Sustainable living in the heart of New Zealand

Tata Kaitawa



Introduction – a varied landscape

This 215 hectare / 530 acre block of rural land on the Kapiti Coast, New Zealand, is a mixture of regenerating native bush (30 years old) covering the steep hills, and flat valleys kept clear of bush by grazing livestock. It is situated in the foothills of the Tararua Ranges.

On this off-grid property an almost self sufficient and sustainable, low footprint lifestyle has been established. This includes mature vegetable gardens and orchard, and a pico hydro system that has been generating the power needed for over 10 years.

The two major valleys are approx. 25 acres of flat land each and both have a stony bottomed permanent stream running through them. One of the streams is sourced entirely on this block.

There is approx 5-6 acres of wetland, yet to be restored.

There are no covenants registered over this property.

Walking tracks

The property of Tata Kaitawa is criss crossed with several walking tracks, some now established as lovely bush walks, especially the old ‘rail track’ which is fully covered overhead, and hosts glow worms at night.

Some of these tracks could be re-established to take quad or bikes, except of course for the very steep ones.

The vehicle tracks within the property are all on flat land.

The main features and characteristics of appeal (in our opinion) are:

  • Peace and privacy / no visible neighbours
  • Pristine environment
  • Security (locked gates)
  • Isolated but not remote
  • Clean natural spring water – unadulterated
  • No extraneous artificial light at night – beautiful starry skies
  • Real silence, no traffic noise
  •  If you are looking for a peaceful and private Sanctuary, maybe this is it.
  •  This property shares one major boundary with Kaitawa Reserve.


A large vegetable garden and orchard (established following permaculture principles) are set behind a possum proof fence, along with a rustic garden shed and chook house and run, and a large greenhouse.

There has been no use of herbicides or pesticides on the block for the last 30 years.

All the fruit trees and currants / berries in the orchard and all vegetables (including tomatoes, corn, zucchini, etc) are heritage plants. The chooks are also all heritage breeds.

The orchard contains 3 plum, 4 apple, 4 pear, 1 nectarine, 1 peach, 2 hazelnut, 2 lemon  and  2 feijoa trees, as well as black and red currants, raspberries, boysenberries, thornless blackberries and rhubarb, and many herbs.

The camp


The camp is temporary, but comfortable, consisting of two containers and two old steel site caravans (stripped and rebuilt) surrounding a covered courtyard.

There is a pot belly stove in the ‘sitting room’ and a Wagener wood burning stove and oven in the kitchen caravan (which heats the 135 ltr hot water cylinder ), along with a gas hob.

An effective composting toilet and a grey water system have been installed.

It would be suitable for you to live in comfortably while you build your own cottage.


Sheds include a large plastic twin skinned drying shed approx 300m² (13m x 24m).

There is a large double bay shed, and a small workshop made from two containers joined together.

Various other small sheds spread out provide storage or shelter.

There is also an old but weatherproof house truck on a TK Bedford truck, which is currently used as a spare bedroom for visitors.


Various chattels would be included in the sale, including:

  • an old Hitachi EX 60 6 ton digger (goes well but needs a new cab)
  • an ancient but still functioning TK Bedford tipper truck
  • an old 6 ton Allis Chalmers front end loader
  • an experimental automatic saw mill
  • a diesel powered hydraulic wood splitter

Water sources

Water is abundant, from springs and a high rainfall which varies between 10 inches to 25 inches a month (see also climate).

There is a good water supply system set up for abundant spring water (beautiful drinking). Spring water is gravity fed to the camp and also gravity fed to the garden / orchard. There is no need to filter the water for domestic use.

Power and communication

Power is supplied by a system using 3 pico hydro turbines, and solar as a supplement in summer. The streams running the turbines have a permanent flow. The solar array in the paddock can be moved manually by remote control to follow the sun during the day.

Power supplied with an inverter is sufficient to supply ordinary domestic appliances e.g. ( 3 freezers, fridge, lighting, computer, kitchen appliances, washing machine etc ), plus the twin skinned drying shed inflation fans and some power tools.

The hydro system consists of one cross flow turbine and two vertical turbines. There are  additional stream sites to  generate more power if required.

The system includes a 1000 Ampere hour battery bank @ 12V.

A satellite system has been set up for communication, which covers internet and landline phone. This system has proved to be reliable and effective.

There is good mobile phone coverage on the hill tops, but patchy coverage in the valleys and at the camp.

Unspoiled nature with an abundance of species


There are large clumps of manuka and kanuka in some places, and harakeke grows by waterways and ponds.

The valleys have a good cover of introduced  species and grasses for grazing stock, including red clover and plantain.

The bush includes rimu, matai, tawa, kahikatea, native fuschia, miro, coprosma, rewarewa, different species of punga, native clematis, hebe, lancewood and many different native mosses, ferns, grasses and fungi.

New Zealand bush is wet, dense and green.

Introduced species include  macrocarpa, douglas fir, eucalypts and acacia.

Animal life

Bird life is abundant and varied and includes kakariki, welcome swallow, kereru, tui, bellbird, fantail, grey warbler, finches, waxeye, rosella, mallard and paradise duck, dunnock, sparrow, blackbird , thrush, harrier hawk, NZ falcon, tomtit, Nth Is robin, kingfisher, quail, pheasant, cuckoo, ruru, and native bats.

Many insects are found including weta, stick insects, spiders, puriri moths, huhu beetles and grubs, native bees, bumble bees, hoverflies, mayflies, dragon flies, and peripatus.

There are both short fin and long fin eels in the streams and ponds and fresh water crayfish, cockabullies, and sometimes a brown trout is spied.

There are no snakes in New Zealand, no dangerous animals and no Lyme disease bearing tics.

weather & climate notes

No droughts here, and also no water restrictions or water rates!! Most rain falls in winter and spring, however as we get the odd heavy fall throughout the year, the land is ‘summer safe’.

Rainfall in the last four years
2015 = 130 inches / 3302 mm
2016 = 144 inches / 3658 mm
2017 = 142 inches / 3607 mm
2018 = 138 inches / 3505 mm

Most of the block except for the very top is sheltered, and experiences very little wind.

The winters are generally not too cold. We do get frosts, but snow is very rare.
Summer temps can get quite hot, high 20’s some days, with clear blue skies, but nights are on average colder than the rest of Kapiti coast.
The greenhouse can reach temperatures up to 38 degrees celcius, but the automatic opening of top air vents, and plentiful water,  prevents plants from overheating.

Features and Potential


The Mangaone Walkway – which is a (driveable) DOC walkway – gives the block legal access. Privacy is assured by the two locked gates. One locked gate is at the end of the public road and the beginning of the Walkway, and the second locked gate is at the top end of the Walkway into our property.

The access to this property, using the walkway, is suitable for 2WD vehicles including trucks. The property is approx. 5 k in from the public road / bottom gate. All vehicle enabled tracks within the property are on flat land.

The block is also very hidden, with neighbours some distance away.

30 minutes drive to Wellington line train station at Waikanae, and 40 minutes to the Paraparaumu airport.

30 minutes drive to Otaki township.

This property is more than a bush  block!

It has the infrastructure established on which to build a self sustainable lifestyle.

The current owners have endeavoured to become as self-sufficient as possible, at the same time being very aware of the need for sustainable practises.

Because the gardening regime is based on Permaculture principles, using local mulches (eg pine needles, bush duff), animal and bird manure, Hugelkultur, composting and a worm farm, sustainability is supported.

Items which are currently self sufficient are :

Fruit, vegetables, eggs, spring water, beef, electric power, firewood, timber.

There is also access to wild pigs and goats on the property, and native and wild edibles such as watercress, puha, piko piko fern shoots, pirita (supplejack) shoots, mushrooms, kawakawa, karamu (coprosma ) berries.

The high rainfall ensures plentiful water year round from the natural springs, and also avoids drought and fire risk.

As well as a large acreage of native bush (interspersed with tracks), there is sufficient flat land which could generate an income.

The property could suit multi ownership as there are many private building sites.

Potential possibilities:

  • Goat farming for milk and cheese.
  • Peaceful Retreat or Chalets / Cottages / Glamping.
  • Potential for native tree plantings (and the possibility of Govt. funding) and the consequent Carbon Credits.
  • Eco village or Intentional Community, there are more than 6 private and suitable building sites for houses near the existing camp, and many more further into the bush area.
  • Tiny houses establishment.  Visit this link for the latest compliance rules for tiny homes in NZ, you may be pleasantly surprised….
  • Outdoor activity centre.
  • Plant your own timber trees and use the sawmill to process your own timber.
  • Honey from bees harvesting from Manuka and native flora.
  • Production of Biochar.
  • This property and lifestyle could suit Preppers.
  • Pot and sell the many native seedlings growing on the tracks which include Rimu, Kahikatea, Rewarewa, Lancewood.


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This property has been SOLD