are looking for a North facing block of 1 acre upwards to build a tiny home from recycled and natural materials. Our goals are to create a sustainable block pursuing permaculture principles.

We are both highly adaptable and have multiple skill sets to bring with us into this adventure.

We are open and eager to get on with our project and welcome input or ideas from all quarters.

Ref 20


Motueka area –organic farming opportunity

Would you like to take up farming but don’t have the funds to purchase land? If you are keen to farm and can provide the knowledge and skill to make it work, would you consider a partnership with the land owner?

Te Mara Farm in Motueka is approximately 21 ha and has been operated on an organic basis for the past 10 years but is not certified.

A couple has expanded their nearby calf raising operation and is using approx. 16 ha, but there are still areas available for someone to make productive:

  1. 2 ha for veggie production. We previously grew veggies on about 1 ha and used another paddock of approx. 1 ha for compost making.  The compost paddock could now be used for veggies.  There is also the frame of a decent size tunnel house available.
  2. There is an area of about 1 ha that has been used for producing free range eggs. Two sheds on this parcel can house approx. 200 chooks.
  3. There is a propagation nursery set up that needs a bit of work to complete but the basics are there: double garage area with a stainless steel bench, a covered area open on one side, a large shade shed and all areas are plumbed.
  4. There is another area of approx. 2 ha that was used as a Mediterranean garden and experience with it suggests it would be best used for fruit trees or berries.
  5. Next to the nursery building is a large hangar that DOC used to house helicopters in the past and is now used by a couple of guys to build tiny homes. It could be available for the farm operation if needed.
  6. There is also a somewhat rough accommodation at the back of the hangar that could be available. There is also lots of room for a camper or tiny home.

We can make a lease-free arrangement to help you get going.  Once established you would pay a modest lease fee, but the proceeds of the farm are then yours to keep.  Our priority is to see the land productive and well maintained and someone making a livelihood on it.  We are open to proposals that meet both party’s needs. We are looking for a long term arrangement.

Ref 19

Auckland area – within a couple of hours drive – small plot of land wanted

I am looking for some land near Auckland – up to a a couple of hours’ drive away is fine – to grow some organic catnip for my business. I am based out of Auckland. It might suit someone who has some certified organic land and already grows crops/other herbs/microgreens etc. for a business. Ref 17

Dunedin area – gardener wants to lease 1/2 acre

Hi, I am seeking to long term lease around half an acre of land within 20km or so of Dunedin, to live on (tiny house or mobile home, existing dwelling etc) and crop for seed and food, working to permaculture and biointensive principles.Looking for something north facing and not too vertical, with vehicle access. Power and water would be great, but lack of us not a problem.

I work in Dunedin, am sensible and (relatively) sane. Happy to meet up and discuss!

Ref 16.

Paparoa area – land available to share with others

I have 47 acres of bush near Paparoa, with a 7 bedroom house off the grid, large garden areas, fruit trees etc. Lots of space for development, workshop space etc. I would love to share it, rent it, or start a community, or sell half.I am open to many options and am flexible.  I owe some money on the land, so need to charge a little bit of rent, around $50 a week per person. I could sell shares or sell half. I’m keen to listen to any propositions.

Ref 15

Otago – landshare arrangement wanted for growing organic herbs

We are a couple living near Dunedin with backgrounds in landscaping, business bookkeeping, product development and marketing.We are keen to investigate landshare options to enable us to trial and grow medicinal herbs, with a focus on a couple of key herbs which are in global demand with shrinking supply due to degradation of native environments.  We are hoping to find somewhere to grow in a quite specific micro climate, altitude and soil composition, ie, chilled Winters, good Summer sun, around 300m above sea level with a non limed soil profile – slightly acidic (bordering pine is good).  A fairly level 2ha minimum with around another 1 – 2 acres ancillary.We have a bold dream to grow organic medicinal and cosmetic herbs to sell as bulk dried product and to create value added products based on local, organic ingredients and formulated without harmful chemicals.  Central Otago and spreading into East Otago region are ideal both for climatic and marketing reasons.  It is important to us and the integrity of the products we intend to develop that we are able to move towards organic certification.  We are open to teaming up with like minded individuals or organizations, and as this is a learning curve for us, would welcome those who have complementary skills in organics and growing.  Any suggestions of how we can structure a landshare arrangement are also welcome.  We are starting from scratch, but have a “can do” attitude – we’re keen to invest our sweat equity.

Ref 14

Lower North Island area – land wanted to rent/lease long term

A young family is looking for land to rent/lease long term to create a farm business following organic and permaculture principles of land management. They currently live in Wellington region and would consider anything mid to lower North Island. They are open all options and possibilities – unused land, degraded land,  recently clear-cut de- forested etc., with or without a dwelling.

Ref 11

Hawkes Bay location – landshare/workshare options

I am a smallish (640 acres) beef farmer with about 90 cows and 70 calves. I could increase the numbers if a younger farmer joined me. I practice biodynamics as nearly as I am able. The farm is not certified because until now I haven’t had a market for my beef to make certification worthwhile. I have often thought that I would like to pass the farm on to someone who will farm it organically-but how does one do that and still pass on one’s inheritance to one’s children? From my ‘reading’ of society it will become increasingly important to have an inheritance in the near future. To give one’s farm to a land bank will ensure that the land remains organic, but how do you also pass on an inheritance?I did wonder if it would be possible to use the savings pool idea to get young people started. They could enter into an interest free loan with the owner and pay the loan off over time from farm income.But I have’ jumped the gun’ by telling you my ideas without asking how the land bank works. What has been thought out to enable young people to come on the land and still allow inheritance to happen? And how do we ensure that future governments don’t help themselves to this land?I am looking for a young couple to come and help me (I have just entered into a lease that will include a house so will have accommodation). I am flexible as to how to structure their employment eg. lease them some land in return for help with my operation.

Ref. 10

Hawkes Bay location – leasing or exchange options

Waipukurau/Waipawa area – 22 kms south of Hasting in the 10,000 acre Poukawa Catchment. State Highway 2 is to the South.Waihararu (‘Thundering Waters’) offers the opportunity to produce a diverse range of fruit/veg all DEMETER certified. It has a 3 bedroom house for a couple or small family. Although one would find it hard to raise a family on income from produce sold it can support one person working hard- the markets and outlets for high quality food are there throughout NZ.Overview:It comprises 0.6040 hectares of peat/clay soils of reclaimed swamp. It was, before I purchased it, Māori land until 1993. Also has cropping land. To the North the land slopes eventually culminating in steep grassed hills to 400 metres with exposed limestone crags. My neighbours both east and west graze cattle, sheep and horses on small paddocks.The previous Māori owner, whom I built up a friendship with, grew crops but used glyphosphate as spot treatments on persistent weeds eg. Couch grass, ox tongue, daisy, oxalis. I have developed a raised bed system for growing as this land becomes very wet at times in winter. Pussy willows were planted as shelterbelts for wind and privacy protection on south and east boundaries. Gums, pittosporums and tagastes also provide wind/noise protection.I have carried this place for 23 years with the help of partners, wwoofers, part-time paid workers and friends and in that time have established a network of markets, retail outlets, conferences, fellow growers, scientists, seed merchants and horticultural equipment suppliers to make the biodynamics work financially.Past practices:I had DDT residue tests done around 2000. The Demeter board has a record of these results for certification purposes. DDT and DDE residues were only a few ppb. and so acceptable to Demeter Standards. Any non-compliances with Demeter regulations have only occurred prior to my guardianship. Sheep and cattle were used on the different Māori blocks and here, previous to my ownership, chemical drenching of stock would have resulted in contaminated manure on this land.I have no record of these practices.Programme of conversion: BD preps were used in composts, liquid manures and as field sprays from the start. Perhaps 230 compost heaps have been built here over the years. Peter Proctor visited in Spring 1994 for a Demeter inspection. I obtained full Demeter certification in 1997. My management has varied over the years using a tractor for initial cultivations, then a variety of hand tools to build raised beds. Timely cultivation is essential with these clay soils. I have followed a complicated crop rotation of many veggies/herbs depending on consumer needs, timing of crops and personal energy levels.Equipment/buildings:3 bedroom converted villa, wood stove, mains power, own bore water, rainwater collection around house. Woodshed, triple garage cum workshop, tractor shed, 2 aluminium storage sheds. 12 sq.m sleepout. Ford 3000 tractor (in need of a lot of repairs but workable). Plough, cultivators and discs, petrol lawnmower and weed-eater. A massive variety of hand tools and wheel-hoes , large 4sq.m tipping trailer with detachable sides.Soils:  This land is basically flat with a very slight slope to the south-east it is reclaimed swampland.  To the north is the 400 metre Raukawa range. To the south is State Highway 2 dividing the swamplands of lake Poukawa from me and the Kaokaoroa range. To the west is grazing land in poor condition. Eastwards is better managed land.The hills are erodible limestone. Certain areas here expose lime sand on cultivation.Soil composition:

  • Poukawa peat loam
  • Hastings sandy loam
  • Patches of white clay(papa)
  • Seams of pumice


Hot summers <35 degrees C with wetter, cooler winters. Over the last 15 years we get later summers (settled from Jan.) but still unpredictable winters which have varied greatly from drought to 500 mm of rain over 4 months. Temperature range is 35 degrees to -3 degrees C. Approximately 30 good frosts/year.

Annual rainfall was up to 1000mm annually 10 years ago and has reduced to 600mm. per year in the last 2 years. Prevailing winds are westerly and southerlies. Easterlies usually bring rain.


2 main sources are bore and rainwater. Borewater is used in the house and for crop irrigation.

I collect 1000’s of litres of water off the roof for seedlings, animals(chooks), BD prep stirring and  manures. I have occasionally used the small creek on southern boundary for watering nearby crops. This creek dries up in December. Flash flooding can occur here – this has unfortunately helped spread oxalis weeds. The borewater has been tested showing a high mineral content, very drinkable.

Ref. 9

Golden Bay – Awa Awa Road, Ruby Bay – lease or share options

Location: Ruby Bay area 5 kms west of Mapua. 13 kms before Motueka.Approximate available  areas:Top field: 16m X22m =   352m2Currently in 8 garden strips   approx.  20.5 m long X 1.3 m wide with intervening pathways.Lower field: “Triangular” area approx. 16m at base X 14 m in height = 112m2Currently in 7 garden strips of varying length approx.  1.3m wide with intervening pathways.Total effective current growing area =  464m2 not including pathways and driveway

Access:  2 gates. One for easy vehicle access into growing area and onto roadway. Other with steps for people access only.Water supply :   The field has its own well in addition to any water supply available from the main property. It is adjacent to a wetland area.Area surrounded by  a deer fence.Soil is clay loam fertilised with composting treatment, livestock manure, natural soil improvers (eg seaweed, bark,  river sand) and biodynamic preparations for the last four yearsThere is  some  room for  some  expansion  of   the   growing areas  within the overall  dimensions  of  the  fenced area if  desired.

Ref. 7

Hamilton/Waikato. Permaculture family looking for land and/or home on land to buy or rent

We are a family of four living in Hamilton.  We recently emigrated from South Africa where we had our own homestead which we ran as a public benefit organisation called the “Rainbow Homestead and Sustainability Commons”. On the 3 acre land, we built our own off-grid home and yurts, created an extensive permaculture system including food gardens, orchard, windbreaks, water catchment, plant nursery, bee hives, and started an indigenous forest.Option 1: We want to buy a piece of land or homestead near or in Hamilton on which we could have a house relocated and/or, ideally, build our own home.  Land is difficult to come by or it is very pricey so we are looking to purchase land from someone that might want to subdivide and sell to us at a reasonable/affordable cost.  We would like to holistically develop the land, using permaculture design principles, so that it has all the elements of sustainable living and where we can be more self-sufficient with food.  We have been pre-approved for $400,000 for buying a house so we can access finance for a loan to buy land or homestead.Option 2: We can rent a 1-2 bedroom small house or bach on a homestead and have a caravan as an extra room.   We would be leasing or sharing a part of the homestead with the landowners.  By renting a small space on a piece of land, we can build up a savings while also being able to provide for our food needs and our desire to connect with the land and like-minded folks.

Ref: 6

Golden Bay Location

Young couple living in Nelson looking to move to Golden Bay. They are both professionals but are keen to live in a simpler, more sustainable way – living off-grid, ecological, self sufficient way. They are looking at different ways to make this a reality. Their ultimate goal is to buy a section or lifestyle block somewhere in the Bay, but until then they are looking into alternative means by which to make the move.They are keen to contact any landowners/farmers that would consider renting or leasing a section of their property, in exchange for money, labour, goods or services. Or communities of people already living in a similar way, who may be looking to expand with like minded individuals, lending a modest section of farmable land for their use.

Ref: 5

Amberley Location

We are four people who share a vision of working towards creating a small community supported farm based on bio-dynamic/organic methods in North Canterbury. Does this interest you? We are inviting expressions of interest from people who would like to undertake small scale organic vegetable growing/market gardening. 

The site – Stonecircle Organic Farm, Amberley – has been certified organic under OrganicFarmNZ for the last 9 years, the soil is fertile with 400mm of moderate loam over a clay base; ample water during the summer months from our own well but can be wet in winter. 

We are looking for 1 or 2 grower-farmers keen to grow and sell their own produce; and who are not solely reliant on income from the produce year round. The growers must be competent and able to grow independently but willing to work collaboratively in a team under the umbrella of a CSA vision. Our ultimate aim is to achieve Demeter status for the farm and its produce. Stonecircle is also an Interfaith Spiritual Community and we see the CSA as very much part of this.

Ref: 4

Kaikohe location

Couple owning 15 acre volcanic property 4 kms from Kaikohe township are looking for a couple or family to share their property. They have a large heirloom orchard (130 trees) and established garden plus cattle, sheep, chickens etc. Buildings include a 160 m2 woodwork shed, 3 bedrooom house, orchard processing shed and garage. There is ample water from bore, river, spring and sky. They envisage a long term arrangement as they would like to travel extensively. The property has been farmed/gardened organically for the last 8 years. Accommodation and details defined to suit. Must be competent and keen gardeners.

Ref: 3

Gordonton location (near Hamilton)

Organic smallfarmer has small plots of land available for food gardening. The land is flat, very fertile has been certified organic for a number of years.

Ref: 1

Matamata location – 10 minutes north

Dairy farming couple have about 4,000m2 available for a gardener who would like to grow substantial quantities of food. The farmers have plenty of space, compost, knowledge and machinery – just not the time to do a lot of gardening! They follow biological methods of farming.

Ref: 2

If you want to record your landsharing agreement, you are welcome to use my simple Landsharing Licence as a template. Of course there are many ways to share land, both non-commercial and commercial: my simple Licence, CSA’s (community supported agriculture), food co-ops, sharefarming, leases and partnerships/companies. If you want legal assistance with any of these activities, I would be pleased to talk to you –

Landshare photo

People in all cultures and all countries have shared land in various ways. In New Zealand the Pakeha tradition has not been one of landsharing, but rather owners of a quarter acre section self sufficiently growing most of their fruit and vegetables in the back yard. However increased housing density has brought about the demise of the quarter acre section in many towns and cities. So many residents no longer have sufficient space to grow their own food.

During the period of demise of the quarter acre section there was a parallel growth in the inappropriately named lifestyle blocks – properties of one to ten acres forming a green belt around towns and cities. Most lifestyle block owners work in town, buy their food from a supermarket and value living on their block for reasons of privacy, space and park-like settings.

However there are a good number who carry on the quarter acre backyard tradition and even some are making a living off their small block. As they age, their physical ability to grow food and care for their land decreases, but they invariably continue to strongly identify with their land.

There is now a connection arising from these land use changes: people in town, often younger, have the energy and desire to grow food, but no land to grow it on. People on the lifestyle blocks have the land and knowledge to grow food, but diminished energy. Landshare can connect these people to form mutually beneficial relationships.

In the UK, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall/River Cottage started a website based landshare scheme in 2009, but unfortunately it closed down in early 2016. There is another UK website at It is orientated towards landsharing for commercial purposes and has some good resources.

Examples of how it might work

Api, Mary and their two children rent a small unit in town, where the landlord prohibits any alteration to the very small landscaped garden. Graham and Jill have an 8,000m2 property close by. They agree that Api and Mary can garden on an 800m2 plot in return for them working one hour a week on things that Graham and Jill find too physically demanding. Api and Jill spend at least one afternoon each weekend on the plot – one hour working for Graham and Jill, and the rest growing their own fruit and vegetables. They are now mostly self sufficient in fruit and vegetables and consider the quality of their food is really benefitting the family. They share knowledge with each other as well as swapping seeds and seedlings. Api and Mary’s children enjoy the open spaces, but respect Grahams and Mary’s land and privacy. Graham and Mary enjoy the social contact with their gardening family.

Joan has a 1,200m2 property in town. She has been a very keen gardener all her life but the garden has got a bit overgrown as she ages. Janine is a sole parent in a flat without any land. Joan agrees to let Janine grow vegetables on 300m2 in return for Janine mowing the lawns and giving Joan some fresh vegetables periodically. The relationship has developed to the stage that Joan periodically does some childminding for Janine.

Looking at the main issues

There are of course many variations on how a landshare arrangement can be set up. The owner and gardener should talk to each other about what you want from the landshare, and assess whether each of them thinks they can build a mutually beneficial relationship. Some key points should be considered:

• Time and commitment (mostly of the gardener)
• Approaches to gardening and caring for the land/soil
• Respect, trust and communication skills
• Gardening knowledge
• Tidiness issues
• Access to toilet