When Hutt Valley couple Damien Helferty and Charlotte Dickens bought a property in rural Featherston last year, they thought they were in for a peaceful country life.
The reality was grossly different.
Two Sundays ago, they woke to find six of their sheep savaged by dogs. It was the second time their sheep had been attacked and the third disturbance on their property - they were robbed by a "local scumbag" earlier in the year.
On one extreme end of the reactions, seasoned rural advocates say "townies" are unrealistic about the challenges of the countryside.
Horticulture New Zealand president Julian Raine believes too many people who move from urban areas to the country aren't prepared for what they face.
"They expect something idyllic but country living has smells and noises that are normal activities in rural areas but lifestylers think they shouldn't happen," he says.
Some lifestyle block owners also have unrealistic ideas about neighbouring farms, he says.
"Some think you should only work weekdays and only work 9 to 5pm and that machinery shouldn't run on Saturdays and Sundays. When farmers are harvesting, that's when they've got to get their crops in."
Mr Helferty disagrees. He knew the Featherston area well when he moved in and made an effort to be involved in the local community.
"We knew what we were in for," he says. "All we wanted to do was raise sheep and chickens and enjoy the country life."
Mr Helferty and his partner Charlotte had to wait three hours for a council representative to deal with the aggressive dogs in the latest attacks.
Their support should have been better, he says.
Asked about council support for lifestylers, Mr Raine reckons councils should support farmers by ensuring valuable and highly productive soils aren't continually sectioned off for lifestyle blocks.
"Councils shouldn't be allowing land to be split up in to smaller and smaller blocks. People who have a large house, a large lawn and a small paddock for a couple of pets are effectively wasting land that could be used for food production.
"We want horticulture to be an even more important exporter for New Zealand but that's becoming increasingly more difficult as so much ideal land is getting swallowed up by lifestyle blocks."
Mr Raine also reckons communities should be working on long-term plans, 100 years or more into the future, to ensure future generations get enough food from the soil.
"It's particularly an issue around Christchurch and Auckland and in large provincial areas. People ought to be living in village-style clusters, rather than spreading out all over the place."
But Mr Raine's hopes appear to be in vain. Colliers International's national director of rural and agribusiness Shane O'Brien says the conversion of farmland to lifestyle blocks won't slow down any time soon.
There is a silver lining for farmers, in the shape of good money for prime land.
"There will always be demand for lifestyle properties close to city centres because people love having the best of both worlds - quiet country living and the amenities cities provide," Mr O'Brien says.
"As sections in the city become more and more expensive, sections in the country are becoming increasingly affordable.
"But I certainly don't think farmers are against it, as long as it's controlled.
"If you're a farmer selling land for subdivision, you're going to be paid a lot more for your land, than if you were selling it for farmland."
It doesn't have to be an us-against-them scenario. Federated Farmers' president William Rolleston says farmers and lifestylers shouldn't be butting heads.
"People moving to the country need to go with their eyes wide open, not with rose-tinted glasses because they could be disappointed," he says.
"They need to realise where they're moving to and what disturbances might be going on in the normal course of farming - people needing to harvest late; cattle; silage; tractors; motorbikes; effluent ponds; different smells, etc.
"But there's also a responsibility for farmers to be good neighbours."
In that way, country life is no different to living in town, he says.
"There are some absolutely idyllic spots that people have bought and some parts where people are unhappy.
"It's the same as if you bought next to an industrial site in town. You'd have to expect industry going on."
Good and bad neighbours are mixed in the country, just as they are in town, he says.
Being neighbourly can, however, go a long way in the country.
"There shouldn't be any obligation on a farmer to help out a lifestyle block owner, just as there's no obligation on someone in town to fix the plumbing of the person next door if they're having problems, but if both parties are willing and good neighbours, those things happen."
Back on his Wairarapa block, Mr Helferty says he's had good experiences with neighbours.
He doesn't hold a grudge against the local dog owner and says the community has been friendly and supportive throughout their time there.
Another way to be a good neighbour in the country, according to Mr Rolleston, is working with neighbours to make lifestyle blocks more productive.
"New Zealand commercial farmland has dropped from 15.6 to 14.6 million hectares in the last 10 years.
"If you move to a lifestyle block that's five hectares, you have a responsibility to make sure that five hectares is well maintained and that you do something productive on it.
"When you're thinking about moving out into the country, you've got to think about the hard work that goes into maintaining a much larger property because it doesn't look after itself."
Despite the common assumption, not all lifestylers are naive city slickers.
Kate Brennan runs a website for small landholders - lifestyleblock.co.nz - and says the majority of lifestylers embrace country life, just as Mr Helferty does.
"You only ever hear of how useless people who move from towns and cities to the country are, and how they don't know what they're doing. But, in reality, most of them fit in really well," she says.
Besides, it's normal for new lifestyle farmers to have the odd mistake or oversight, she says.
"There are people who will make mistakes, because everybody has unrealistic expectations of places they haven't lived.
"If you haven't lived in the country, you don't know what it's like, but I'd say exactly the same about a farmer going to live in the city.
"Yet no-one says 'oh gosh these people who come and live in the city have no idea'."
In most instances, lifestyle farmers adapt really well, she says. "Plus people forget that there's lots of us who have been doing it for years that know exactly what we're doing."
Mr Helferty and his partner Charlotte Dickens are the perfect example of why people move to the countryside.
Most people want a slower paced life; somewhere for their children to play; or the opportunity to produce their own food, Ms Brennan says.
"People see it as a much more natural environment where they can watch the grass grow and animals live, rather than being surrounded by flashy lights."
City people who expect a country "theme park" will be disappointed by the noise and activity of farming but most realise this is a part of the package, she says.
Ms Brennan started her website in 2000 after moving from town to a lifestyle block and failing to find information for lifestyle farmers.
The website now has around 17,000 members, 12,000 articles and 70,000 unique visitors a month.